the traveller`s table

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the traveller`s table
THE TRAVELLER’S TABLE
Deliciously simple recipes that bring the
Mediterranean into every mouthful
A SIMPSON TRAVEL CREATION
“On every family holiday I’ve ever taken, one of the greatest pleasures is sitting down to
eat – together. At home, when everyone is running to individual schedules, meals can
become transitory affairs. However, when we’re away, there’s a chance to do things
differently and actually spend time appreciating the food – absorbing the flavours,
colours and textures of the new country – and appreciating each other too.
When I met Chris and Carolyn Caldicott, the opportunity to create a recipe book infused
with the flavours of the Mediterranean – and more than a hint of that holiday magic –
seemed too good to miss. Through the creative camera skills of Chris and Carolyn’s
perfect nose for what makes a meal simple and delicious, The Traveller’s Table came
into being. Drawing on the rich culinary heritage of Corsica, Greece, Mallorca and
Turkey, it offers a taste of special memories and the inspiration to create more with the
people you care about the most.
So whether you use these heartwarming recipes to cheer you through the chillier months,
share them at a family gathering or use them to navigate the treasure trove of local
produce in a bustling foreign market, I hope you enjoy them to the full.”
Founder and Owner of Simpson Travel
CONTENTS PAGE
A taste of culture, love and tradition
7
6
INTRODUCING CORSICA9
Slow-cooked veal with olives
11
Moules Corse
13
Courgettes farcies
15
Coulis de tomates
17
Avocado and chickpea salad with crispy prisuttu
19
Corsican omelette with brocciu cheese and fresh mint
21
Saint Pierre baked with potatoes, vine tomatoes and pastis
23
Arroz brut
69
Shaved fennel salad with clementines and capers
25
Prawns and squid a la plancha with zesty dipping sauce
71
Vegetable tumbet
73
Corsican quick bites
27
Corsican tipples
29
Mallorquín quick bites
75
31
Mallorquín tipples
77
Find your table in Mallorca
79
Find your table in Corsica
INTRODUCING GREECE33
Dakos salad with paximadia
35
INTRODUCING TURKEY81
Melitsanosalata aubergine salad
37
A Turkish breakfast
83
Tzatziki
39
Menemen scrambled eggs
85
39
Imam bayildi – the Imam swooned
87
Jewelled pilav
89
Tirokafteri spicy feta cheese dip
Prawn saganaki
41
Kleftico-inspired barbecued lamb with horta salad
43
Barbecued red mullet wrapped in vine leaves with samphire and tomato salad
91
Walnut tarator
93
Cretan courgette and potato boureki
45
Sea bass stuffed with fennel and dill
47
Sumac-spiced lamb kofte
95
Pork souvlaki skewers
49
Ezme salsa
97
Haydari minty yoghurt
97
Greek quick bites
51
Greek tipples
53
Shepherd's salad
97
55
Kisir bulgar salad
99
Turkish quick bites
101
Turkish tipples
103
Find your table in Turkey
105
Find your table in Greece
INTRODUCING MALLORCA57
Pa amb oli
59
Watermelon gazpacho
61
Mallorquín tortilla with sobrassada
63
Trempo salad with ripe strawberries
65
Salsa Mallorquina baked with cod
67
The holiday experience, made complete
106
Meet the authors 108
A TASTE OF CULTURE, LOVE AND TRADITION
Good food doesn’t just fill your plate; it invites an appetite for life.
One of the pleasures of staying (and cooking) abroad is the opportunity to indulge in
some wonderful seasonal produce with a distinctly foreign flavour – and then share the
experience of creating delicious meals inside or out on a barbecue in the sun. On this
culinary journey, which takes you through Corsica, Greece, Mallorca and Turkey, you’ll
gain the know-how and confidence needed to create an authentic foodie experience
wherever you are, so you can eat and drink like a local from day one while absorbing
their passion for meals that have united friends and families for generations.
Shopping for provisions in the Mediterranean is tremendous fun. Market stalls and local
grocers are piled high with myriad displays of colourful, plump fruit and vegetables and
artisan produce bursting with fabulous flavours. Food is an international language that
will quickly get you under the skin of local life. Try a taste of everything, from unusual
looking cheeses and slices of spicy charcuterie to spoonfuls of fragrant honey and sips
of homemade olive oil. This is interactive shopping at its best, and when your basket is
full of goodies, join the locals for a snack in the neighbourhood cafés and food stalls.
These easy-to-follow recipes are designed to help you create memorable meals that are
full of traditional flavours – and perfect for sharing with family and friends. It could be
a casual Turkish-style breakfast, spread out on the terrace in the morning sunshine or a
romantic al fresco candlelit Corsican supper washed down with some chilled rosé under
the stars. And in the heat of the day, perhaps after a dip in the sea or your own private
pool, who can resist a lazy Mallorquín seafood lunch or a Greek picnic of succulent
salads and moreish savoury snacks?
Eating is an unhurried family affair in the Mediterranean; lunches are long and leisurely
and children stay up late for evening meals on balmy summer nights. Traditional recipes
have been handed down from a time when communities depended on seasonal produce,
foraging, hunting and methods of preservation like charcuterie, cheesemaking and the
production of jams, pickles and chutneys. Dating back to Ancient Greece, the holy trinity
of olive oil, wine and bread are all still essential ingredients of the Mediterranean diet,
although waves of invaders and traders have added their own favourite flavours and
ingredients, resulting in an irresistible cocktail of wonderful culinary experiences.
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INTRODUCING CORSICA
Hearty delights infused with the flavours of the maquis.
Corsica is an extraordinary island of idyllic unspoilt beaches, dramatic misty mountains
and a robust cuisine steeped in traditions of the past. There are weekly food markets
in most towns and smaller local supermarkets often have whole aisles dedicated to
homemade produce from L’île de Beauté. Look for the symbol of indigenous cuisine – a
Moor’s head wearing a blindfold as a bandana. Roadside shops specialising in ‘Produits
Corse’ are another good source of fresh and artisan ingredients. They also sell local wine
straight from the barrel, including Muscat – the island favourite. Take it home to drink,
seriously chilled, before dinner by your villa pool.
