Shuk Hummus with Zhoug and Chopped Pistachios

Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem was the first full blown Middle Eastern market I ever visited and, for me, it was an absolutely mind-blowing experience with over 250 vendors and stall holders inviting me to sample their beautiful chaos of fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, pastries and halva, cheeses, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices all piled…

Pesto alla Genovese

It’s early on Tuesday morning at Genoa’s Mercato Orientale and a light summer rain still lingers in the air. Softly fragrant and warm. Dozens of men and women are quietly and efficiently focused on the business of setting up their stalls stopping only occasionally to bid someone buongiorno. Fragrant bouquets of basil line the stalls their uniquely…

Livorno Balsamic-glazed Red Onion, Ricotta Salata and Olive Tart

Livorno, Tuscany’s quintessential port town on the southernmost edge of the Ligurian Sea, possesses a colourful history and a cosmopolitan heritage. My kind of place. Its shabby historic quarter – known as the Tuscan Venice – is crisscrossed with jade green canals along which skittish brown boys manoeuvre their launches as they attempt to coolly navigate…

Messicane with New Potatoes, Rocket and a Wild Garlic Pesto

This is my interpretation of the classic Italian dish ‘trofie al pesto’ – the lockdown issue. I had half a pack of absolutely delightful messicane pasta in my – now meticulously reorganised – pantry. I also had a jar of foraged wild garlic pesto in my fridge, some leftover boiled new potatoes, some limp wild…

A Vibrant Mediterranean Tart with a Wild Garlic Salsa Verde

Yesterday’s rainy afternoon came over all productive with some contemplative baking alongside a backdrop of traditional Greek music. The result was this caramelised onion, roasted plum tomato and mozzarella tart garnished with rocket leaves, fresh basil and toasted pine kernels. When it came to supper time, we turned down the lights, turned up the music…

Auntie Nadia’s Ftayer Sabanekh

To help us feel connected during the current lockdown, my friend Meg from Feeding the Rest and I are trying out each other’s recipes, adding our own twist and adapting them according to what’s available in the food stores. Yesterday, I used one of her beloved family recipes for her Auntie Nadia’s ftayer sabanekh, a small savoury…

Greek Roast Potatoes with a Vegan Wild Garlic and Walnut Pesto

In a recent post for my classic Greek spanakopita, I referred to my friend Elena whom I met on the tiny island of Paxos one hot and sultry evening. She used to run a teeny tiny little taverna with just four tables covered in waxed gingham cloths around which sat 16 beautiful old white chairs with…