Lebanese Feta, Orange and Almond Filo Pie

A couple of weeks ago, my School House gallery menu was inspired by recipes I’ve picked up in Lebanon including this beautifully light and flavoursome filo pie. It takes just a few minutes to put together and it freezes well so, if you can’t eat it all in one sitting, don’t worry about it. This is the…

Lebanese Za’atar-roasted Vegetable & Halloumi Filo Pie with Dill & Lemon Zest

I’ve started making proper Sunday lunches. It’s not something I’ve ever aspired to do but my husband is from Yorkshire, a county where tradition rules. So, what to pair with a mountain of crispy roasted potatoes and the ubiquitous Yorkshire pudding? This is a constant challenge for me, a vegetarian cook whose heart resides on the shores…

Souk el Tayeb Roasted Freekeh and Pomegranate Salad with Parsley and Mint

The vibrant and colourful Souk el Tayeb – literally translated as ‘the good market‘ – in downtown Beirut is famed for the way it showcases the produce of local farmers and the very best of Lebanon’s organic ingredients. As you may have observed on Nigel Slater’s recent BBC series featuring the rich and inspiring culinary traditions of the…

Istanbul Sweet Potato & Bulgar Wheat Koftas with Tahini & Lemon Sauce

Our Turkish friends, Selçuki and Ali, are brilliant cooks and, knowing that I’m constantly looking to enhance my knowledge, they always put food at the centre of our plans when we’re in Istanbul (I love a plan which is somewhat of a challenge for them because Turks like to act spontaneously. This is a source…

Rana’s Lebanese Chickpea & Pomegranate Molasses Stew

With temperatures rarely rising above zero at the moment there is plenty of talk about the desirability of ‘comfort food’. But, for me, this doesn’t manifest itself as plates heaving under the weight of carbs and oozy cheesy layers. In fact, despite the cold, I still crave lighter food but I want that food to…

Istanbul Mujaddara-style Salad with Garlic Yoghurt

Mujaddara (also known as majadra, mejadra, moujadara, mudardara, and megadarra) is a super-umami-flavoured Levantine dish of brown lentils mixed with wholegrain basmati rice, caramelised onions and gently toasted whole spices including cumin and coriander seeds. It is usually served hot with the onion as a garnish; however, for the people who came to sample my Istanbul-inspired menu at…

Lebanese Batata Harra, Turmeric Spiced Potato Salad

Across the eastern Mediterranean – and, indeed, the whole of the Middle East – vegetable-based dishes are as much revered as any that may contain meat or fish. They are the heroes of mezze-based feasts; they are stuffed, they are stewed, deep-fried, sautéed and steamed. Above all, they are always in season and often purchased on…

Lebanese Holy Bread Scented with Orange Blossom Water, Rosewater & Mahleb

My kitchen is filled with the aroma of freshly baking bread scented with orange and roses, pine and almonds. It’s like heaven on earth, I’m baking Holy Bread after all. Known as qurban in Lebanon and prosphora in Greece, it’s based on the Christian Orthodox tradition of offering bread to Christ but it is, in fact, eaten throughout the…

Jewelled Pearl Barley with Mint & Orange Blossom Dressing

Every so often a new recipe book is published that gets everyone talking. Once such book is ‘On the Side‘, a book of inspiring dishes from Rocket & Squash, a food journal created by Ed Smith. When the book was published a couple of weeks ago, Instagram literally went mad – I mostly follow people in the food business…

Lebanese Lemon-infused Labneh with Zhoug

Labneh is a beautiful soft cheese made from strained yoghurt that can be eaten with pretty much everything but is especially good alongside rich and spicy mezzes and falafel. The good news is that it’s dead easy to make. All you have to be mindful of is the quality of the yoghurt you use so don’t be tempted…