Orecchiette with Pistachios, Hazelnuts, Parmesan and Mint

Sometimes I yearn for a pesto sauce that packs a bit more of a punch that the regular basil and pine nut version especially when the quality of shop bought basil can be patchy – who else has splashed out on a packet recently only to find that the leaves are all pretty much too…

Pera Garlicky Spinach with Yoghurt and Biber Salçası

After a bone-chilling day we literally fell through the doorway of Asmalı Cavit, a treasured wooden-fronted traditional meyhane in the centre of Pera in Istanbul. Here, the walls are lined with photographic portraits of people from a more glamorous age alongside vintage posters promoting wine, long forgotten theatre productions and the seaside resorts that were…

Greek Feta, Romano Pepper and Tomato Saganaki

In Greece the term saganaki is a term used to describe a variety of small dishes made in a traditional  two-handled frying pan. The name comes from the Turkish word sahan meaning a copper dish. Very often, the term is used to describe cheese cooked this way – namely kasseri, kefalotyri, kefalograviera or another firm Greek…

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…

Greek White Beans with Spinach and a Basil and Pistachio Pesto

As you might imagine, with a little restaurant to open next month, our evening suppers need to be fast but not at the cost of nutrition. This über simple dish of white beans and spinach gently sautéed together with a quick basil and pistachio pesto and garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds and pomegranate arils delivers everything I need it to….

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…

Jaffa Orange Blossom-infused Labneh

In his book, 88 Short Stories, the writer Guy de Maupassant wrote, ‘Did you ever sleep in a field of orange trees in bloom? The air which one inhales deliciously is a quintessence of perfumes. This powerful and sweet smell, as savoury as a sweetmeat, seems to penetrate one, to impregnate, to intoxicate, to induce languor, to bring…

Jewelled Pearl Barley with Mint & Orange Blossom Dressing

Every so often a new recipe book is published that gets everyone talking. Once such book is ‘On the Side‘, a book of inspiring dishes from Rocket & Squash, a food journal created by Ed Smith. When the book was published a couple of weeks ago, Instagram literally went mad – I mostly follow people in the food business…