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…

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…

Essaouira Couscous with Saffron, Mint and Lemon

Imagine a sophisticated salon lined with intricate Moroccan tiles and finely carved white plaster; imagine the aromas of spices, incense and complex tagines; imagine literally dozens of traditional lanterns filled with flickering candles and the warmth of a Moroccan welcome all wrapped up with a flounce of Parisian glamour. You have just entered Essaouira, an authentic…

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…

Greek School House Spinach, Feta & Herb Spanakopita

With my residency at the The School House Gallery in full swing, my life has changed completely as I transition from a branding professional to a full-time cook – big news, I’ve actually given myself permission to use that moniker now – and, it’s so true what they say, if you have the courage to…

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…

Shuk Ha’Carmel Pea & Mint Falafel with Tahini & Lemon Sauce

“Wait. You’re telling me that you have never – NEVER! – eaten falafel?” he exclaimed, narrowly missing the turning onto Boulevard Rothchild as we made our way to dinner one impossibly hot and humid evening in downtown Tel Aviv. “No!” I replied, “I have never – NEVER! – eaten falafel!“. He looked at me with that…

Palestinian Maftoul Tabbouleh with Toasted Almonds and Pomegranate

Maftoul – an Arabic word derived from the root ‘fa-ta-la’ which means to roll or to twist – is a traditional Palestinian hand-rolled grain that was introduced to the country by Moroccan migrants. It possesses a beautiful nutty taste – especially of you go to the trouble of toasting it first – and a really pleasing texture in…

Volós Lentil Salad with a Garlic & Lemon Dressing

‘Volós! Anyone for Volós?’ the holiday rep called. ‘Anyone for Volós?’ she repeated. Again and again. For some reason, this caused my son, who must have been 11 years old at the time, to fall to the floor crying with laughter. That memory still amuses him to this day so I repeat it often just…