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,…

Cetara Marinated Plum Tomatoes with Cipolla Rossa di Tropea DOP

Positioned high above the glittering Tyrrhenian Sea along the staggeringly beautiful Amalfi coast, the small fishing village of Cetara is often missed as the hoards head out to the more popular towns of Ravello, Amalfi itself or Positano to the beaches lined with ice cream coloured umbrellas laid out in their perfectly judged rows. They’re all…

Pesto alla Genovese

It’s early on Tuesday morning at Genoa’s Mercato Orientale and a light summer rain still lingers in the air. Softly fragrant and warm. Dozens of men and women are quietly and efficiently focused on the business of setting up their stalls stopping only occasionally to bid someone buongiorno. Fragrant bouquets of basil line the stalls their uniquely…

Quartieri Spagnoli Aubergine Parmigiana, Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Deep in the heart of of the Quartieri Spagnoli – the Spanish Quarter – in the centre of Naples sits a tiny family-run restaurant called Hosteria Toledo. It’s one of our favourites and our go-to place when we arrive in this glorious chaotic city. The family are justifiably proud of their long-held faith in the generous…

Messicane with New Potatoes, Rocket and a Wild Garlic Pesto

This is my interpretation of the classic Italian dish ‘trofie al pesto’ – the lockdown issue. I had half a pack of absolutely delightful messicane pasta in my – now meticulously reorganised – pantry. I also had a jar of foraged wild garlic pesto in my fridge, some leftover boiled new potatoes, some limp wild…

A Vibrant Mediterranean Tart with a Wild Garlic Salsa Verde

Yesterday’s rainy afternoon came over all productive with some contemplative baking alongside a backdrop of traditional Greek music. The result was this caramelised onion, roasted plum tomato and mozzarella tart garnished with rocket leaves, fresh basil and toasted pine kernels. When it came to supper time, we turned down the lights, turned up the music…

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…

Minestrone alla Genovese with Pesto, a Lovely Soup for Spring Days

At the end of last week I took delivery of a large bag of amazingly fresh vegetables from Goodness Growing which I wanted to use quickly before their crunchy magic started to wain. Of course it’s too warm for heavy winter soups so I decided to make this (very loose) take on a classic Genoese…

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…

Lucca Rigatoni with Roasted Tomatoes and Salsa Verde

This recipe is inspired by an al fresco dinner we recently enjoyed in the beautiful city of Lucca in Tuscany. We were sitting on the outside of the infamous Piazza Anfiteatro when I noticed a long snake of very young children each holding tiny posies of flowers with their very handsome teacher who was nervously whispering instructions to them….