Turkish Carrot and Garlic Yoghurt Salad

The stories that I tell are inspired by a lifetime spent travelling around the countries that kiss the coasts of the Mediterranean sea, by every restaurant and cafe I’ve had the pleasure of kicking back in; by the bustling markets, glittering delicatessens and traditional food stores that have sparked new idea; by the forgotten recipes I…

Citrusy Herbed Labneh and Roasted Tomato Tartine

Yoghurt is one of the most important components of the modern Mediterranean diet and there is rarely a table where it isn’t featured in some form or other; as part of a main dish, as a dip mixed with chopped herbs, in a dessert or even as a drink. On Mondays, our evening meal often consists of various…

Turkish-style Baked Eggs with Biber Salçası

Here’s a very quick one for you. I’m dashing about all over the place right now so, for supper last night, I threw together these Turkish-style eggs. It’s another perfect dish for these cooler autumnal evenings or brunch. Ingredients 1 tsp cumin seeds A splash of extra-virgin olive oil 450g jar of roasted red peppers, drained…

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…

Kyrenia Griddled Halloumi, Tomato and Pomegranate Salad

This beautiful little dish – often served as part of a Levantine mezze table – is outrageously easy to make. It’s bright, it’s salty, it’s a little bit sweet and a little bit sour so it’s the perfect accompaniment to a creamy, lemony and garlicky hummus, slivers of tangy feta cheese and generous chunks of…

Turkish Ezme Salad

Eager to shake off the cold of an early spring evening, we literally fell through the doorway of Asmalı Cavit, a treasured wooden-fronted traditional meyhane (tavern) in the centre of Pera in Istanbul. Here, the raki flows like the waters of the glittering Bosphorus; never ending and always a sight to behold. Our friends are known to the…

Leyla’s Lyutenitsa (Spicy Red Pepper and Tomato Spread)

Leyla is a beauty and one of the most nurturing and interesting women I have ever met. She lives in a huge Bohemian apartment on the top of a quietly crumbling building with views of the Bosphorus and the Dolmabahçe mosque beneath. Books – and there are hundreds of them – are piled high upon ornate…

Turkish Biber Salçası and Yoghurt Dip

Whenever we are in Istanbul, I make a point of buying several hundred grams of biber salçası, a beautiful red pepper paste available in both hot (aci) and sweet (tatli) versions which is sold in giant wooden barrels in traditional spice shops. When we get home, I transfer it to a sealed container and keep…

Turkish Menemen

Menemen, a traditional Turkish dish made from eggs, cheese, tomato, green peppers, onions, herbs and spices – is one of the mainstays of the rich Turkish culinary repertoire that pretty much everyone interprets in their own way. Just this week, for example, I’ve been served an incredibly spicy version scattered with hot red chillies as well…