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…

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 Village Bread, Horiatiko Psomi

This is a very simple bread inspired by an old artisan bakery we came across on the harbour side of Corfu old town. I love its light chewy texture and the natural sweetness of the dough. The addition of the olive oil and egg yolk glaze scattered with sesame, fennel and nigella seeds makes this…

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…

Valencian Saffron Rice with Asparagus, Orange and Carne de Ñora

Since the beginning of the 19th century Valencia has been a major grower and trader of oranges largely down to the fact that the long daylight hours of brilliant sunshine combined with mild winter temperatures produce the perfect balance of sweet and tart flavours. Oranges were originally introduced to the city by the Moors in…

Pera Garlicky Spinach with Yoghurt and Biber Salçası

After a dark and stormy 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…