Warm Cumin-roasted Squash, Wild Rice and Black Bean Salad with Cranberries

After a somewhat tumultuous couple of weeks preparing to close my beautiful little restaurant at Spark: York, I am back in my kitchen pondering the attraction of salads in the autumn when many are reaching out for carb-heavy cheesy comfort. Here’s the thing, I believe that, if you stay nutritionally focused, warm salads such as…

Roast Chestnut, Mushroom and Oloroso Sherry Tart

A nigh on perfect Andalusian tart for a bright autumnal Sunday lunch. All butter pastry encased around caramelised red onions, wild mushrooms, roast chestnuts, fresh lemon thyme and gently stirred with fragrant oloroso sherry and a generous knob of butter. I put some pieces of creamy citrusy Caerphilly cheese on top of this one just to…

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…

A Sumptuous Spanish Tortilla

I’m trying – really trying! – to get back in the mode of recipe writing because it’s so important to me to enable you to re-create my food at home and I love to see your photos. So here we go then, here is the recipe for my gorgeous Spanish tortilla. You can prepare the…

Rana’s Lebanese Chickpea and 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…

Ligurian Basil Gnocchi with Broccoli, Spinach and Creamy Cheesy Sauce

This beautiful dish is perfect for these early autumn days because, although it’s comforting, it is ultimately still light and delicious. The recipe is a little more complicated than you’re used to from me but it all comes together quite quickly in the end. If you don’t fancy making the gnocchi, you can always replace them with large white beans or thinly sliced cooked…

Greek White Beans with Spinach and a Basil and Pistachio Pesto

As you might imagine, with a little restaurant to open next month, our evening suppers need to be fast but not at the cost of nutrition. This über simple dish of white beans and spinach gently sautéed together with a quick basil and pistachio pesto and garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds and pomegranate arils delivers everything I need it to….

Umbrian Farro Pilaf with Fennel, Roasted Grapes and Mozzarella

Although my focus is on Mediterranean cuisine, I am passionately interested in the food of any culture that believes in simple seasonal cooking. That said, I’m definitely not a fan of the meaty, carb-loaded cuisine of Eastern Europe from whence I have just returned. HOWEVER, in Bratislava, I can see a truly exciting change in the way…

Greek White Beans with Coriander and Lemon-baked Feta

This is the kind of dish I like to make when I’m tired and I want something that’s easy to prepare and which has the super power to instantly take me to my happy place – basically a two up two down shack with a summer kitchen anywhere along the coast of the Mediterranean (I’m easy to please). This version of Greek…