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…

Greek White Peach & Orange Blossom Spoon Sweets (Gliko Koutaliou Rodakino)

When I was a little girl, I had a babysitter named Barbara. She fell in love with a Greek musician called Costa who used to feed me and my little brother a style of preserved fruit originating from the Byzantine kitchen that is traditionally served as a gesture of hospitality in Greece, Turkey and the Balkans, usually on special…

Leyla’s Lyutenitsa (Spicy Red Pepper and Tomato Spread)

Leyla is a beauty and one of the most nurturing and interesting women I have ever met. She lives in a huge Bohemian apartment on the top of a quietly crumbling building with views of the Bosphorus and the Dolmabahçe mosque beneath. Books – and there are hundreds of them – are piled high upon ornate…