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…

Turkish Carrot and Garlic Yoghurt Salad

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 idea; by the forgotten recipes I…

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…

Pizza Bianco with Lemony Courgette Ribbons, Dolcelatte and Sun-dried Tomatoes

Just an hour’s drive away from Assisi sits Cortona, a charming walled town in the Valdichiana Valley in southern Tuscany. After exploring its shady Medieval vicolos, inspiring artisan food stores and the beautiful duomo, we settled at the street-side table of a tiny local pizzeria. There we slowly sipped delicate glasses of an ice cold Italian rosato whilst we chatted over the…

San Marino Bustrengo, a Festive Apple, Fig and Polenta Cake

This is a traditional dessert  from the not-so-humbly named ‘The Most Serene Republic of San Marino’ – Republica Serenissima – one of the world’s smallest and oldest republics which, though not technically part of Italy, is surrounded by Emilia-Romagna and Le Marche regions near the Adriatic Sea making it an easy day trip from Florence…

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…

Florentin Roast Garlic Hummus

‘Garlic is divine. Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly. Misuse of garlic is a crime. Old garlic, burnt garlic, garlic cut too long ago and garlic that has been tragically smashed through one of those abominations – the garlic press – are all disgusting. Please treat your garlic with respect….

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…

Rana’s Lebanese Chickpea and 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…