Amirim Lemon-scented Labneh with Zhoug

Labneh is a beautiful soft cheese simply made from strained yoghurt that can be eaten with pretty much everything but which is an especially good friend to rich and spicy mezzes. The first time I tasted it I was sat at a little linen-covered table on the edge of a vegetable garden in Amirim, an entirely vegetarian organic…

Shuk Ha’Carmel Pea and Mint Falafel with Tahini and Lemon Sauce

“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…

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…

Hawaij Spiced Cannellini and Borlotti Bean Soup with Spinach and Greek Yoghurt

At Carmel Market in Tel Aviv – Shuk Ha’Carmel – all life is laid out for you to savour. Hemp sacks overflowing with dried fruit and nuts, small mountains of ultra-fresh fruit, vegetables and bunches of herbs tied up with string, hundreds of tiny kiosks providing shade for spice masters, street hawkers, bakers, florists, fishermen and…

Acre Amba Sauce

Amba sauce. When I think about it, I feel utter love because it’s such a beautiful thing. If Amba were a man, I would run away with him. My first experience of this Iraqi sweet and sour mango condiment was as I sat on the harbour wall in the Crusader town of Acre north of Haifa in Israel….

Florentin Roast Garlic Hummus

‘Garlic is divine. Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly. Misuse of garlic is a crime. Old garlic, burnt garlic, garlic cut too long ago and garlic that has been tragically smashed through one of those abominations – the garlic press – are all disgusting. Please treat your garlic with respect….

Lucca Rigatoni with Roasted Tomatoes and Salsa Verde

This recipe is inspired by an al fresco dinner we recently enjoyed in the beautiful city of Lucca in Tuscany. We were sitting on the outside of the infamous Piazza Anfiteatro when I noticed a long snake of very young children each holding tiny posies of flowers with their very handsome teacher who was nervously whispering instructions to them….

Amirim Kasundi, a Spicy Tomato Chutney

This is my take on a traditional Bengali condiment known as ‘kasundi’ which I first tasted in a tiny vegetarian village in Israel called Amirim, a special place in the world quietly positioned in the mountains high above the wondrous Sea of Galilee. Here, one can vanish from the pressures of daily western life (leave…

Sheinkin Fattoush with an Aromatic Green Olive and Za’atar Tapenade

When I used to work there, Sheinkin was one of the coolest streets in Tel Aviv. It was where the beautiful people came to meet with friends, talk about life, listen to music, drink coffee in one of the myriad café-bars and to shop the funky independents (I have a treasure chest bursting with glittering Michal Negrin…

Jaffa Orange Blossom-infused Labneh

In his book, 88 Short Stories, the writer Guy de Maupassant wrote, ‘Did you ever sleep in a field of orange trees in bloom? The air which one inhales deliciously is a quintessence of perfumes. This powerful and sweet smell, as savoury as a sweetmeat, seems to penetrate one, to impregnate, to intoxicate, to induce languor, to bring…