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;…

Israeli Slow Roasted Beetroot, Lemon and Mint Hummus

Beetroot is one of my all time favourite vegetables and I just can’t get enough of its earthy sweetness. Sure, it’s messy to prepare but don’t let that put you off. As you will probably know, hummus – a thick paste made from ground chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon and garlic – originally came from the Middle…

Greek Goddess Herb & Olive Oil Hummus

Here’s a lovely thing, it’s a super green version of my classic hummus which delivers an explosion of flavour due to the addition of traditional Greek herbs including fresh oregano, thyme and mint highlighted with a feisty punch of garlic and lemon juice. It’s a cute deviation from the norm that I first tried on the…

Florentin Roast Garlic Hummus with Lemon & Oregano

‘Garlic is divine. Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly. Misuse of garlic is a crime. Old garlic, burnt garlic, garlic cut too long ago and garlic that has been tragically smashed through one of those abominations – the garlic press – are all disgusting. Please treat your garlic with respect….

Istanbul Sweet Potato & Bulgar Wheat Koftas with Tahini & Lemon Sauce

Our Turkish friends, Selçuki and Ali, are brilliant cooks and, knowing that I’m constantly looking to enhance my knowledge, they always put food at the centre of our plans when we’re in Istanbul (I love a plan which is somewhat of a challenge for them because Turks like to act spontaneously. This is a source…

Rana’s Lebanese Chickpea & Pomegranate Molasses Stew

With temperatures rarely rising above zero at the moment there is plenty of talk about the desirability of ‘comfort food’. But, for me, this doesn’t manifest itself as plates heaving under the weight of carbs and oozy cheesy layers. In fact, despite the cold, I still crave lighter food but I want that food to…

Shuk Ha’Carmel Pea & Mint Falafel with Tahini & Lemon Sauce

“Wait. You’re telling me that you have never – NEVER! – eaten falafel?” he exclaimed, narrowly missing the turning onto Boulevard Rothchild as we made our way to dinner one impossibly hot and humid evening in downtown Tel Aviv. “No!” I replied, “I have never – NEVER! – eaten falafel!“. He looked at me with that…

Kasbah Spiced Sweet Potato Hummus

As the sun dipped down above the High Atlas mountains, the pink plaster walls of the kasbah shone like bronze. The call to prayer from the Medieval Kasbah Mosque fell softly from its glorious minaret, the flickering lights from the Moroccan lantern threw jewels onto our table and, in the streets below, dozens of men and women…

Turkish Tahini & Carob Molasses Spread

Last month, we arrived in Istanbul slap bang in the middle of the holy month of Ramadan and, one evening, our friends invited us to help with the preparations for an iftar dinner for 40 people. On the menu was a spinach and yoghurt soup dressed with caramelised onions and mint-infused butter, spiced veal and…

Shuk Hummus with Zhoug & Toasted Pine Kernels

Machane Yehuda market, fondly known as ‘The Shuk’ (after souk), in Jerusalem was the first Middle Eastern market I ever visited. For me, it was an absolutely mind-blowing and an astonishingly wonderful experience as over 250 vendors and stall holders invited me to try their beautiful chaos of fresh fruits and vegetables; bread, pastries and halva; fish, meat and…