Souk el Tayeb Freekeh, Borlotti Bean and Pomegranate Salad

The vibrant and colourful Souk el Tayeb – literally translated as ‘the good market‘ – in central Beirut is famed for the way it showcases the produce of local farmers and the very best of Lebanon’s organic ingredients; it’s literally a deep dive into the rich and inspiring culinary traditions of the Middle East. The peoples of Lebanon…

Greek Trachanas Soup with Tomatoes, Lemon and Olive Oil

‘In these all-white courtyards where the south wind blows whistling through vaulted arcades, tell me, is it the mad pomegranate tree that leaps in the light scattering its fruitful laughter with windy wilfulness and whispering? Tell me, is it the mad pomegranate tree that quivers with foliage newly born at dawn raising high its colours…

Shuk Ha’Carmel Green Herb Falafel

“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…

Cádiz Tortilla de Patatas, a Spanish Omelette

For a time, I lived close to Cádiz in Andalusía, the southernmost point of mainland Spain where the Atlantic crashes into the Mediterranean. It’s a beautiful city with a laid-back vibe, brilliant seafood and a maze of curved streets bathed in intensely luminous white sunlight. It’s a place described by the novelist Laurie Lee as “a scribble…

Amirim Lemon-scented Labneh with Zhoug

Labneh is a beautiful soft cheese simply made from strained yoghurt that can be eaten with pretty much everything but which is an especially good friend to rich and spicy mezzes. 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…

Lebanese Slaw with Mint, Oranges and Pomegranate Molasses

This gorgeous Lebanese shredded red cabbage, carrot and mint salad with oranges, red chilli, fresh herbs, toasted almonds, juicy pomegranate arils and pomegranate molasses is one of those versatile recipes that has it all. Sweet and sour flavours, texture and a fresh herby zing. It’s perfect on its own, as part of a mezze table,…

Spanish Roast Potatoes with a Garlicky Lemon Aioli

This is an absolutely lovely side dish for an autumnal Sunday lunch and is my decidedly Mediterranean take on the standard roast potato. Here, the potatoes are new and coated in a sumptuous mix of olive oil, tomato paste and fiery smoked paprika. It is inspired by a dish I first came across in La…

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…