Corsican cuisine is defined by the maquis, the dense shrubland that covers the rugged
interior, which provides rich pastures for snuffling wild boar and a multitude of wild
pickings to fill the larder. The heady aroma of its many herbs and flowers welcomes
visitors, and inspired Napoleon to remark: “I would recognise my island with my eyes
closed”. The fruit of the chestnut trees that cover the island are simmered in stews and
made into unctuous sweet spreads and preserves. The smoky nutty flavour of chestnut
flour enhances everything from bread to beer as does the distinctively Corsican version
of polenta that is still on the menu in traditional auberge restaurants.
Livestock roam freely, feasting on chestnuts, acorns, berries and herbs, producing fullflavoured meat and fragrant milk. This is the key to Corsica’s exceptional charcuterie:
its figatellu sausage; the dark, ruby-coloured, dry-cured prisuttu, coppa and lonzu, and
brocciu – the island’s favourite farmhouse cheese, which pops up in many sweet and
savoury dishes.
Meals here are rustic and hearty, a unique blend of French and Italian influences. Pasta
accompanies rich ragouts, and veal is simmered with wine and olives. Although seafood
has become more popular over the years, it’s the traditional meaty recipes of the past
that influence Corsican cuisine the most.
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SLOW-COOKED VEAL WITH OLIVES
INGREDIENTS
(For 4 hearty portions)
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 600g shoulder of veal, cut into cubes (or sauté de veau)
• 100g lardons or thick-sliced pancetta
• 1 large onion, diced
• 1 large red pepper, quartered and sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 450g beef tomatoes, diced
• 200ml rosé
• 2 tbsp pastis or eau de vie
• 4 sprigs rosemary
• 3 sprigs thyme
• 3 bay leaves
• 100g green olives, rinsed in boiling water
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Full flavoured, free-range Corsican veal pairs brilliantly with homegrown Alta Rocca
olives. The resulting ragout is traditionally served with pasta in the Italian way; tagliatelle is
particularly good. Don’t be put off by ‘slow-cooked’. The recipe is very easy to prepare and,
once it’s in the oven, you’re free to snooze by the poolside until it’s ready. Herbs grow in
abundance in the wilds of Corsica, so gather a selection when you’re out and about.
If your villa is equipped with a stovetop-to-oven casserole dish, all the cooking can be done in
the same pot. If not, use a heavy-bottomed saucepan and transfer to a casserole dish before
placing in the oven.
1 Preheat the oven to 150°C/Gas Mark 2. Heat half the olive oil in a large pan until sizzling
hot, add the veal and lardons and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the meat from
the pan, add the remaining oil and sauté the onion, pepper and garlic until soft. Add the
diced tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes break down.
2 Return the meat to the pan, pour in the wine and pastis and add enough water to just cover
the meat. Add the herbs and bring to boiling point.
3 Transfer to an ovenproof casserole dish and cover with a lid or kitchen foil. Place in the
oven and cook for 1 hour 45 minutes. Add the olives and seasoning to taste, return to the
oven, and cook for a further 15 minutes.
Serve with tagliatelle.
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MOULES CORSE
INGREDIENTS
(A feast for 4 or a starter-sized portion for 6)
• 1.4 kg mussels
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 4 large shallots or 1 red onion, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• 12 sprigs thyme
• 1 tsp fennel seeds
• 240ml dry white wine
• 120ml fish stock or water
• 4 tbsp dry Muscat
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tbsp butter
• A handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped
Mussels are plentiful in Corsica and cook in minutes to create a restaurant-worthy meal. Here
they are simmered in white wine, à la Marinière, with a splash of Muscat and herbs from the
maquis to add a Corsican twist. Use chunks of crusty bread to mop up the tasty sauce.
1 To prepare the mussels, use a knife to scrape away any stubborn barnacles and pull away
the beard on the side of the shell. Discard any mussels with broken shells or that fail to
close when tapped. Give the mussels a good wash in cold water and they are ready to go.
2 Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan (with a lid). Add the shallots, garlic and thyme, cover
the pan and sweat together until soft but not brown.
3 Add the fennel seeds, cook for a few seconds and then pour in the wine, stock and Muscat.
Season with salt and black pepper to taste and bring the pan to a simmer.
4 Stir in the butter and when it has melted, add the mussels and chopped parsley. Cover the
pan and cook over a high heat, shaking at regular intervals, until the mussels open. This
should only take a few minutes. Don’t overcook the mussels or they’ll become rubbery.
Serve immediately, discarding any shells that fail to open.
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COURGETTES FARCIES
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6)
• 6 medium to large long courgettes (or similar sized round courgettes)
• 350g fresh brocciu or ricotta
• 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten
• 2 garlic cloves, grated
• 3 tbsp roughly chopped basil leaves
• Lemon zest, grated
• 6 tbsp breadcrumbs
• 3 tbsp parmesan or aged tomme de Corse
• 2 tbsp pine nuts, roughly chopped (optional)
• Olive oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Baked courgettes stuffed with fresh brocciu, herbs and cheesy breadcrumbs, served dolloped
with coulis de tomates, are a local speciality. When in season, use round courgettes as a fun
alternative. To make breadcrumbs, simply grate day-old bread on a medium-sized grater or
whizz in a food processor. For an authentic taste of Corsica, combine the breadcrumbs with
aged tomme de Corse cheese in place of parmesan.
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Trim both ends of the courgettes and cut in
half lengthwise (across the middle if you’re using round courgettes). Blanch in a pan of
simmering salted water for 3 minutes, then drain and refresh with cold water. Using a
spoon, remove the seeds from the middle of each courgette.
2 Mash the brocciu with a fork until smooth. Season to taste, then stir in the eggs, garlic,
basil leaves and lemon zest. Combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan and chopped pine nuts.
