Shuk Ha’Carmel Green Herb Falafel

“Wait. You’re telling me that you have never – NEVER! – eaten falafel?” he exclaimed, narrowly missing the turning onto Boulevard Rothchild as we made our way to dinner one impossibly hot and humid evening in downtown Tel Aviv. “No!” I replied, “I have never – NEVER! – eaten falafel!“. He looked at me with that…

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…

Pera Garlicky Spinach with Yoghurt and Biber Salçası

After a bone-chilling day we literally fell through the doorway of Asmalı Cavit, a treasured wooden-fronted traditional meyhane in the centre of Pera in Istanbul. Here, the walls are lined with photographic portraits of people from a more glamorous age alongside vintage posters promoting wine, long forgotten theatre productions and the seaside resorts that were…

Greek Feta, Romano Pepper and Tomato Saganaki

In Greece the term saganaki is a term used to describe a variety of small dishes made in a traditional  two-handled frying pan. The name comes from the Turkish word sahan meaning a copper dish. Very often, the term is used to describe cheese cooked this way – namely kasseri, kefalotyri, kefalograviera or another firm Greek…

Salerno Sweet Red Pepper and Fontina Cheese Frittata

They say that Salerno is the Amalfi Coast’s best kept secret so I probably shouldn’t tell you about it. It’s important you see that this grand old signora of Campania remains a secret otherwise all and sundry will be aching to reside in one of its cute little teracotta-roofed appartamentos piled one on top of…

Cádiz Tortilla de Patatas, a Spanish Omelette

For a time, I lived close to Cádiz in Andalusía, the southernmost point of the country where the Atlantic crashes into the Mediterranean. It’s a beautiful city with a laid-back vibe, brilliant seafood and a maze of curved streets bathed in intensely luminous white sunlight. It’s a place described by the novelist Laurie Lee as “a scribble…

Greek Wild Oregano-roasted Tomatoes and Whipped Feta on Garlicky Sourdough

I had no idea of what to make for lunch today, I wanted something quick and easy yet also incredibly vibrant and sumptuous and then I saw Raphael Deli’s wonderful Greek breakfast of tomatoes, ricotta with oregano and smoked sea salt on rustic bread. I immediately jumped away from my desk in order to drizzle some luscious plum tomatoes with…

Greek Kefalotyri Saganaki with Honey and Nigella Seeds

It was late summer as we sheltered from the hot Cypriot sun under vine leaves heavy with maroon globes of fruit at the favourite beachside cafe beloved of our hosts. Cats slept amongst the shady underbellies of old sun-bleached tables, waking only to curl their way around our legs as they begged for attention and…

Auntie Nadia’s Ftayer Sabanekh

To help us feel connected during the current lockdown, my friend Meg from Feeding the Rest and I are trying out each other’s recipes, adding our own twist and adapting them according to what’s available in the food stores. Yesterday, I used one of her beloved family recipes for her Auntie Nadia’s ftayer sabanekh, a small savoury…