A’isha’s Lemony Hummus with Cumin and Oregano

We sat under a pomegranate tree for shade. Our table was dappled with the shapes of leaves and ripening fruit as the sun played with the gentle breeze to create moving patterns that could never be captured. Laid across its white cloth were several large hand-painted plates and bowls within which vibrant food beckoned invitingly;…

Bebek Börek, a Spinach and Feta Filo Pie with Sweet Cicely

During the winter months, the beautiful Istanbul suburb of Bebek sits quietly on the European shore of the Bosphorus as if waiting for an errant lover. It was once the favourite resort of Ottoman aristocrats who built their grand summer houses here, dozens of beautiful white jewels glittering against a backdrop of verdant jade. Not many remain…

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 Island Tzatziki with Dill and Mint

Originating from the Ottoman Empire, this is my version of the popular Greek dish, tzatziki (known as cacık in Turkey). It’s simply a bowl of authentic Greek yoghurt getting it on with little cubes of crunchy cucumber, lots of finely chopped garlic, briny sea salt, a generous glug of grassy Kalamata olive oil, an audacious…

Quartieri Spagnoli Aubergine Parmigiana, Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Deep in the heart of of the Quartieri Spagnoli – the Spanish Quarter – in the centre of Naples sits a tiny family-run restaurant called Hosteria Toledo. It’s one of our favourites and our go-to place when we arrive in this glorious chaotic city. The family are justifiably proud of their long-held faith in the generous…

Greek Slow Roasted Beetroot, Lemon and Mint Hummus

Roasted beets are a year-round staple in our home; they’re fantastic for tossing in salads, alongside tangy feta cheese and lightly pickled red onions; as a sumptuous filling for fresh ravioli with goats cheese; incorporated into spicy veggie burgers; or, I have done here, combined with chickpeas and a few other ingredients to create a…

Sicilian Peperonata with Lemon-infused Labneh

A lovingly nurtured peperonata – a classic Italian stew of red and yellow peppers, onions and plum tomatoes – is not only a thing of beauty, it’s incredibly versatile. I use it as a salad in the summer, a warming stew in the winter, as a topping to a crispy pizza or bruschetta, stirred into…

Turkish Carrot and Garlic Yoghurt Salad

The stories that I tell are inspired by a lifetime spent travelling around the countries that kiss the coasts of the Mediterranean sea, by every restaurant and cafe I’ve had the pleasure of kicking back in; by the bustling markets, glittering delicatessens and traditional food stores that have sparked new idea; by the forgotten recipes I…