Aleppo Muhammara, a Spicy Red Pepper and Roasted Walnut Dip

It was coming to the end of a long and sultry day as I languidly lay upon a heap of vintage embroidered cushions, the candle-lit lanterns flickering in the warm early evening breeze. The music in the background was haunting and exotic as if it were calling me from a far away place. I learned…

Greek Kritharaki with Feta, Tomatoes, Olives and Wild Oregano

‘Each day had a tranquility a timelessness about it so that you wished it would never end. But then the dark skin of the night would peel off and there would be a fresh day waiting for us glossy and colourful as a child’s transfer and with the same tinge of unreality’ – Gerald Durrell. I…

Caldo Gallego, a Spanish White Bean Soup with Sherry Vinegar and Mojo Verde

A beautiful bowl of love for early spring evenings, this beautiful aniseed-based broth with lightly braised haricot beans, tomatoes, courgette and fennel is seasoned with a really good Spanish sherry vinegar, chilli and fennel seeds but it’s the punchy mojo verde – a garlicky green herb and garlic sauce originating from the Canary Islands –…

La Cecìna Toscana, a Fermented Chickpea Flour Pancake with Rosemary

In pre-Covid times, it always amazed me that having eaten breakfast in England we can be enjoying a late lunch in Italy looking up to the sun and taking in the aromas of the streets: jasmine blossoms and linden trees fighting for our olfactory attention against smokey Vespas, buttery patisserie, melting chocolate, over-ripe peaches, the…

Shuk Hummus with Zhoug and Chopped Pistachios

Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem was the first full blown Middle Eastern market I ever visited and, for me, it was an absolutely mind-blowing experience with over 250 vendors and stall holders inviting me to sample their beautiful chaos of fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, pastries and halva, cheeses, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices all piled…

Topkapi Fig, Raspberry and Vanilla Compôte

Throughout Turkey, luxurious Ottoman-inspired fruit compôtes – ranging from a simple sultana-based version to a complex mix of apricots, figs, prunes and nuts often subtly highlighted with a delightful floral note of rose or orange blossom water – are an integral part of the ritual of eating. No matter what the season, there is always…

Umbrian Barley, Cavolo Nero and Lemon Soup with Pesto alla Genovese

High up in the hills of Umbria, winters can be long and very cold. A chilled silence wraps itself around the small towns and villages like a damp white cloak and the region falls into a kind of reflective slumber until Easter. Restaurants – at least those that choose to remain open after the feasting…

Greek Ospriada, a Mixed Bean, Bulgur and Herb Salad

Ospriada is a mixture of dried legumes – including black eyed beans, fat and medium white beans, kidney beans, black beans and green lentils – which are gently cultivated on quiet and tranquil organic farms close to the little known Prespa Lakes which are tucked between the borders of Albania ,the former Yugoslav Republic of…

Greek Kritharaki with Lemon, Herbs and Pine Kernels

Here’s a beautifully bright pasta dish to brighten up your day whatever the season. There’s something extraordinarily comforting about eating kritharaki (kριθαράκι) or orzo; it’s the luxe softness of it I think as well as its ability to soak up all your favourite flavours be they rich or light. This vibrant lemony herb-packed recipe is…

Minestra Aromatica, Potato and Arborio Rice Soup with Aromatics

This beautiful recipe is perfect for the early days of a new year when the desire for bright vibrant flavours vies for attention with the long walk towards the spring. This year, more than ever before, I have looked to silence and reflection these past few weeks, a quiet time in order to process everything…