Lebanese Lemon-infused Labneh with Zhoug

Labneh is a beautiful soft cheese made from strained yoghurt that can be eaten with pretty much everything but is especially good alongside rich and spicy mezzes and falafel. The good news is that it’s dead easy to make. All you have to be mindful of is the quality of the yoghurt you use so don’t be tempted…

Israeli Slow Roasted Beetroot, Lemon and Mint Hummus

Beetroot is one of my all time favourite vegetables and I just can’t get enough of its earthy sweetness. Sure, it’s messy to prepare but don’t let that put you off. As you will probably know, hummus – a thick paste made from ground chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon and garlic – originally came from the Middle…

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…

Salerno Sweet Red Pepper & Fontina Cheese Frittata

They say that Salerno is the Amalfi Coast’s best kept secret so I probably shouldn’t tell you about it. It’s important, you see, that this grand old signora of a city remains a secret otherwise all and sundry will be aching to reside in one of its cute little teracotta-roofed appartamentos piled, one on top…

Turkish Carrot and Garlic Yoghurt Salad with Carrot Greens and 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…

Lokanta Mercimek Çorbası (Red Lentil and Bulgar Wheat Soup)

‘Hüzün, which denotes a melancholy that is communal rather than private. Offering no clarity, veiling reality instead, hüzün brings us comfort, softening the view like the condensation on a window when a teakettle has been spouting steam on a winter’s day. Steamed-up windows make me feel hüzün, and I still love getting up and walking…

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…

Turkish Ezme Salad

Eager to shake off the cold of an early spring evening, we literally fell through the doorway of Asmalı Cavit, a treasured wooden-fronted traditional meyhane (tavern) in the centre of Pera in Istanbul. Here, the raki flows like the waters of the glittering Bosphorus; never ending and always a sight to behold. Our friends are known to the…

Leyla’s Lyutenitsa (Spicy Red Pepper and Tomato Spread)

Leyla is a beauty and one of the most nurturing and interesting women I have ever met. She lives in a huge Bohemian apartment on the top of a quietly crumbling building with views of the Bosphorus and the Dolmabahçe mosque beneath. Books – and there are hundreds of them – are piled high upon ornate…