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Batzina is a traditional ‘pie’ from Thessaly in Greece which was originally made with just four ingredients: flour, cheese, milk and eggs; it’s name is derived from the word batzos which is a hard white goat and sheep’s cheese originating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…

Neapolitan Buffalo Mozzarella with Zucchini alla Scapece and Borlotti Beans

‘Italian food is all about the ingredients, and it’s not fussy and it’s not fancy‘, so says Wolfgang Puck and this classic dish of Naples is a testimony to that. Zucchini alla Scapece is a zesty summer salad which, whenever I taste it, immediately transports me back to long lazy lunches sitting around a table heaving with…

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…

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…