Cihangir Potato and Asparagus Salad with Dill and Mint

High above the heart of the richly historical neighbourhood of Cihangir in Istanbul there is a restaurant of unparalleled beauty complete with a wonderful terrace from which one can enjoy panoramic views of the mouth of the Bosphorus and the first bridge. Here the elegant wooden furniture is bleached by the sun and the tables are covered with…

Greek Gigantes Beans with Tomatoes, Wild Oregano, Dill and Mint

I’ve just read this passage in Katherine Wilson’s wonderful book, ‘Only in Naples, Lessons in Food and Famiglia’: “In Neapolitan culture, foods that could potentially damage children’s health include crackers, ketchup, hot dogs, cold milk, anything in a can, anything that has ever been frozen and anything that has ever been in a microwave. Oh,…

Greek Island Tzatziki with Dill and 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…

Rana’s Lebanese Chickpea and Pomegranate Molasses Stew

With temperatures rarely rising above zero at the moment there is plenty of talk about the desirability of ‘comfort food’. But, for me, this doesn’t manifest itself as plates heaving under the weight of carbs and oozy cheesy layers. In fact, despite the cold, I still crave lighter food but I want that food to…

Umbrian Farro Pilaf with Fennel, Roasted Grapes and Mozzarella

Although my focus is on Mediterranean cuisine, I am passionately interested in the food of any culture that believes in simple seasonal cooking. That said, I’m definitely not a fan of the meaty, carb-loaded cuisine of Eastern Europe from whence I have just returned. HOWEVER, in Bratislava, I can see a truly exciting change in the way…

Greek White Beans with Coriander and Lemon-baked Feta

This is the kind of dish I like to make when I’m tired and I want something that’s easy to prepare and which has the super power to instantly take me to my happy place – basically a two up two down shack with a summer kitchen anywhere along the coast of the Mediterranean (I’m easy to please). This version of Greek…

Turkish-style Baked Eggs with Biber Salçası

Here’s a very quick one for you. I’m dashing about all over the place right now so, for supper last night, I threw together these Turkish-style eggs. It’s another perfect dish for these cooler autumnal evenings or brunch. Ingredients 1 tsp cumin seeds A splash of extra-virgin olive oil 450g jar of roasted red peppers, drained…

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…