Greek Skordalia with Slow-roasted Plum Tomatoes, Capers and Organic Thyme

Skordalia is a beautifully simple smooth purée of waxy potatoes, lots of juicy garlic, lashings of vibrant extra-virgin olive oil, a generous splash of white wine vinegar and flat leaf parsley whipped together to create a classic Greek dip which is served at room temperature with a scattering of salty capers. Trust me, this bears…

Batzina, a Greek Courgette, Feta and Mint Pie

Batzina is a traditional ‘pie’ from Thessaly in Greece which was originally made with just four ingredients: flour, cheese, milk and eggs; it’s name is derived from the word batzos which is a hard white goat and sheep’s cheese originating in Western Macedonia. This version, which also features grated courgettes, is inspired by my friend…

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…

Cihangir Potato and Asparagus Salad with Kalamata Olives, Dill and Mint

High above the heart of the richly historical neighbourhood of Cihangir in Istanbul there is a restaurant of unparalleled beauty complete with a wonderful terrace from which one can enjoy panoramic views of the mouth of the Bosphorus and the first bridge. Here the elegant wooden furniture is bleached by the sun and the tables are covered with…

Shuk Hummus with Smoked Chilli Harissa and Toasted Sesame Seeds

Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem was the first full blown Middle Eastern market I ever visited and, for me, it was an absolutely mind-blowing experience with over 250 vendors and stall holders inviting me to sample their beautiful chaos of fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, pastries and halva, cheeses, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices all piled…

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…