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…

Lebanese Feta, Orange and Almond Filo Pie

A couple of weeks ago, my School House gallery menu was inspired by recipes I’ve picked up in Lebanon including this beautifully light and flavoursome filo pie. It takes just a few minutes to put together and it freezes well so, if you can’t eat it all in one sitting, don’t worry about it. This is the…

Livorno Cannellini Bean, Tomato and Ricotta Salata Salad

On a recent trip to Tuscany, I was astonished to discover that the covered markets in both Lucca and Pisa had been closed down. It seems that even the Italians are succumbing to pre-prepared food that can be grabbed on the go. Indeed, one man I spoke to who reminisced fondly about the dishes his…

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 and 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…