3 Rub the courgettes with a little olive oil and place on a baking tray. Divide the brocciu
mixture between the courgette cavities and top with the cheesy breadcrumbs. Drizzle each
half with a teaspoon or so of olive oil.
4 Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the filling is golden brown and crunchy.
Serve with coulis de tomates (see next page).
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COULIS DE TOMATES
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6 as an accompaniment or double the quantity for a generous serving of pasta sauce)
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
• 1 dessert spoon balsamic vinegar
• 1⁄2 tsp sugar or 1 tsp of honey
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 tbsp roughly chopped basil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
This herb and tomato sauce is not only dolloped onto stuffed vegetables, it’s also the base for
many other recipes. It’s a handy standby sauce to toss with pasta, top pre-filled cannelloni,
simmer with haricot blancs, mix into slow-cooked stews or simply serve with grilled meat or
fish. You can vary the herbs, add pancetta or even add a handful of vegetables.
1 Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft.
2 Add the chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, honey and bay leaves. Season to taste and
simmer until thick and rich.
3 Add the basil and simmer for a further minute or so before serving.
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AVOCADO AND CHICKPEA SALAD
WITH CRISPY PRISUTTU
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6 as a side dish or starter)
• 1x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
• 4 spring onions, finely chopped
• 3 plum tomatoes, diced
• 2 avocados, diced
• A handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped
• 4 large slices prisuttu (or prosciutto), cut into thirds
• Olive oil
FOR THE DRESSING
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• Juice of half a lemon
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
The addition of crispy fried Corsican prisuttu (dry-cured ham) transforms this salad into
something rather special. The thick coating of fat becomes fabulously crunchy and the nutty
flavour of the meat is intensified. It’s rather moreish, so add as little or as much as you want.
1 Combine the chickpeas, spring onions, tomatoes, avocado and parsley in a bowl. Whisk
the dressing ingredients together and toss with the salad. Set to one side and allow the
wonderful flavours to combine while you prepare the ham.
2 Heat a dash of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the ham and fry until golden brown.
Drain the ham on kitchen paper and allow to cool – the ham will become crisper as it cools.
3 Spoon the salad onto plates and serve topped with the crisp ham.
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CORSICAN OMELETTE WITH BROCCIU CHEESE
AND FRESH MINT
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4)
• 8 large eggs
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 400g fresh brocciu (or ricotta), crumbled into chunks, plus a couple of extra slices to serve
• A handful of mint leaves, finely chopped plus a couple to garnish
• Olive oil
For a speedy lunch or supper, serve this classic fluffy Corsican omelette with a leafy green
salad and slices of figatellu sausage fried in olive oil until crunchy. The omelette should be
thick like a frittata. To achieve this, opt for a slightly smaller frying pan (non-stick!) than you
would normally use to make a regular omelette. Reduce the heat to low to medium once the
batter is added to ensure a moist, golden finish. Corsica’s celebrated brocciu, a smooth and
creamy cheese, typically made from ewes’ milk, is also brined and matured to make firmer
brocciu passu.
1 Whisk the eggs until light and fluffy. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and fold in
the crumbled brocciu and mint.
2 Heat a splash of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. To check the oil is hot enough, add a drop
of the batter; it should sizzle. Pour in the egg mixture. As the batter starts to set, run a spatula
around the edge and give the pan a gentle shake. Continue to cook over a low to medium
heat (shaking regularly) until the omelette is golden brown and the batter is just set.
3 To flip the omelette, place a large plate over the frying pan and turn onto the plate. Slip
the omelette off the plate back into the pan and cook briefly until completely set but still
moist. Alternatively, pop the pan under a hot grill, checking first that the pan doesn’t have a
plastic handle!
4 Serve topped with a few slices of extra brocciu, a scattering of mint leaves and the crispy
fried sausage.
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SAINT PIERRE BAKED WITH POTATOES,
VINE TOMATOES AND PASTIS
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4)
• 800g Saint Pierre (John Dory) fillets
• Olive oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4 medium-sized roasting potatoes, peeled and cut in half
• 2 shallots, thinly sliced
• 2 strings small tomatoes (or large cherry tomatoes) on-the-vine
(allow approx 4 per person)
• A liqueur glass of pastis (about 50ml)
• 4 sprigs rosemary
• 4 sprigs sage
• 1 small lemon, sliced
Saint Pierre’s delicate, sweet flesh is such a treat. The fillets are thin and lean, so cook them
carefully to retain that wonderful flavour.
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Rinse the fish in cold water and pat dry. Brush with
olive oil and season to taste.
2 Par boil the potatoes in salted water until just cooked and still a little firm in the centre.
Drain, and when cool enough to handle, cut into medium thickness slices.
3 Place the potatoes in overlapping rows in the centre of a large ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the
sliced shallots over the top and place the strings of tomatoes at the sides. Coat everything
generously with olive oil, add the pastis and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
4 Remove the dish from the oven, lay the fish on top of the potatoes (skin side down), sprinkle
with the herbs and top with lemon slices.
5 Return the dish to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily.
Serve with a simple fennel salad (see next page).
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SHAVED FENNEL SALAD WITH
CLEMENTINES AND CAPERS
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4 as an accompaniment)
• 2 medium fennel bulbs
• 3 clementines, peeled and segmented or sliced
• 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
• 2 tsp capers
• Mint leaves
FOR THE DRESSING
• A couple of sprigs of thyme
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Juice of half a small lemon
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Choose medium-sized fennel – large bulbs will be too chewy for this salad. Slice the bulbs as
thinly as you dare.
1 Trim the fennel bulbs, cut in half lengthwise and remove the core. Slice as thinly as possible,
and place on a serving plate. Top with the segmented or sliced clementines and sprinkle with
the spring onions and capers.
2 Strip the leaves from the thyme sprigs and roughly chop through. Whisk the leaves with the
remaining dressing ingredients and pour evenly over the salad.
3 Cover the salad, place in the fridge to chill and to allow the flavours to combine.
Decorate with mint leaves.
