Recipe – Polvorónes (Andalusian Shortbread)

PolvorónesAndalusian Shortbread These Spanish shortbreads hail from the southern region of Andalusia and are particularly popular at Christmas time. The name comes from the Spanish word polvo, meaning powder or dust, referring to their crumbly texture – the dough is the crumbliest I’ve ever worked with! They’re popular in Latin America and the Philippines and […]

Recipe – Apple & Pecan Salad

Apple & Pecan Salad Two of the American South’s favourite ingredients, crisp sweet apples and crunchy pecans, come together in this simple salad that’s a bit like a Southern version of Waldorf salad. I like the way it looks layered, with the apple mixture piled onto a bed of mixed greens, but you can just […]

Recipe – Pinolate (Pine Nut Cookies)

Pinolate (Ligurian Pine Nut Cookies) These simple Ligurian pine nut cookies have a wonderfully chewy soft centre with a crisp outer and delicious nutty flavour. Also called pignoli or amaretti con pignoli, they’re traditionally made with a mix of bitter and sweet almonds. As bitter almonds can be hard to find, I use marzipan mixed […]

Recipe – Trofie al Pesto Genovese

Trofie al Pesto Genovese I love this classic way of serving pesto – with the beans and potatoes cooked in the same water as the pasta it’s more like a main meal than an entrée. This is done with various pasta shapes in Liguria, but the most typical are trenette (a thin flat pasta similar […]

Recipe – Bacon from Heaven

Bacon from Heaven There seem to be as many recipes for this cake as there are cooks; my simple version is inspired by the one Edite Vieira gives in her wonderful book The Taste of Portugal. She says that it originated in the Middle Ages in a convent (as so many Portuguese desserts did) and […]

Recipe – Fruit Leather & Walnut Rolls

Fruit Leather Walnut Rolls Fruit leather, pestil in Turkish, is popular all over the Middle East and Eastern Europe. It’s fruit juice or pulp that’s been dried into chewy strips, originally to preserve excess summer fruit for winter. It’s pastel in Armenian, pastilos in Greek and is also known as bastik in some parts of […]

Recipe – Chestnut Rice (Kuri Gohan)

Chestnuts are a favourite autumn food in Japan in both savoury and sweet dishes. At their simplest, yakiguri (roasted chestnuts) are sold to passers-by from mobile street stands – just as they are in Europe. For something slightly more filling they’re combined with rice in this simple and delicious classic dish of kuri gohan. If […]

Recipe – Date & Almond Ladies Fingers

The inspiration for these delicious fillo fingers comes from my friend Janni Kyritsis, who uses the same technique to make simple savoury snacks filled with anchovy, feta and olives. I don’t have a very sweet tooth and I love the contrast of the salted butter and subtle sweetness of the icing sugar in these sweet […]

Recipe – Orange, Almond & Date Salad

Once you discover how easy it is to segment an orange, you’ll be making this simple dessert regularly. Use vivid Persian pistachio slivers instead of almonds if you like (no need to toast them) or add some pitted olives, chopped parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper for a delicious savoury version. This orange salad is […]

Recipe – Hong Kong Walnut Biscuits

While lard is traditional in these deliciously crumbly biscuits, I’m more likely to have butter on hand so that’s what I use, I also like the flavour it adds. Substitute extra castor sugar for the brown sugar if need be. Makes 12 pieces Ingredients ¾ cup walnut pieces (about 70g) 1 cup plain flour ½ […]