Caldo Gallego, a Spanish White Bean Soup with Sherry Vinegar and Mojo Verde

A beautiful bowl of love for late summer evenings, this beautiful aniseed-based broth with lightly braised haricot beans, tomatoes, courgette and fennel is seasoned with a really good Spanish sherry vinegar, chilli and fennel seeds but it’s the punchy mojo verde – a garlicky green herb and garlic sauce originating from the Canary Islands –…

Greek Skordalia with Slow-roasted Plum Tomatoes, Capers and Organic Thyme

Skordalia is a beautifully simple smooth purée of waxy potatoes, lots of juicy garlic, lashings of vibrant extra-virgin olive oil, a generous splash of white wine vinegar and flat leaf parsley whipped together to create a classic Greek dip which is served at room temperature with a scattering of salty capers. Trust me, this bears…

Jaffa Orange, Feta and Almond Filo Pie with Wild Oregano

The classic Jaffa orange – shamouti – was originally developed by Palestinian farmers in the mid-19th century and takes its name from the city of Jaffa – Yafo – where it was first produced for export. These are the oranges that I was given as the occasional treat when I was a child so the intoxicating aroma of…

Batzina, a Greek Courgette, Feta and Mint Pie

Batzina is a traditional ‘pie’ from Thessaly in Greece which was originally made with just four ingredients: flour, cheese, milk and eggs; it’s name is derived from the word batzos which is a hard white goat and sheep’s cheese originating in Western Macedonia. This version, which also features grated courgettes, is inspired by my friend…

Amirim Lemon-scented Labneh with Zhoug and Hazelnut and Thyme Dukkah

Labneh is a beautiful soft cheese simply made from strained yoghurt that can be eaten with pretty much everything and is a particularly good friend to rich and spicy mezze dishes. 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…

Neapolitan Buffalo Mozzarella with Zucchini alla Scapece and Borlotti Beans

‘Italian food is all about the ingredients, and it’s not fussy and it’s not fancy‘, so says Wolfgang Puck and this classic dish of Naples is a testimony to that. Zucchini alla Scapece is a zesty summer salad which, whenever I taste it, immediately transports me back to long lazy lunches sitting around a table heaving with…

Cihangir Potato and Asparagus Salad with Kalamata Olives, Dill and Mint

High above the heart of the richly historical neighbourhood of Cihangir in Istanbul there is a restaurant of unparalleled beauty complete with a wonderful terrace from which one can enjoy panoramic views of the mouth of the Bosphorus and the first bridge. Here the elegant wooden furniture is bleached by the sun and the tables are covered with…

Greek Flatbread with Organic Thyme and Olive Oil

No mezze table is complete without copious amounts of freshly baked bread and you will find plenty of recipes on this website but here is one for the simplest of them all, flatbread. It requires no proving so it’s ready to go in a matter of minutes; simply prepare the dough ahead and cover with…