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CORSICAN QUICK BITES
Locals catch up on the latest news and gossip as they wait for their breakfast croissants
and pains au chocolat. You’ll also find banette baguettes still warm from the oven at
the local bakery. Hurry some back to your villa and top with lashings of butter and fruity
conserve for a delicious start to the day. Along with classic French bread bakes and
pâtisseries, there’s a dazzling variety of local specialities, including savoury bastelle
pasties stuffed with chard and onion or ratatouille and pastry pissaladière slices topped
with caramelised onion and anchovy. The small, dark chestnut flour loaves and crusty
rustic flutes are fabulous filled with Corsican prisuttu ham and tomme de brebis cheese.
Sweet, creamy brocciu cheese fills little crimped-edged imbrucciata tarts, lemony
fiadone flan and flat dough sciacci, and in village bakeries you will still find falculelli:
brocciu baked on chestnut leaves. Other chestnutty delights include beignet fritters filled
with brocciu and moist chestnut flour gâteaux. In Corsica, you’ll never be far away from
a cheesy, grilled, Italian-style panini or a bubbling hot slice of pizza, baked in a woodfired oven.
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CORSICAN TIPPLES
Join Corsican café society and dunk sugar-coated canistrelli biscuits in a café noisette –
an espresso topped with an equal quantity of steamed milk. In the mood for something
more thirst quenching? Corsica brews some unusual craft beers – the most popular
by far being Pietra, made from malt and chestnut flour to create a full-bodied, amber
beer. Serena beer is light and lemony, and Colomba is perfumed with herbs from the
maquis. As you would expect, pastis is the universal apéritif; Cap Corse on the other
hand is a uniquely Corsican tipple. Order a shot of the bitter-sweet fortified wine, infused
with quinine and fruit, over ice. Homemade liqueurs flavoured with lemon, clementine
and chestnuts can be sampled on a ‘try before you buy’ basis at independent shops
specialising in Corsican produce. Be sure to try myrte: eau de vie macerated with sugar
and myrtle berries foraged from the maquis. Due to a proliferation of very good new vineyards opening in recent years and Corsican
wines made with local grape varieties (of which there are many) being exempt from VAT,
there has never been a better time to dabble in the produce of the island’s viticulture.
The rosés and chilled light reds are particularly successful.
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FIND YOUR TABLE IN CORSICA
This French island is known for playing host to the finer things in life, throwing in Caribbeanstyle beaches to contrast with its dramatic mountain wildernesses and chic boutiques to
add sparkle to its ancient towns. And the accommodation here follows suit.
You can find yourself a bergerie-style villa or cute one-bedroom cottage – a happy
combination of traditional stone outside and modern interiors within – or the minimalist
spaces of contemporary architecture, offset by unspoilt landscapes of such distracting
beauty that eating outside requires a significant amount of focus.
A taste of our Corsican Collection
You’ll find Simpson Travel villas in Calvi & The Balagne, Cavallo Island, Central Corsica,
Porto Vecchio & Bonifacio, St Florent & Cap Corse, The Valinco and on the West Coast.
Left: The Beach House on Cavallo Island
Below (left to right): Villa A Murta in The Valinco, Vermentinu in Porto Vecchio &
Bonifacio, Villa Palombaggia in Porto Vecchio & Bonifacio and L’Oliveraie de San
Francescu in Calvi & The Balagne
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INTRODUCING GREECE
Simplicity, history and a host of irresistible flavours.
Simpson Travel have hand-picked the destinations for their Greek villa collection, from
mainland Sivota and the uniquely lovely villages of Zagoria to the laid back, ‘get away
from it all’ islands in the Ionian Sea, where you’re as likely to go on a beach picnic by
boat as by car.
Although each island has its own unique character, they all share a blend of the easygoing Greek way of life. They also carry the legacies of ancient, Ottoman and Venetian
pasts that can still be found amongst atmospheric ruins, well-preserved architecture and
their celebrated gastronomic heritage. In Crete, towns like the elegant Venetian port of
Chania are large enough to have daily thriving food markets, but even on the smaller
islands, you’ll find all the ingredients for our Greek recipes in well-stocked local shops
or weekly markets.
Greek cuisine is wonderfully uncomplicated. The simple, pure flavours of olive oil,
lemon and wild herbs are combined with exceptional homegrown produce and the
fruits of the azure sea to create one of the healthiest diets in the world – food that’s
easily enjoyed from the terrace of your villa with a view to die for and skin still warm
from another glorious day in the sun. Recipes are steeped in tradition and a passion
for regional ingredients and age-old methods prevail. Life is lived around the table and
meals are typically shared with gossip and good times. A variety of small mezedes starts
the proceedings. These divine dips include soft-roast aubergine mashed with garlic,
tangy feta cheese whipped with chilli, stuffed vine leaves and courgette flowers. Look
out, too, for skillet-cooked saganaki in its many guises, from golden pan-fried cheese
to prawns simmered in ouzo-spiked tomato sauce – and all are nibbled with plump
olives and country bread. The freshest fish and meat follow, cooked simply on the grill
or baked to perfection. It is unthinkable to eat without a bowl of fresh salad drenched
in olive oil; always seasonal and with few ingredients to ensure the taste of each
one of them shines. A bottle of aniseedy ouzo completes the experience, served
pleasingly milky with a couple of cubes of ice and a splash of water. Sweet tooths are
satisfied with sun-ripened fruit or nutty baklava steeped in local honey full of the aroma
of wild flowers.
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DAKOS SALAD WITH PAXIMADIA
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4 as a quick lunch or as a meze)
• 4 medium-sized round barley paximadia
• 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
• 3 large ripe tomatoes
• 200g mizithra cheese, crumbled with your fingers
(or a combination of equal quantities of feta and ricotta or anthotyros cheese)
• 12 black olives, sliced
• 4 tsp capers
• Dried oregano to taste
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Paximadia have been a staple in Greece for centuries. Designed as a method of preserving bread for
the winter months, they are barley rusks that are baked, cooled and baked again until dry and crisp.
