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Baba Ghanuj

The secret to getting a great flavour and texture in this simple mixture of cooked puréed aubergine, sesame paste and strained yoghurt relies on allowing moisture to evaporate and condense the aubergine’s flesh. But when you get it right you get an outrageously complex dish that defies easy explanation. Friends taste it and ask me, ‘how do you get that subtle charred flavour?’ and muse over achieving the delicate texture.

Tomato and Halloumi Salad

This was my play on an Italian tricolore salad, using fried halloumi cheese stacked with fresh tomato and dotted with tender black olives and strewn with shredded mint. Rich, crisp, bright and fresh. This is so easy to make but with a little olive oil poured over it becomes this extraordinary salad. High in calories? A little, but ever so good.