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…

Caldo Gallego, a Spanish White Bean Soup with Sherry Vinegar

A beautiful dish for early autumn evenings, this beautiful aniseedy broth with lightly braised haricot beans, tomatoes, courgette and fennel is seasoned with a really good Spanish sherry vinegar, chilli and fennel seeds but it’s the punchy mojo verde – a garlicky green herb and garlic sauce originating from the Canary Islands – that makes…

An Andalusian Lemon-scented White Bean Dip

These sunny high summer days are all the motivation we need push open the French windows and think about creating lighter and vibrant sharing plates. This vibrant vegan dip is inspired by a gorgeous little whitewashed bar high up in the Andalucían mountains where I was once served a warm tapa of plump white beans,…

A’isha’s Lemony Hummus with Cumin and Oregano

We sat under a pomegranate tree for shade. Our table was dappled with the shapes of leaves and ripening fruit as the sun played with the gentle breeze to create moving patterns that could never be captured. Laid across its white cloth were several large hand-painted plates and bowls within which vibrant food beckoned invitingly;…

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…

Old Town Feta, Watermelon and Kalamata Olive Salad

This beautiful salad is inspired by a backstreet grocery store in Corfu old town whose frontage is a cornucopia of fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables piled high in rickety old wooden crates. Tiny sweet apricots, velvety flat peaches, glossy nectarines, huge watermelons, bright gnarly lemons, green figs and dark juicy cherries. Two girls, gloriously plump…

Tarifa Leek and Artichoke Tart, Tarta de Puerros y Alcachofas

The stunning whitewashed town of Tarifa forms part of the glittering municipality of Cádiz where the Atlantic and the Mediterranean meet – known as Costa de la Luz, the coast of light. Here, the winds can be phenomenally strong so, by day people head to the stunning windswept beach to surf – by board or…

La Belle Salade Niçoise with a Green Olive Tapenade Dressing

Named ‘La Belle’ after the frequently used nickname for the city of Nice which lies in the French Riviera on the Mediterranean Sea, this salad typifies for me the fresh seasonal beauty of the local cuisine. This simple plate of summer is inspired by Richard Olney’s musings on Lulu Peyraud who, with her husband Lucien,…

Turkish Yoghurt with Mint, Pul Biber and Lemon Zest

Yoghurt is one of the most important components of the modern Turkish diet and, certainly in my experience, there is rarely a table where it isn’t featured in some form or other; as part of a main dish, or as a dip mixed with a copious amount of chopped herbs, in a dessert or even…