Greek Skordalia with Slow-roasted Plum Tomatoes, Capers and Organic Thyme

Skordalia is a beautifully simple smooth purée of waxy potatoes, lots of juicy garlic, lashings of vibrant extra-virgin olive oil, a generous splash of white wine vinegar and flat leaf parsley whipped together to create a classic Greek dip which is served at room temperature with a scattering of salty capers. Trust me, this bears…

Shuk Hummus with Smoked Chilli Harissa and Toasted Sesame Seeds

Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem was the first full blown Middle Eastern market I ever visited and, for me, it was an absolutely mind-blowing experience with over 250 vendors and stall holders inviting me to sample their beautiful chaos of fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, pastries and halva, cheeses, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices all piled…

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…

Greek Kritharaki with Feta, Tomatoes, Olives and Wild Oregano

‘Each day had a tranquility a timelessness about it so that you wished it would never end. But then the dark skin of the night would peel off and there would be a fresh day waiting for us glossy and colourful as a child’s transfer and with the same tinge of unreality’ – Gerald Durrell. I…

Horta, Greek Greens with Lemon and Garlic

Greeks traditionally forage for their greens and adapt this dish according to what’s in season. Here it’s not so easy to do that because we simply don’t have the same levels of abundance and variety. However, I have successfully made this dish using rainbow chard, foraged nettles, dandelion leaves and sorrel (in which case go…

Akko Amba Sauce with Mango, Lime and Iraqi Spices

Amba sauce. When I think about it, I feel utter love because it’s such a beautiful thing. I think so highly of it that, if Amba were a man, I would run away with him. My first experience of this Iraqi sweet and sour mango condiment was sitting on a harbour wall in the Crusader…

Valencian Saffron Rice with Asparagus, Orange and Carne de Ñora

Since the beginning of the 19th century Valencia has been a major grower and trader of oranges largely down to the fact that the long daylight hours of brilliant sunshine combined with mild winter temperatures produce the perfect balance of sweet and tart flavours. Oranges were originally introduced to the city by the Moors in…

Pera Garlicky Spinach with Yoghurt and Biber Salçası

After a dark and stormy 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…