Foraged fig chutney

One of the wonderful things about living in Italy is that the foraging opportunities are very different from those I’m used to in the UK. Over the last few months I’ve been keeping my eye on a large fig tree at the top of a field near our house. This week there were enough ripe…

Spicy tomato salsa

As some of you will know, I started building a garden of raised vegetable beds at the beginning of the year when few of us had even heard of COVID-19. Since then the world has changed in ways that we could never have imagined and so too has the scrappy piece of land behind my…

Tray-baked sea bream with lentils and salsa verde

Our garden has gone crazy over recent weeks so I’m looking for new ways to use the growing supply of vegetables that are ready to be eaten each day. This one brings in the green stuff…spinach wilted into lentils and a salsa verde made from fresh basil and parsley. There’s nothing like drizzling homemade salsa…

Apricot, plum and lavender cake

This weekend we harvested the apricots that grow on the tree behind our house. Last year was a bumper crop but sadly there were very few this year, most likely due to the unseasonally cold and wet conditions during May. So the only option was to make them into a cake, adding a handful of…

Baked green pea fritters

One of the things I love about visiting any farmer’s market is that whilst you often go with a list of the things you need you almost invariably come home with something unexpected, a beautiful seasonal fruit or vegetable that’s caught your eye and which you are prepared to change your cooking plans for! A…

Gorgonzola risotto with mushrooms and asparagus

A few weeks, ago just as the Italian lockdown was finally lifting, I managed to persuade a good friend, who just happens to be an excellent builder, to construct the raised beds for my outdoor vegetable garden and kitchen – of which more later! Whilst he was busy sawing seasoned oak beams and hammering in…

Food, friendship and the comfort of strangers

Exactly three months ago today I was travelling to the UK for work and to see my two grown up daughters and grandson Rex. A few weeks earlier I’d returned from a work trip to The Philippines which I’d combined with an opportunity to learn about some of the delicious but entirely unfamiliar dishes of…

Veggie enchiladas

I adore Mexican food but there are not so many Mexican recipes on this website so I decided to put that right… One of the reasons I make less Mexican dishes now than I used to is that its actually quite difficult to get hold of the ingredients needed here in rural Italy where we…

Elderflower cordial

Foraging is one of my new favourite things. There is something immensely satisfying about returning home from a walk with a handful of beautiful flowers or leaves and turning them into something delicious. In the last few weeks I’ve made pesto from wild garlic and sugary fritters from the flowers of the acacia tree. This…

Lebanese flatbread

Flatbreads are cooked all over the world from Mexican tortillas to Indian chapatis. These Lebanese flatbread are simple to make and can be eaten with any dish from the Middle East – or indeed anything! Serve soft filed with mezze or falafel, or bake until crisp and serve with dips or soups. This makes 8…