Akko Amba Sauce with Mango, Lime and Iraqi Spices

Amba sauce. When I think about it, I feel utter love because it’s such a beautiful thing. I think so highly of it that, if Amba were a man, I would run away with him. My first experience of this Iraqi sweet and sour mango condiment was sitting on a harbour wall in the Crusader…

Valencian Saffron Rice with Asparagus, Orange and Carne de Ñora

Since the beginning of the 19th century Valencia has been a major grower and trader of oranges largely down to the fact that the long daylight hours of brilliant sunshine combined with mild winter temperatures produce the perfect balance of sweet and tart flavours. Oranges were originally introduced to the city by the Moors in…

Amirim Lemon-scented Labneh with Zhoug

Labneh is a beautiful soft cheese simply made from strained yoghurt that can be eaten with pretty much everything but which is an especially good friend to rich and spicy mezzes. 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…

Orecchiette with Pistachios, Hazelnuts, Parmesan and Mint

Sometimes I yearn for a pesto sauce that packs a bit more of a punch that the regular basil and pine nut version especially when the quality of shop bought basil can be patchy – who else has splashed out on a packet recently only to find that the leaves are all pretty much too…

La Belle Salade Niçoise with a Green Olive Tapenade Dressing

Named ‘La Belle’ after the frequently used nickname for the city of Nice which lies in the French Riviera on the Mediterranean Sea, this salad typifies for me the fresh seasonal beauty of the local cuisine. This simple plate of summer is inspired by Richard Olney’s musings on Lulu Peyraud who, with her husband Lucien,…

Pesto alla Genovese

It’s early on Tuesday morning at Genoa’s Mercato Orientale and a light summer rain still lingers in the air. Softly fragrant and warm. Dozens of men and women are quietly and efficiently focused on the business of setting up their stalls stopping only occasionally to bid someone buongiorno. Fragrant bouquets of basil line the stalls their uniquely…