Parisian Madeleine Cakes with Sicilian Lemon

Many stories are attributed to the origins of the madeleine cake, a classic scallop shell-shaped confection that is perfectly designed for those – like me – who don’t possess a ‘sweet tooth’ but whom occasionally crave an exquisite bite of sweetness to savour alongside a delicate herbal tisane or a glittering crystal glass of chilled…

Salerno Sweet Red Pepper and Fontina Cheese Frittata

They say that Salerno is the Amalfi Coast’s best kept secret so I probably shouldn’t tell you about it. It’s important you see that this grand old signora of Campania remains a secret otherwise all and sundry will be aching to reside in one of its cute little teracotta-roofed appartamentos piled one on top of…

Aleppo Muhammara, a Spicy Red Pepper and Roasted Walnut Dip

It was coming to the end of a long and sultry day as I languidly lay upon a heap of vintage embroidered cushions, the candle-lit lanterns flickering in the warm early evening breeze. The music in the background was haunting and exotic as if it were calling me from a far away place. I learned…

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…

Old Town Feta, Watermelon and Kalamata Olive Salad

This beautiful salad is inspired by a backstreet grocery store in Corfu old town whose frontage is a cornucopia of fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables piled high in rickety old wooden crates. Tiny sweet apricots, velvety flat peaches, glossy nectarines, huge watermelons, bright gnarly lemons, green figs and dark juicy cherries. Two girls, gloriously plump…

Greek Gigantes with Tomatoes, Wild Oregano, Dill and Mint

I’ve just read this passage in Katherine Wilson’s wonderful book, ‘Only in Naples, Lessons in Food and Famiglia’: “In Neapolitan culture, foods that could potentially damage children’s health include crackers, ketchup, hot dogs, cold milk, anything in a can, anything that has ever been frozen and anything that has ever been in a microwave. Oh,…

Tarifa Leek and Artichoke Tart, Tarta de Puerros y Alcachofas

The stunning whitewashed town of Tarifa forms part of the glittering municipality of Cádiz where the Atlantic and the Mediterranean meet – known as Costa de la Luz, the coast of light. Here, the winds can be phenomenally strong so, by day people head to the stunning windswept beach to surf – by board or…

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,…

Turkish Yoghurt with Mint, Pul Biber and Lemon Zest

Yoghurt is one of the most important components of the modern Turkish diet and, certainly in my experience, there is rarely a table where it isn’t featured in some form or other; as part of a main dish, or as a dip mixed with a copious amount of chopped herbs, in a dessert or even…

Yafo Clementine, Root Vegetable and Bulgar Wheat Salad

Hidden within the narrow streets of Yafo – Jaffa – in Israel is a tiny family-run restaurant. It’s one of those places where the patina of time makes its presence felt. Where, as you pull out a chair, it’s impossible not to think of all those who sat there before. Where the animated chatter from…