Santorini Tomato Keftedes with Feta and Wild Oregano

At the beginning of my adult life, I spent a lot of time exploring the Greek Islands. I did pretty much all of them from Paxos and Corfu to the North to Santorini and Rhodes in the South. I was drawn to the azure sea, the oregano-covered mountains, the tiny beaches, the glamorously bearded Greek academics…

Turkish Smashed Cucumber Salad with Late Summer Berries & Herbs

Just behind our home there is a wild country path that connects the river Ouse to the historic centre of York. Hardly anyone knows about it so nature rules and has created a paradise for city foragers. Right now, we have flowering baby nettles – the old ones were cut down after the heatwave and…

Amirim Kasundi, a Spicy Tomato Chutney

This is my take on a traditional Bengali condiment known as ‘kasundi’ which I first tasted in a tiny vegetarian village in Israel called Amirim, a special place in the world quietly positioned in the mountains high above the wondrous Sea of Galilee. Here, one can vanish from the pressures of daily western life (leave…

Greek Island Tzatziki with Dill & 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 great quality Greek yoghurt getting it on with little cubes of crunchy cucumber, lots of finely chopped garlic, briny sea salt, a glug of grassy Kalamata olive oil, a generous…

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…

Souk el Tayeb Roasted Freekeh and Pomegranate Salad with Parsley and Mint

The vibrant and colourful Souk el Tayeb – literally translated as ‘the good market‘ – in downtown Beirut is famed for the way it showcases the produce of local farmers and the very best of Lebanon’s organic ingredients. As you may have observed on Nigel Slater’s recent BBC series featuring the rich and inspiring culinary traditions of the…

Florentin Roast Garlic Hummus with Lemon & Oregano

‘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….

Istanbul Sweet Potato & Bulgar Wheat Koftas with Tahini & Lemon Sauce

Our Turkish friends, Selçuki and Ali, are brilliant cooks and, knowing that I’m constantly looking to enhance my knowledge, they always put food at the centre of our plans when we’re in Istanbul (I love a plan which is somewhat of a challenge for them because Turks like to act spontaneously. This is a source…

Kyrenia Griddled Halloumi, Tomato & Pomegranate Salad

This beautiful little dish – often served as part of a Levantine mezze table – is outrageously easy to make. It’s bright, it’s salty, it’s a little bit sweet and a little bit sour so it’s the perfect accompaniment to a creamy, lemony and garlicky hummus, slivers of tangy feta cheese and generous chunks of…

Rana’s Lebanese Chickpea & 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…