I love Lebanese food and tasted manouche for the first time in Covent Garden the other day with my Lebanese friend Ralph at The Lebanese Bakery which is worth a visit if you want proper fresh Lebanese flatbreads. Manoushe is freshly baked flat bread with Za’atar on it and it’s a delicious combination of Middle Eastern flavours with thyme. The bakery put hummus and parsley, rocket and pine nuts on top, but you can have it as is or dipped into baba ganoush with salad. It tastes amazing with any mezze.
I have recently discovered Asian smashed cucumber salads and I’m hooked. It’s the combination of the cucumber with a creamy sesame dressing with coriander and ginger which is fantastic. I paired the salad with prawns fried in chilli and coconut oil and garnished it all with sesame seeds, fresh coriander and crispy onions… perfect for a summer dinner or date night, or in the winter when you miss the summer like me.
I had this delicious beetroot dip in the restaurant Le Pain Quotidien in Marylebone with warm sourdough bread an avocado dip and humus. It was so delicious I had to put it on the blog. Its called caviar because the beetroot looks a bit like caviar when you blitz it in the food processor. It’s super easy and can be serve on roasted rye bread or sourdough with chopped eggs, slices of avocado, swirls of sour cream, capers, chives or whatever you fancy. It’s brilliant for canapés and in sandwiches or as a dip for crudité.
I am a massive fan of the Swedish cafe Joe and The Juice and am slightly obsessed with their Tunacado sandwich. So I try and copy them and make them at home. I can’t get their delicious crisp rye bread here as they don’t sell it in the UK so I either use thinly sliced toasted rye bread or sourdough crackers from Peters Yard… but standard sourdough bread is fine. They are perfect with a freshly made juice for a saintly lunch or as canapés with drinks and Netflix.
This is the easiest most delicious salad which is so fresh and summery and perfect with a bbq or any alfresco eating. The Thai basil give it a slightly aniseedy flavour which works really well. I eat it for lunch with roasted sourdough or for dinners with any of my pasta recipes and the tomatoes taste even nicer if you mix them up with the vinaigrette and onions in advance and leave them in the fridge for a few hours before assembling the salad.
This creamy curry in a fragrant sauce is fresh and delicious, you can substitute the prawns for any fish, boiled eggs or roasted aubergines pieces. I added my own touch with nigella seeds and lime at the end as they are really good for you. It works well with black rice or basmati rice and it’s dairy and gluten free and makes a tasty dinner or a dinner party, just multiply the ingredients according to how many people are coming.
I saw this traditional Israeli sandwich being made on “Somebody Feed Phil” on Netflix and I had to recreate it as it looked so delicious. It’s got fried aubergines, boiled eggs, pickled vegetables, salad and a tahini dressing. What’s not to like? After the Gothenburg (also on this blog), this is my other favourite sandwich – and it’s not called the best sandwich in the world for nothing… It’s usually folded over or the filling is tucked into the pocket of a flat bread, but I’ve made it like an open sandwich so you can see the gorgeous ingredients. I have left Amba out (which is a mango pickle which you can buy online or make yourself) as it’s full of sugar, but you can add it if you prefer it and I used Sriracha instead of making chili sauce from scratch.
It’s a vegetarian dream.
This recipe uses black Venus rice and truffle oil from Belazu who kindly sent me lots of ingredients to try. I hadn’t cooked black rice before and now I’m a total convert. It’s got a fantastic flavour and texture and looks amazing and combined with the truffle oil it’s a winning combo. You can add parmesan too if you want to. My recipe is Italian comfort food and perfect for dinner with a salad.
Freekeh has a fantastic flavour and texture and it’s even better for you than quinoa, although it’s not gluten free it’s packed with good things if you google it. I wanted to make a warm salad with it with a Middle Eastern vibe that was easy and delicious. I serve it on its own or as a side dish to a main meal and everyone loves it.
I was sent a big bag of black Venus rice from one of my favourite companies Belazu who stock the best Mediterranean and Middle Eastern ingredients, check them out online. So I thought I’d make a recipe that works well with the rice, in Italy they usually serve black rice with seafood so I added giant prawns and I must say its a great combination of flavours. And now I prefer it to normal risotto rice.