Jaffa Orange Blossom-infused Labneh

In his book, 88 Short Stories, the writer Guy de Maupassant wrote, ‘Did you ever sleep in a field of orange trees in bloom? The air which one inhales deliciously is a quintessence of perfumes. This powerful and sweet smell, as savoury as a sweetmeat, seems to penetrate one, to impregnate, to intoxicate, to induce languor, to bring…

Turkish Biber Salçası and Yoghurt Dip

Whenever we are in Istanbul, I make a point of buying several hundred grams of biber salçası, a beautiful red pepper paste available in both hot (aci) and sweet (tatli) versions which is sold in giant wooden barrels in traditional spice shops. When we get home, I transfer it to a sealed container and keep…

Italian Spinach & Ricotta Malfatti with Sage and Lemon Butter

The word ‘malfatti’ in Italian literally translates to ‘badly made’ which is crazy really because these gorgeous little dumplings from Brescia in Lombardia are a thing of beauty being much more colourful and lighter than the traditional gnocchi you may be more familiar with. I like to eat these throughout the year but they’re especially…

Provençal Baked Goats’ Cheese and Herb Omelette

The revered food writer, Elizabeth David once said, ‘Summer cooking implies a sense of immediacy, a capacity to capture the essence of the fleeting moment’. For me, it’s all about taking a few humble ingredients and marrying them together with an abundance of fresh herbs to create simple suppers to be enjoyed in the sun….

Sicilian Tomato & Caper Salad

Sicilian capers are highly prized and widely considered as being amongst the finest in the world. This is because they are cultivated in the highly nutritious volcanic soil in perfect conditions – hot and windy – which gives them a higher acidity and a sharper bite than, say capers from gentler Mediterranean climates such as…

Greek Wild Thyme & Fragrant Herb Honey Polenta Cake

Authentic Greek honey is widely recognised as being a natural product of world-class quality; this is because it’s made by bees that feed upon the abundant, rich and aromatic Greek flora which includes over 850 species found nowhere else in the world. In actual fact, Greece is a country with the richest flora in the Mediterranean basin with…

Warm Tarnais Le Puy Lentil Salad

The term Le Puy green lentil can only be used to describe lentils that come from Le Puy in the Auvergne region of France where they have been grown in the nutrient-rich volcanic soil for over 2,000 years. Highly revered for their refined peppery flavor and ability to retain their shape after cooking, they stand head and shoulders…

Turkish Menemen

Menemen, a traditional Turkish dish made from eggs, cheese, tomato, green peppers, onions, herbs and spices – is one of the mainstays of the rich Turkish culinary repertoire that pretty much everyone interprets in their own way. Just this week, for example, I’ve been served an incredibly spicy version scattered with hot red chillies as well…