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…

Dimitri’s Greek Salad (Horiatiki)

It seems all sorts of crazy to post a recipe for a Greek Salad but then there are Greek salads and there are GREEK salads that zing so fresh that they deserve a little mention here. Years and years ago, I spent some time in the tiny fishing village of Gáïos on the verdant island…

Lebanese Slaw with Mint, Oranges and Pomegranate Molasses

This gorgeous autumnal salad is one of those versatile recipes that has it all – sweet and sour flavours, texture and a fresh herby zing. It’s perfect on its own, as part of a mezze table, piled atop a bowl of creamy hummus or served as part of a sabich open sandwich (pictured above) or with a vegetarian Greek souvlaki.  Ingredients 2 large carrots, unpeeled…

Sicilian Peperonata with Lemon-infused Labneh

A lovingly nurtured peperonata – a classic Italian stew of red and yellow peppers, onions and plum tomatoes – is not only a thing of beauty, it’s incredibly versatile. I use it as a salad in the summer; a warming stew in the winter; as a topping on a crispy pizza or bruschetta; stirred into…

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…

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…

Turkish Smashed Cucumber Salad with Late Summer Berries and Herbs

Just behind our home there is a wild country path that connects the river Ouse to the historic centre of York. Hardly anyone knows about it so nature rules and has created a paradise for city foragers. Right now, we have flowering baby nettles – the old ones were cut down after the heatwave and…

Livorno Cannellini Bean, Tomato and Ricotta Salata Salad

On a recent trip to Tuscany, I was astonished to discover that the covered markets in both Lucca and Pisa had been closed down. It seems that even the Italians are succumbing to pre-prepared food that can be grabbed on the go. Indeed, one man I spoke to who reminisced fondly about the dishes his…