Topped with tomato, cheese and a glug of olive oil, they made a nutritious Greek-style ploughman’s
lunch in the fields. Paximadia are enjoyed throughout the day and can be brown or white, made with
barley or wheat flour, coated with seeds, fashioned into rolls or dried in slices, large, small, thick or
thin. Toast-shaped slices spread with honey are dipped into coffee for breakfast and small biscottisized paximadia accompany wine in the evening. Layer with tapenade, munch with cheese or use
them to make dakos salad for a more elaborate version of the original ploughman’s lunch.
Roll-shaped paximadia dried in halves are preferable for dakos, although they need reconstituting
with a little water before assembling the salad. Mizithra cheese is a full-fat cream cheese; its
piquant flavour can be replicated by mixing equal quantities of feta and ricotta cheese.
1 Sprinkle each paximadia with a tablespoon of cold water. When the water has soaked in,
drizzle each with a tablespoon of olive oil.
2 Dice the tomatoes, transfer to a bowl (make sure you include all the juice) and mash with
a fork until roughly broken down. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and divide
between the oil-soaked paximadia.
3 Drizzle with the remaining oil and top with crumbled cheese. Decorate with the olives and
capers and sprinkle with oregano to taste.
4 To eat, plunge a fork in the middle, break up the bread, roughly mix with the tomato and
cheese and then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
A meal wouldn’t be complete without a selection of mezedes appetisers to share. On
the next few pages are some suggestions. They can either be served with bread, olives,
pickled chillies, chunks of tomato and slices of anthotyros cheese (a local type of
ricotta) or alongside a meal.
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MELITSANOSALATA AUBERGINE SALAD
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4 as a meze or as a side dish)
• 2 medium aubergines
• 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Juice of a small lemon
• 2 garlic cloves, grated
• 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
This is a good one to make when the barbecue is fired up. The aubergines are roasted
until soft before being mixed into a dip-like salad, which gives it a wonderful smoky flavour.
Alternatively, cook under a hot grill or bake in an oven preheated to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for
approximately 45 minutes.
1 Grill the aubergines on the barbecue, turning regularly until chargrilled and completely soft. When
the aubergines are cool enough to handle, cut in half, scoop out the flesh and finely dice.
2 Whisk the olive oil, lemon, garlic and parsley together to make a dressing. Combine with
the roast aubergine and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
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TZATZIKI
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4 as a meze or as a side dish)
• 4cm chunk of cucumber
• 8 heaped tbsp Greek yoghurt
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
• Juice of half a lemon
• 2 garlic cloves, grated
• Heaped tbsp dill, finely chopped
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
This yoghurt-based meze makes a refreshing dip or dressing to accompany grilled meats,
vegetables and salads. To retain the thick, creamy consistency of the yoghurt, it’s important to
squeeze every drop of excess juice from the grated cucumber.
1 Medium grate the cucumber and, using your hands, squeeze away any excess water.
Combine with the yoghurt, oil, lemon, garlic and dill, and season to taste. Drizzle with olive
oil and garnish with a small sprig of dill.
TIROKAFTERI SPICY FETA CHEESE DIP
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4 as a meze or as a side dish)
• 150g feta cheese, diced
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
• 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
• 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
• Chilli flakes to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste
• Dried oregano to garnish
There are many different varieties of feta. If you prefer a less piquant taste, choose a soft creamy
variety; for a fuller flavour, a drier crumblier texture is best. To reduce saltiness, rinse the cheese
in cold water first. Fresh chilli also works well in this recipe. Fry the chillies in olive oil before finely
chopping and combining with the dip.
1 Place the feta in a bowl and crush with a fork until broken down. Add the oil, yoghurt,
vinegar, chilli flakes and black pepper and whip with a spoon until creamy. Drizzle the dip
with olive oil and garnish with chilli flakes and dried oregano to taste.
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PRAWN SAGANAKI
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4 as a meze)
• 12 large prawns with the head left on
• 6 tbsp olive oil
• 1 medium red onion, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• A good pinch of chilli flakes
• 3 tbsp ouzo or tsipouro (raki)
• 3 large ripe tomatoes (about 350g), cut in half and grated, skin discarded
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 150g crumbled feta cheese
• A small handful parsley leaves
Saganaki actually refers to the two-handled skillet in which this dish is traditionally prepared,
so it can be anything from a simple dish of kefalotiri cheese fried in olive oil to this delicious
version of prawns simmered in a tomato sauce – but it must be topped with cheese or it just
won’t be a saganaki! You can substitute the prawns with a tin of large butter beans for an
excellent vegetarian option.
1 Rinse the prawns with cold water and set to one side. Heat the olive oil in a large frying
pan, add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft but not brown. Stir in the chilli flakes,
add the ouzo and simmer for a few seconds until the liquid is reduced by half. Pour in the
tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pan and gently simmer for
10 minutes.
2 Place the prawns in the sauce and continue to simmer until they’re cooked through. Turn
halfway through the cooking time to ensure they’re evenly cooked and coated in sauce.
3 Top with crumbled feta and simmer for a further minute before garnishing with the
parsley leaves.
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KLEFTICO-INSPIRED BARBECUED LAMB
WITH HORTA SALAD
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6)
• 6 thick lamb chops or cutlets
FOR THE DRESSING
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Lemon zest, grated and juice of a lemon
• 3 garlic cloves, grated
• 2 tbsp red wine (or raki)
• 1 tbsp rosemary, roughly chopped
• 1 tsp dried thyme
• 1 scant tsp ground cinnamon
• 3 bay leaves, roughly sliced
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (add just before cooking)
Kleftico is marinated lamb, slow roasted with tomatoes and potatoes – and it’s gone down in
Greek legend as a dish devised by the Klefts. These mountain warriors fought the Ottoman
occupation and cooked their lamb in an underground pit, encasing it in an earthenware pot,
to avoid creating any visible smoke that might betray their hideout. This recipe keeps things
simple, using a kleftico-inspired marinade for lamb chops that are then quickly cooked on the
barbecue with halved tomatoes. The potatoes are sliced and fried in olive oil with rosemary
and garlic.
