Turkish Smashed Cucumber Salad with Late Summer Berries & 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…

Sicilian Pea and Ricotta Salata Bruschetta

The word ‘ricotta’ means re-cooked and ‘salata’ means salted. Ricotta Salata is a Sicilian cheese made from the whey part of sheep milk which is pressed, salted and aged for at least 90 days. It is milky white in colour with firm texture and a refreshingly salty taste (similar to Cheshire cheese). It’s great for slicing, crumbling and…

Greek Island Tzatziki with Dill & 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…

Turkish Yoghurt with Mint, Pul Biber & Lemon Zest

Yoghurt is one of the most important components of the modern Turkish diet and, certainly in my experience, there is rarely a table where it isn’t featured in some form or other; as part of a main dish, or as a dip mixed with a copious amount of chopped herbs, in a dessert or even…

Greek Yellow Split Pea Soup with Turmeric and Lemon

I love any recipe that starts with a couple of generous handfuls of dried legumes. When cooked, I can literally feel their nutritional benefit with every spoonful and that’s not some fanciful imagining, these cute little morsels are packed with calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin B6 and zinc not to mention protein and…

Rana’s Lebanese Chickpea & 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…

Turkish Carrot & Garlic Yoghurt Salad with Carrot Greens & Pistachio Pesto

The stories that I tell are inspired by a lifetime spent travelling around the countries that kiss the coasts of the Mediterranean sea; by every restaurant and cafe I’ve had the pleasure of kicking back in; by the bustling markets, glittering delicatessens and traditional food stores that have sparked new ideas; by the forgotten recipes I…

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…

Palestinian Halloumi and Za’atar Manaeesh

“Is that not the best pizza you have EVER eaten?” he said with a smile. The glint in his eye said to me that he was really, really proud of the manaeesh (Palestinian flatbread) he had just baked in his tabun, a clay oven shaped like a truncated cone with an opening at the bottom from which…