Minestra Aromatica, Potato and Arborio Rice Soup with Aromatics

This beautiful recipe is perfect for the early days of a new year when the desire for bright vibrant flavours vies for attention with the long walk towards the spring. This year, more than ever before, I have looked to silence and reflection these past few weeks, a quiet time in order to process everything…

Alsace Caramelised Onion Tart with Gruyère and Tarragon

We tumbled through the door of the packed antique brasserie just opposite the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg, our faces flushed from the frosty air and the glasses of gently spiced vin chaud bought from the Christmas market, one of the oldest in Europe. Laughing, perhaps a little too loudly, we grabbed the only remaining…

Torta Caprese, a Classic Italian Chocolate and Almond Cake

Despite the terror – it’s real – of travelling along it, the road that sweeps along the Amalfi coast is simply beautiful. To one side is the glittering Salerno Gulf on the Tyrrhenian Sea and on the other sit the mountains with their high terraces of ancient lemon groves. The light is clear and white….

Pera Garlicky Spinach with Yoghurt and Biber Salçası

After a bone-chilling day we literally fell through the doorway of Asmalı Cavit, a treasured wooden-fronted traditional meyhane in the centre of Pera in Istanbul. Here, the walls are lined with photographic portraits of people from a more glamorous age alongside vintage posters promoting wine, long forgotten theatre productions and the seaside resorts that were…

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…

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…

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…

Basque Country Apple Tart

This recipe is inspired by the generously filled apple tarts and pies that, during the autumn months, hit the bars and restaurants of the Basque Country where the terrain is given over to orchards for cider making. Awareness of Spain’s crisply tangy sidra is relatively low in the UK but, like everything else related to fermentation and brewing, it’s catching on fast. I for…