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…

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…

Moroccan Zaalouk Tartine with Whipped Feta, Lemon and Mint

Dusk falls and the Jemaa el Fna – place of the vanished mosque – in the heart of the ancient walled médina is transformed into a seething mass of tribesmen, Berber villagers, performers and musicians who converge upon Morocco’s ochre-tinted city every evening to tell stories, juggle, bang drums in a trance-like state of bliss, dance, charm snakes,…

Caldo Gallego, a Spanish White Bean Soup with Sherry Vinegar and Mojo Verde

A beautiful bowl of love for early spring evenings, this beautiful aniseed-based broth with lightly braised haricot beans, tomatoes, courgette and fennel is seasoned with a really good Spanish sherry vinegar, chilli and fennel seeds but it’s the punchy mojo verde – a garlicky green herb and garlic sauce originating from the Canary Islands –…

Umbrian Barley, Cavolo Nero and Lemon Soup with Pesto alla Genovese

High up in the hills of Umbria, winters can be long and very cold. A chilled silence wraps itself around the small towns and villages like a damp white cloak and the region falls into a kind of reflective slumber until Easter. Restaurants – at least those that choose to remain open after the feasting…

La Belle Salade Niçoise with a Green Olive Tapenade Dressing

Named ‘La Belle’ after the frequently used nickname for the city of Nice which lies in the French Riviera on the Mediterranean Sea, this salad typifies for me the fresh seasonal beauty of the local cuisine. This simple plate of summer is inspired by Richard Olney’s musings on Lulu Peyraud who, with her husband Lucien,…

Pesto alla Genovese

It’s early on Tuesday morning at Genoa’s Mercato Orientale and a light summer rain still lingers in the air. Softly fragrant and warm. Dozens of men and women are quietly and efficiently focused on the business of setting up their stalls stopping only occasionally to bid someone buongiorno. Fragrant bouquets of basil line the stalls their uniquely…

Pal Haveli Paneer Makhani with Almond and Lemon Basmati Rice

After a long and eventful drive from Jaipur – so many stories to tell – we eventually arrived in the ‘blue city’ of Jodhpur just as its colourful residents prepared themselves for the business of the cooling evening (even in October the temperature rarely falls below 100 degrees). All of the tiny artisan shops that…

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…