1 Put the lamb chops in a shallow dish. Combine the marinade ingredients (minus the salt
and pepper) and pour evenly over the top. Cover the dish, place in the fridge and leave to
marinade overnight.
2 Season the meat to taste and place on the barbecue to cook. Ideally, they should be
chargrilled on the outside and a little pink in the middle but if you prefer your meat well
done, barbecue until cooked through.
3 Horta (wild greens) salad makes a fitting accompaniment to this warrior’s lunch. Simmer
trimmed horta leaves (a handful per person) for a few minutes in boiling water until just
soft. Drain, refresh with cold water, and dress with olive oil and lemon juice to taste.
Markets and supermarkets sell a variety of horta – back home opt for spinach, chard or
beetroot leaves.
Serve with barbecued halved tomatoes and sliced potatoes fried in olive oil with
garlic and rosemary.
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CRETAN COURGETTE AND POTATO BOUREKI
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6)
• 250g mizithra cream cheese or a combination of equal quantities of
crumbled feta cheese and ricotta or anthotyros
• 350ml whole milk
• 2 tsp dried mint
• 4 medium-sized waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
• 4 medium courgettes, thinly sliced
• 125g grated graviera or gruyère cheese
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Serve this cheesy bake hot or cold with bowls of salad. It’s important that the potatoes and
courgettes are sliced thinly – the mandoline cutter or a grater makes light work of the job.
Mizithra cream cheese is traditional, but you can mix equal quantities of feta and ricotta as a
substitute. Graviera is a holey mature cheese, similar in appearance to gruyère and perfect for
grating to melt on top.
1 Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5. Mix the cheese and milk together and stir in the
dried mint.
2 Line a largish ovenproof dish with an overlapping layer of potato. Season with salt and
pepper to taste and spoon a fifth of the cheese mixture evenly over the top. Continue
alternately layering the vegetables in this way (courgette being the next layer) until you have
two layers of courgette and three layers of potato. Once you have added the remaining
cheese mixture, top the bake with the grated graviera cheese.
3 Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake
for a further 30 minutes until the cheese topping is golden brown and the potatoes are soft.
If your potatoes have been cut too thick, you may need to cook the bake for a little longer.
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SEA BASS STUFFED WITH FENNEL AND DILL
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4)
• 4 medium sea bass, descaled and gutted
• Olive oil
• 1 medium fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
• 1 small to medium red onion, thinly sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 heaped tsp capers (optional)
• 8 lemon slices
• 8 dill sprigs
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fennel and dill enhance the flavour of fresh sea bass without overwhelming its subtle taste. Ask
the fishmonger to descale and gut the fish ready for stuffing. Barbecuing is definitely the most
fun, but the fish can also be cooked under the grill or baked in the oven. Mix a simple Greek
salad of tomato, cucumber and red onion tossed with olives, fresh mint and feta dusted with
dried oregano, and crack open a bottle of chilled retsina – the tipple of choice with fish.
1 Rinse the fish in cold water and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Brush with a good coating of
olive oil, inside and out.
2 Stuff the cavity with a layer of fennel and onion, sprinkle the garlic and capers over it,
then insert a couple of lemon slices and the sprigs of dill. Season well with salt and black
pepper and cook on the barbecue for approximately 15 minutes (turning the fish halfway
through the cooking time). To test the fish is cooked, insert a knife; if the flesh flakes easily,
it’s ready.
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PORK SOUVLAKI SKEWERS
INGREDIENTS
(Makes 8 skewers)
• 8 pork skewers or 800g cubed pork threaded onto skewers
• 2 medium red onions, cut into 16 chunks
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• Dried oregano
FOR THE MARINADE
• 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Juice of a lemon
• 2 tbsp red wine or tsipouro (raki)
• 1⁄2 red onion, grated
• 2 garlic cloves, grated
• 2 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tsp dried thyme
• 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin
Souvlaki stalls set up shop on market day to feed hungry shoppers with the Greek answer to
fast food – barbecued pork skewers sprinkled with oregano, salt and a squeeze of lemon.
If you’re preparing souvlaki in your villa, take the time to marinade the meat first – it makes
all the difference. To eat, wrap the pork in toasted pita along with a barbecued pointed red
pepper, sliced red onion and tzatziki dip. Butchers in Greece conveniently sell cubed pork
threaded onto skewers, so just add some chunks of red onion, marinade for an hour or so and
you’re ready to go.
1 Top and tail each skewer with a chunk of red onion and place in a shallow dish. Mix the
marinade ingredients and pour evenly over the skewers. Cover the dish, place in the fridge
and leave to marinate for at least an hour.
2 Season the skewers with plenty of salt and black pepper just before placing on the
barbecue. Cook on all sides until golden and cooked in the middle. The juices must run
clear when inserted with a skewer. If there is a pink tinge, cook for longer and test again.
Remove from the heat and sprinkle with a fine coating of dried oregano.
Serve with tzatziki, pointed red peppers barbecued until charred and soft, thinly
sliced red onion and warm pita bread.
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GREEK QUICK BITES
Start the day with thick, creamy Greek yoghurt – preferably the sheep’s yoghurt sold
in a terracotta dish – and drizzle with a slick of thyme honey. Move on to a decadent
bougatsa – crisp filo pastry filled with sweetened mizithra cheese or cream, dusted with
cinnamon and sugar – you are on holiday after all! Accompany with strong, sweet
Greek coffee – the skill is to leave the grains in the bottom of the cup. If you prefer your
coffee less sweet, make sure you specify this in advance. Ring-shaped kuluri bread,
sprinkled with sesame seeds, is sold on every street corner and is a great ‘grab and go’
filler when you’re out shopping in the market.
