Sicilian Pea and Ricotta Salata Bruschetta

The word ‘ricotta’ means re-cooked and ‘salata’ means salted. Ricotta Salata is a Sicilian cheese made from the whey part of sheep milk which is pressed, salted and aged for at least 90 days. It is milky white in colour with firm texture and a refreshingly salty taste (similar to Cheshire cheese). It’s great for slicing, crumbling and…

Greek Island Feta and Tomato Saganaki

Last week, it was so hot I could barely face going into the kitchen let alone cooking in it so our evening meals had to be supper simple and quick to make such as this Greek feta and tomato saganaki (a term used to describe a variety of small dishes made in a frying pan) finished with a roasted…

Paulo’s Creamy Cannellini Bean Dip with Parsley and Sicilian Lemon

‘Shopping at the Dandelion Co-op made me feel European. Very Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina in Paris. River picked out goat cheese to spread on crispy-crusted French bread for the picnic, and olives, and a jar of roasted red peppers, and a bar of seventy percent dark chocolate, and a bottle of sparkling water. He bought…

Greek Skordalia with Biber Salçası-roasted Plum Tomatoes

Skordalia is simply a thick purée of waxy potatoes, an insane amount of garlic, lashings of vibrant Kalamata extra-virgin olive oil, a generous splash of white wine vinegar and finely chopped flat leaf parsley. Yes, it’s basically mash but not as you know it because this is rich, oozy and dairy free. Also, it’s served just warm – never…

Mallorcan Smoky Tomato & Garlic Dip

On a recent trip to Mallorca, breakfast consisted of endless cups of darkly strong black coffee, freshly baked ‘ensaïmada‘ – a beloved Mallorcan sweet pastry originating from Arabia – and ‘pan con tomate‘ (Spanish tomatoes on garlicky toast). I could happily live forever on the latter so I wanted to create something similar for this…

Tuscan Cecina, a Chickpea Flour Pancake with Rosemary

It always amazes me that, having eaten breakfast in England, we can be enjoying lunch – well, a late one at least – in Italy looking up to the sun and taking in the aromas of the streets. Jasmine flowers and linden trees fighting for our olfactory attention against smokey Vespas, sexy patisserie, melting chocolate,…

Amirim Kasundi, a Spicy Tomato Chutney

This is my take on a traditional Bengali condiment known as ‘kasundi’ which I first tasted in a tiny vegetarian village in Israel called Amirim, a special place in the world quietly positioned in the mountains high above the wondrous Sea of Galilee. Here, one can vanish from the pressures of daily western life (leave…

Greek Island Tzatziki with Dill & 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…

Provençal Tomato Soup with Fennel & Vermouth

At last May is here, it’s my favourite time of the year. All the promises of summer – new opportunities, travel and the chance to spend quality time with far-flung friends – are tantalisingly close yet still delicious in their anticipation. Meanwhile, nature is popping up all over the place bringing new life and hope…