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…

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…

Shuk Ha’Carmel Green Herb Falafel

“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…

Amirim Lemon-scented Labneh with Zhoug and Hazelnut and Thyme Dukkah

Labneh is a beautiful soft cheese simply made from strained yoghurt that can be eaten with pretty much everything and is a particularly good friend to rich and spicy mezze dishes. 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…

Hawaij Spiced Cannellini and Borlotti Bean Soup with Spinach and Greek Yoghurt

At Carmel Market in Tel Aviv – Shuk Ha’Carmel – all life is laid out for you to savour. Hemp sacks overflowing with dried fruit and nuts, small mountains of ultra-fresh fruit, vegetables and bunches of herbs tied up with string, hundreds of tiny kiosks providing shade for spice masters, street hawkers, bakers, florists, fishermen and…