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…

A’isha’s Lemony Hummus with Cumin and Oregano

We sat under a pomegranate tree for shade. Our table was dappled with the shapes of leaves and ripening fruit as the sun played with the gentle breeze to create moving patterns that could never be captured. Laid across its white cloth were several large hand-painted plates and bowls within which vibrant food beckoned invitingly;…

Florentin Roast Garlic Hummus

‘Garlic is divine. Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly. Misuse of garlic is a crime. Old garlic, burnt garlic, garlic cut too long ago and garlic that has been tragically smashed through one of those abominations – the garlic press – are all disgusting. Please treat your garlic with respect….

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 great quality Greek yoghurt getting it on with little cubes of crunchy cucumber, lots of finely chopped garlic, briny sea salt, a glug of grassy Kalamata olive oil, a generous…

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…

Israeli Slow Roasted Beetroot, Lemon and Mint Hummus

Beetroot is one of my all time favourite vegetables and I just can’t get enough of its earthy sweetness. Sure, it’s messy to prepare but don’t let that put you off. As you will probably know, hummus – a thick paste made from ground chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon and garlic – originally came from the Middle…

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…

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…