Pie making is an ancient tradition in Greece and pites – fabulously flaky savoury pastry
pies, come stuffed with all manner of fillings in a multitude of shapes and sizes to satisfy
every appetite. Crowd pleasers include tiropita (cheese) and spanakopita (spinach and
feta), but each region adds their own twist, so you’ll discover an endless choice of
options to pop in a beach picnic or devour with an iced café frappé in a leafy square.
For some classic Greek barbecued street food, snack on skewers of meaty souvlaki
dusted with salt and dried oregano, or try gyros, thin slices of moist, marinated meat
wrapped in soft pita bread and topped with salad and minty yoghurt.
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GREEK TIPPLES
Although ouzo is Greece’s best-known tipple, you’re certain to come across tsipouro
(or raki). This ubiquitous clear grape spirit is potent stuff and is typically served in small
glasses as a welcome drink or a digestif after meals. It’s famed for its great medicinal
qualities and is sold mixed with honey to ward off colds or flavoured with fruit and herbs.
A splash of the spirit is even used in pastry to keep it crisp. A glass or two of caramely,
sweet Metaxa brandy rounds off a villa-cooked supper perfectly, especially sipped under
a star-filled night sky to a soundtrack of cicadas.
If fish is on the menu, it’s traditional to drink retsina. Admittedly, its pine-flavoured
taste isn’t for everyone, but a good one served cold goes down very nicely. In recent
years, Greek wine production has been through a renaissance that Dionysus would be
proud of and even some of the inexpensive barrel wine sold in delis and markets is
perfectly palatable.
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FIND YOUR TABLE IN GREECE
Whether you’re in a comfortable cottage near the beach or contemplating endless
horizons from a contemporary cliff-top eyrie, Greece does grand gestures and blissful
simplicity in equal measures.
In short, you’re spoilt for choice, although some things remain the same wherever you
stay: a traditional culture that cherishes leisurely time around a table and a landscape
that invites romance. So dine with candlelight and starry eyes or with laughter and lively
conversation among friends and family; Greece and its lovely islands have room for it all.
A taste of our Greek Collection
You’ll find Simpson Travel villas on Corfu, Crete, Ithaca, Kefalonia, Lefkada, Meganissi,
Paxos, Sivota, Skopelos, Zagoria and Zakynthos.
Left: Ranzo Ionio – Odysseus Cottage on Kefalonia
Below (left to right): Cyclamen on Corfu, Saffron on Meganissi, Monodendri Blue on
Paxos and Arosmari on Crete
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INTRODUCING MALLORCA
A satisfying melting pot of culinary homegrown traditions.
Beneath the Tramuntana Mountains around Pollença, you’ll find a beautiful rural
landscape of olive groves, vineyards and almond orchards dotted with windmills. It’s
also the location for most of Simpson Travel’s Mallorquín villas. Pollença itself is a
wonderfully atmospheric medieval town with a vibrant Sunday market and some lovely
local restaurants and cafés. There are a selection of beaches nearby or head along the
mountain road for stunning views all the way to the picturesque village of Fornalutx and
the buzzing market town of Sóller, near the hidden mirror-calm bays around Deià. On
Wednesdays, every street, square and alleyway of the central market town of Sineu is
filled with stalls selling everything from livestock and freshly baked bread to olive oil and
spices. For the ultimate experience of Mallorquín cuisine, head to the island’s charming
historical capital, Palma, which hosts some of the best-stocked daily markets and food
shops in the Mediterranean, with mouthwatering displays of fresh fish, hanging hams,
sausages, salamis and all the fresh produce you’ll need to create your own versions of
classic Mallorquín dishes back in your villa.
Mallorquín cooking is a melting pot of homegrown traditions, fused with Moorish and
Catalan culinary influences. The Moors added rice, citrus fruits, almonds, currants, pine
nuts and saffron to the cooking pot to create robust recipes rich in olive oil, spice and
sweet-savoury taste combinations. Almonds are baked in cakes and pastries and used
to thicken soups and stews, and rice is the essential ingredient in arroz brut, Mallorca’s
famous alternative to paella. The Catalonians added a sophisticated Spanish style and
New World ingredients such as pimentón (smoky paprika) and tomatoes.
Mallorquíns are very fond of their pork. Every bit is prized although frites (stir-fried offal),
may not be to everyone’s taste! However, the variety and quality of charcuterie available
is superb. Sobrassada, a soft textured, cured sausage flavoured with generous quantities
of pimentón, is unique to Mallorca and, along with peppery bottifaron sausage, makes
its way in some shape or form into many recipes. Hand-carved dry-cured Ibérico and
Serrano ham top the ever popular Mallorquín dish of pa amb oli and are enjoyed all
over the island as an early evening tapas plate to share with friends.
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PA AMB OLI
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4)
• 8 thick slices round sourdough bread, white or brown
• 4 garlic cloves, cut in half
• 4-8 medium-sized, ripe ramellet tomatoes (or vine-ripened tomatoes), cut in half
• Salt
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Slices of dry-cured ham or chorizo
• Slices of grimalt cheese (or manchego)
• Green olives
• Pickled chillies, caper berries, fonoll mari (pickled samphire)
Pa amb oli is Mallorca on a plate. It’s devoured all over the island in cafés and bars as a
mid-morning snack, as a quick lunch or with an aperitivo before supper – anything goes!
Essentially, pa amb oli is put together by rubbing toasted slices of country-style sourdough
bread with small, sweet ramellet tomatoes, sprinkling with salt and drizzling with a good glug
of olive oil. A choice of cheese, meat or both, are layered on top and a handful of olives and
pickles served on the side. Fishy options include tuna chunks or anchovies in olive oil. There
are no firm rules. For instance, cafés often serve the tomato sliced. In the home, pa amb oli is
served DIY with all the ingredients placed on the table, leaving everyone free to assemble the
bread just how they like it.
