Courgette + Feta Salad | Thyme & Honey

Courgette + Feta Salad | Thyme & Honey

The other day I was asked what set my blog apart from the rest. In short, what was my USP?

In a world where even the most obscure ingredient is relatively accessible, complex recipes, fancy techniques and even fancier equipment saturate our daily lives. Don’t get me wrong, I would jump at the chance to dine at Noma, but ask me where I’d be happiest and I’d say sitting by the sea with grilled octopus dressed in lemon and olive oil and a village salad. Rustic food, food meant for the table, for the act of sharing and breaking bread, that’s the food that I love and the food that I cook.

I’m not sure that counts as a USP, but I’m not one for fads and gimmicks. So simple cooking, rustic fare and an approachable way of eating is what it’s got to be for me, and what you’ll continue to find here… with the odd complex experiment thrown in for amusements’ sake.

This courgette and feta salad is a year-round staple in my kitchen, but it tastes best towards the end of a scorching summer’s day. Raw ribbons of courgette spiked with salty crumbs of feta marry so well with a lazy oil/lemon dressing. Fresh herbs pack a slight punch and bring everything to life. I eat this on its own, with BBQ’d meat, tossed with pasta or with brown rice and a dollop of hummus.

Courgette + Feta Salad

Serves 2

2 large courgettes, peeled into ribbons
60g feta cheese
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
A tablespoon each of fresh mint and dill, chopped


Peel the courgettes and place the ribbons in a large bowl. Add the fresh herbs, crumble in the feta, squeeze over the lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil.

Season to taste and toss well before serving.

Classic Macaroni Cheese | Thyme & Honey

I’m going to keep this post short and sweet because it’s Friday and let’s be honest, we all want to just finish work and never look at a computer screen again.

Last weekend a group of friends gathered in a back garden with beer, wine, a spread of all-fat-no-diet-forget-about-that-bikini food, all in the name of 4th July y’all (and yes, us Brits do know who the Americans gained independence from, but you know, food). It was epic.

We devoured reaaaally slow cooked pulled pork sandwiched in brioche buns, coleslaw, devilled eggs, loaded potato skins, hot sauce chicken wings, corn on the cob and macaroni cheese, my one true love.

According to me, macaroni cheese should be loaded with cheese, contain garlic, be baked and let’s face it, it should be bad for you. No short cuts, no low-fat nothing. The badder the better I say.

Enjoy! x

Classic Macaroni Cheese | Thyme & Honey

Classic Macaroni Cheese | Thyme & Honey

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Ricotta, Asparagus & Parma Ham Crostini | Thyme & Honey

A couple of weekends ago I was in Impruneta in provincial Florence. It was like everything you’d expect from a small Tuscan town; winding countryside roads, rolling hills, incredible regional produce and beautiful views in every direction. It was breathtakingly beautiful and I seriously considered moving there approximately 4 times in a 36 hour period.

We were there for a wedding. A proper Italian, Tuscan wedding – or matrimonio toscano, if you will. Not that I’m massively into it but you know, basically the dream.

The ceremony was short and tasteful. The views were undeniably beautiful. The company was unbeatable, and the food? Incredible. I’m talking salty cured meats, the freshest tomatoes, the most creamy and delicious burrata I have ever encountered, zucchini flowers, pork cheek, fresh pasta – the list goes on. I left beaming and well-fed, and perhaps a little tipsy. Ya know.

After we got back to London it got me thinking about my favourite appetisers and entertaining dishes and it occurred to me there was something that could be in the running for the ultimate ‘occasion’ nibble: crostini.

Crostini consist of toasted slices of ciabatta, drizzled with great quality olive oil and topped with pretty much whatever you fancy. Keeping true to its Italian origin you could go for a simple mushroom or tomato and basil topping, but I love to get more creative with flavours and textures.

Longing for the burrata I ate in Impruneta and not having it to hand I topped toasted fresh ciabatta with ricotta, before laying to bed wafer thin slices of Parma ham and shaved asparagus on top, finishing with a simple leaf or two of fresh basil. Uh-oh kinda heaven.

Crostini certainly get my vote. What are your go-to dinner party dishes?

Happy Friday (and 4th July for all y’all American readers)!

x

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Turkish Eggs (Çilbir) | Thyme & Honey

I’ve been thinking a lot about family history lately, where it all began and how I came about being on this earth. Oh yeah, I’ve been getting real deep.

On my mother’s side it’s relatively straight-forward; our ancestors travelled from England to North America on the Mayflower, my grandpa was in the Navy, they settled in North Toronto. Thanks to a cousin taking an interest in our ancestry I’ve also discovered a bit more. For instance I have Dutch blood (in addition to the English, Irish, Scottish, French, German etc.) and it turns out I am a very distant relative to Clement Clarke Moore (that guy who wrote Twas The Night Before Christmas). I also know having looked through old photographs, that the family genes are remarkably strong – my younger brother is a clone of our grandpa, I resemble many of the women in our family, and my older brother has the family forehead, or so I’m told.

Despite being far closer to my dad’s side of the family, I can’t say I know as much about them. Knowing them (grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts) isn’t the problem, it’s our broken history that is. Like all Armenians my family originate from what we now know as Turkey, and when it became clear that they would have to leave or face ‘deportation’, they conceded and with that left and lost everything they had. My great-grandpa wrote a book about his experience of the genocide, in it listing the names of our family who perished; tragically only a handful made it to Ethiopia.

I know that from Ethiopia they moved to Cyprus where my dad was born, and as such where a lot of my inherited culture comes from (my father is a Cypriot of Armenian descent, as he likes to say). But what I’d like to know is what it had been like back in Turkey before they were forced to leave and start again. I want to know where they lived, how they’d drink their coffee and what music they’d listen to. Did they eat Armenian food or was there more Turkish influence? Did they stuff lahmajun with salad or roll it with lemon juice? Did they eat Çilbir for breakfast?

It’s just one of those things that I’ll probably never know. Either way, I’m going to continue enjoying these Turkish eggs for breakfast and imagine that my family once did too.

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Hummus | Thyme & Honey

Where have the days gone? Since my last post we officially completed on our new home and soon afterwards work started to make room for new bathrooms, new floors and to create more space (and subsequently more light!). It’s a building site and I’m pretty sure my neighbours already hate me. But that’s OK, because all I can think about (unsurprisingly) is our new kitchen, which will have a gas range cooker, a beautiful big fridge (by English standards), lots of worktop space, shelving and cupboards – plus a dedicated space for my KitchenAid. The best part about it though is the window that sits by the sink – finally I’ll have natural light in my kitchen!

Anyway, having been a little preoccupied with all of the above I’ll admit that I haven’t cooked a proper meal over the last 10 days, instead I’ve been throwing together salads and dunking bread into hummus like it’s nobodies business.

Hummus (or humous, as I am inclined to spell it but you know, SEO and all) is something I can’t remember trying for the first time because I’ve never known life without it, and I don’t think there will ever be a day where I’d turn down a dip into its creamy chickpea waters. Aside from one brand available in supermarkets, the tubbed variety is really just… not hummus. Real hummus, in all its homemade glory, is fresh and nutty, spiked with lemon and a touch of garlic and should be somewhat airy and delectably smooth. Best served at room temperature, doused in good quality olive oil and a dash of sumac. Sharing with friends, optional.

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