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 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…

Shuk Hummus with Smoked Chilli Harissa and Toasted Sesame Seeds

Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem was the first full blown Middle Eastern market I ever visited and, for me, it was an absolutely mind-blowing experience with over 250 vendors and stall holders inviting me to sample their beautiful chaos of fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, pastries and halva, cheeses, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices all piled…

Dakos, a Cretan Summer Bruschetta with Ricotta and Organic Oregano

The beautiful island of Crete with its wild mountainous terrain and a strong traditional culture is justifiably proud of a cuisine that is internationally famed for its unique ingredients and flavours. Based on simple techniques, it’s the variety of local produce that distinguishes their dishes: mountain herbs and greens, wild bulbs, unique cheeses, olives and,…

Greek Village Bread, Horiatiko Psomi

This is a very simple bread inspired by an old artisan bakery we came across on the harbour side of Corfu old town. I love its light chewy texture and the natural sweetness of the dough. The addition of the olive oil and egg yolk glaze scattered with sesame, fennel and nigella seeds makes this…

Greek Island Tzatziki with Dill and Mint

Originating from the Ottoman Empire, this is my version of the popular Greek dish, tzatziki (known as cacık in Turkey). It’s simply a bowl of authentic Greek yoghurt getting it on with little cubes of crunchy cucumber, lots of finely chopped garlic, briny sea salt, a generous glug of grassy Kalamata olive oil, an audacious…

Souk el Tayeb Freekeh, Borlotti Bean and Pomegranate Salad

The vibrant and colourful Souk el Tayeb – literally translated as ‘the good market‘ – in central Beirut is famed for the way it showcases the produce of local farmers and the very best of Lebanon’s organic ingredients; it’s literally a deep dive into the rich and inspiring culinary traditions of the Middle East. The peoples of Lebanon…

Greek Manouri Saganaki with Honey and Nigella Seeds

It was late summer as we sheltered from the hot Cypriot sun under vine leaves heavy with maroon globes of fruit at the favourite beachside cafe beloved of our hosts. Cats slept amongst the shady underbellies of old sun-bleached tables, waking only to curl their way around our legs as they begged for attention and…

Horta, Greek Greens with Lemon and Garlic

Greeks traditionally forage for their greens and adapt this dish according to what’s in season. Here it’s not so easy to do that because we simply don’t have the same levels of abundance and variety. However, I have successfully made this dish using rainbow chard, foraged nettles, dandelion leaves and sorrel (in which case go…