Amirim Lemon-scented Labneh with Zhoug

Labneh is a beautiful soft cheese simply made from strained yoghurt that can be eaten with pretty much everything but which is an especially good friend to rich and spicy mezzes. 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…

Sicilian Peperonata with Lemon-infused Labneh

A lovingly nurtured peperonata – a classic Italian stew of red and yellow peppers, onions and plum tomatoes – is not only a thing of beauty, it’s incredibly versatile. I use it as a salad in the summer, a warming stew in the winter, as a topping to a crispy pizza or bruschetta, stirred into…

Umbrian Rocket and Walnut Pesto

‘When we first started cooking, dishes like lasagne and cannelloni were treated with suspicion. Few people knew what to expect. Thirty years ago these dishes were virtually unknown to the British population; only a few who had travelled to Italy had tried them. These dishes always had to be described in great detail before people…

Dimitri’s Greek Salad (Horiatiki)

It seems all sorts of crazy to post a recipe for a Greek Salad but then there are Greek salads and there are GREEK salads that zing so fresh that they deserve a little mention here. Years and years ago, I spent some time in the tiny fishing village of Gáïos on the verdant island…

Lebanese Batata Harra, Turmeric Spiced Potato Salad

Across the eastern Mediterranean – and, indeed, the whole of the Middle East – vegetable-based dishes are as much revered as any that may contain meat or fish. They are the heroes of mezze-based feasts; they are stuffed, they are stewed, deep-fried, sautéed and steamed. Above all, they are always in season and often purchased on…

Provençal Haricots Blancs en Salade, a White Bean and Tomato Salad

This salad is perfect. It’s so simple to make and yet it’s capable of delivering a zing-fresh, punchy hit that is hard to resist, especially on a hot summer day served alongside a plate of light, creamy cheese, a freshly baked baguette smothered with tapenade and a glass of chilled rosé or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc….

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…

Jerez Caramelised Shallot Tarte Tatin with Oloroso Sherry

It may seem crazy talking about Easter as we quietly start the dance with autumn but we’ve just returned from Italy and all I had in my kitchen was a pack of frozen puff pastry, some slightly bedraggled banana shallots and a half a bottle of Oloroso, the sweet robust fortified wine of Jerez de…