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…

Greek Feta, Romano Pepper and Tomato Saganaki

In Greece the term saganaki is a term used to describe a variety of small dishes made in a traditional  two-handled frying pan. The name comes from the Turkish word sahan meaning a copper dish. Very often, the term is used to describe cheese cooked this way – namely kasseri, kefalotyri, kefalograviera or another firm Greek…

Caldo Gallego, a Spanish White Bean Soup with Sherry Vinegar

A beautiful dish for early autumn evenings, this beautiful aniseedy broth with lightly braised haricot beans, tomatoes, courgette and fennel is seasoned with a really good Spanish sherry vinegar, chilli and fennel seeds but it’s the punchy mojo verde – a garlicky green herb and garlic sauce originating from the Canary Islands – that makes…

Poischichade, a Provençal Chickpea, Lemon and Sun-dried Tomato Dip

‘Paris, hours in the café, a certain spirit of rebellion, one side a bit too stubborn, the sea, the true, in Bretagne, the walking in Provence, the taste, the passion for literature, the libraries, the beautiful editions, remaking the world in a set of hours around a table and a bottle of wine. Talking without…

Spanish Roast Potatoes with a Golden Lemon Aioli

This is an absolutely lovely side dish for a summer Sunday lunch and is my decidedly Mediterranean take on the standard roast potato. Here, the potatoes are new and coated in a sumptuous mix of olive oil, tomato paste and fiery smoked paprika. It is inspired by a dish I first came across in La…

An Andalusian Lemon-scented White Bean Dip

These sunny high summer days are all the motivation we need push open the French windows and think about creating lighter and vibrant sharing plates. This vibrant vegan dip is inspired by a gorgeous little whitewashed bar high up in the Andalucían mountains where I was once served a warm tapa of plump white beans,…

A’isha’s Lemony Hummus with Cumin and Oregano

We sat under a pomegranate tree for shade. Our table was dappled with the shapes of leaves and ripening fruit as the sun played with the gentle breeze to create moving patterns that could never be captured. Laid across its white cloth were several large hand-painted plates and bowls within which vibrant food beckoned invitingly;…

Bebek Börek, a Spinach and Feta Filo Pie with Sweet Cicely

During the winter months, the beautiful Istanbul suburb of Bebek sits quietly on the European shore of the Bosphorus as if waiting for an errant lover. It was once the favourite resort of Ottoman aristocrats who built their grand summer houses here, dozens of beautiful white jewels glittering against a backdrop of verdant jade. Not many remain…

Aleppo Muhammara, a Spicy Red Pepper and Roasted Walnut Dip

It was coming to the end of a long and sultry day as I languidly lay upon a heap of vintage embroidered cushions, the candle-lit lanterns flickering in the warm early evening breeze. The music in the background was haunting and exotic as if it were calling me from a far away place. I learned…

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 authentic Greek yoghurt getting it on with little cubes of crunchy cucumber, lots of finely chopped garlic, briny sea salt, a generous glug of grassy Kalamata olive oil, an audacious…