Amirim Lemon-scented Labneh with Zhoug

Labneh is a beautiful soft cheese simply made from strained yoghurt that can be eaten with pretty much everything but which is an especially good friend to rich and spicy mezzes. The first time I tasted it I was sat at a little linen-covered table on the edge of a vegetable garden in Amirim, an entirely vegetarian organic…

Shuk Ha’Carmel Pea and Mint Falafel with Tahini and Lemon Sauce

“Wait. You’re telling me that you have never – NEVER! – eaten falafel?” he exclaimed, narrowly missing the turning onto Boulevard Rothchild as we made our way to dinner one impossibly hot and humid evening in downtown Tel Aviv. “No!” I replied, “I have never – NEVER! – eaten falafel!“. He looked at me with that…

Greek Htipiti, a Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Dip

The late afternoon light gently caresses the once grand terraces that curl above Corfu Old Town. Lunch hour is long over and there is not a soul to be seen. The air is hot and still. The buildings shuttered against the sun. There is no sound save for the odd chirrup of a dusty sparrow…

Umbrian Rocket and Walnut Pesto

‘When we first started cooking, dishes like lasagne and cannelloni were treated with suspicion. Few people knew what to expect. Thirty years ago these dishes were virtually unknown to the British population; only a few who had travelled to Italy had tried them. These dishes always had to be described in great detail before people…

Mexican Sweetcorn and Chilli Fritters with a Chipotle and Lime Salsa

The joyful exuberance of Mexican culture has always appealed to me but it was the sound of a hundred beating drums that first drew me to downtown Austin one hot and sultry Sunday morning. It was late October and a time of celebration for the Mexican people who were gathering together to pray for, and remember,…

Lebanese Slaw with Mint, Oranges and Pomegranate Molasses

This gorgeous autumnal salad is one of those versatile recipes that has it all – sweet and sour flavours, texture and a fresh herby zing. It’s perfect on its own, as part of a mezze table, piled atop a bowl of creamy hummus or served as part of a sabich open sandwich (pictured above) or with a vegetarian Greek souvlaki.  Ingredients 2 large carrots, unpeeled…

Lebanese Batata Harra, Turmeric Spiced Potato Salad

Across the eastern Mediterranean – and, indeed, the whole of the Middle East – vegetable-based dishes are as much revered as any that may contain meat or fish. They are the heroes of mezze-based feasts; they are stuffed, they are stewed, deep-fried, sautéed and steamed. Above all, they are always in season and often purchased on…