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…

Shuk Hummus with Smoked Chilli Harissa and Toasted Sesame Seeds

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…

Dakos, a Cretan Summer Bruschetta with Ricotta and Organic Oregano

The beautiful island of Crete with its wild mountainous terrain and a strong traditional culture is justifiably proud of a cuisine that is internationally famed for its unique ingredients and flavours. Based on simple techniques, it’s the variety of local produce that distinguishes their dishes: mountain herbs and greens, wild bulbs, unique cheeses, olives and,…

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…

Horta, Greek Greens with Lemon and Garlic

Greeks traditionally forage for their greens and adapt this dish according to what’s in season. Here it’s not so easy to do that because we simply don’t have the same levels of abundance and variety. However, I have successfully made this dish using rainbow chard, foraged nettles, dandelion leaves and sorrel (in which case go…

Moroccan Zaalouk Tartine with Whipped Feta, Lemon and Mint

Dusk falls and the Jemaa el Fna – place of the vanished mosque – in the heart of the ancient walled médina is transformed into a seething mass of tribesmen, Berber villagers, performers and musicians who converge upon Morocco’s ochre-tinted city every evening to tell stories, juggle, bang drums in a trance-like state of bliss, dance, charm snakes,…

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…