Tip-top ingredients are essential. Choose flat, round, crusty Mallorquín sourdough bread,
brown or white, whichever you prefer. Tomatoes must be ripe and sweet and the olive oil
extra virgin. Layer with Ibérico ham and aged artisan grimalt cheese or spicy sausage, such
as chorizo. Olives tend to be green and marinated with lemon and dill. A few caper berries
or pickled green chillies are a bonus and it’s well worth trying fonoll mari, crunchy pickled
samphire – an unusual local delicacy sold in jars or loose in the market.
1 Toast the bread until golden brown, lightly rub with garlic then firmly rub with the cut
surface of a tomato. The tomato flesh will turn to a pulp and soak into the bread, leaving
the skin behind. Use a whole tomato per slice if you prefer your pa amb oli more tomatoey.
2 Season with salt and coat with extra olive oil. Add toppings to taste and devour immediately.
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WATERMELON GAZPACHO
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6)
• 560g ripe plum tomatoes, cubed
• 450g deseeded, cubed watermelon
• 1 small red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
• 5 spring onions, sliced
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 1 red chilli, sliced (optional)
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• A good squeeze of lemon juice
• 2 tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
FOR THE TOPPINGS
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 slices day-old bread, crusts removed, then diced
• Small bowls of cucumber, red onion and red and green pepper, finely diced
Wonderfully cooling on hot summer days, and so quick to make, it won’t take you away from
the sunshine for long. Serve watermelon gazpacho in the traditional way, garnished with
a selection of toppings. If you don’t have access to a food processor, grate the tomatoes,
watermelon, peppers and garlic and finely chop the spring onions and chilli.
1 Blend the tomatoes in a food processor until finely chopped. You can pass the tomatoes
through a sieve at this point if you object to pips, but it’s not necessary.
2 Add the remaining ingredients and pulse together until the soup is smooth but still retains
some bite. Finally, add the vinegar and season to taste, before chilling the soup in the fridge.
3 Now prepare the toppings. Fry the diced bread in the olive oil until golden and crunchy
and chop small bowls of finely diced cucumber, red onion and red and green pepper.
4 Place everything in the middle of the table, spoon the soup into bowls and add toppings
to taste.
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MALLORQUÍN TORTILLA WITH SOBRASSADA
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4 as a main meal or 6 as a snack)
• 2 medium-sized waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
• 6 1cm-thick slices of sobrassada (or cooking chorizo)
• 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to cook the tortilla
• 1 medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
• 1 large red pepper, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin or cinnamon
• 8 large free-range eggs
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• A handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Sobrassada adds a piquant, smoky flavour to moist potato and red pepper tortilla. When
buying it choose an artisan version filled with pork from free-range Mallorquín black pigs.
Remember to check the colour of the string: red denotes spicy and white mild. Serve with
trempo salad and country bread drizzled with olive oil. Alternatively, leave the tortilla to cool,
cut into squares, pop onto sliced rounds of baguette and spear with a toothpick to make
bite-sized tapas.
1 Par boil the potatoes in salted water until just cooked. Drain and cut into cubes. Heat
a large non-stick frying pan and briefly dry fry the sobrassada slices on both sides until
crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. Remove the sobrassada from the pan and
cut into bite-sized pieces.
2 Add the olive oil to the same frying pan and sauté the onion, pepper and garlic until soft. Stir
in the ground cumin. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the potato cubes and the sautéed
onion mixture. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and stir in the chopped parsley.
3 Return the pan to the stove, add a splash of olive oil and, when it’s hot, pour in the egg
mixture. Spread the vegetables evenly across the bottom of the pan and scatter with the
sobrassada. Reduce the heat and continue to cook until the tortilla is golden brown and
almost set, shaking the pan at regular intervals to prevent it from sticking.
4 To turn the tortilla, run a spatula around the edge and give the pan a good shake. Place a large
plate over the pan and turn it over onto the plate. Add another drizzle of oil and carefully slide
the tortilla back into the pan. Cook until golden brown and completely set in the middle.
5 Leave the tortilla to sit in the pan for a couple of minutes before cutting into wedges.
Serve with trempo salad (see next page).
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TREMPO SALAD WITH RIPE STRAWBERRIES
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6 as a side dish)
• 4 medium-sized ripe beef tomatoes (or 4 large tomatoes), sliced
• 2 long green peppers, diced
• 1⁄2 medium red onion, finely diced
• A small punnet of strawberries, sliced
• A handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
FOR THE DRESSING
• 4 generous tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
• Juice of half a lemon
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Trempo salad transforms pa amb oli into lunch and adds a blast of market-fresh flavours to
any meal. It can be served as a simple salad or enlivened with added ingredients, as in this
recipe with ripe strawberries. You could also add diced apple or watermelon, a handful of
diced roast peppers, beans – cannellini are particularly good – a scattering of capers or olives,
or slices of local cheese. Take care not to crowd the salad with too many extra flavours; stick
to a couple to appreciate the real taste of trempo.
1 Lay the tomato slices on a serving plate, overlapping them as you do so. Sprinkle with the
diced pepper and onion and top with an overlapping layer of strawberries.
2 Whisk the dressing ingredients together, pour over the salad and garnish with the chopped
parsley. Chill the salad in the fridge for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavours to combine.
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SALSA MALLORQUINA BAKED WITH COD
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6)
• Chunky cod fillets (approximately 250g per fillet)
• 4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to cook the fish
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 1 large red pepper, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 bunch of chard (approximately 450g), stems and leaf thinly sliced and kept separate
• 1 tsp sweet pimentón (Spanish paprika) plus a little extra for the fish
• 1 small glass dry white wine
• 3 plum tomatoes, diced
• 3 bay leaves
• A handful of raisins
• A handful of pine nuts
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Salsa Mallorquina is a versatile sauce made with a sofrito – a mixture of onion, garlic, tomato
and bay leaves, which is the base to many Mallorquín recipes. The addition of raisins and pine
nuts displays the influence of Moorish cuisine. Salsa Mallorquina works equally well with meat,
fish or shellfish. Inspired by the wonderful displays of fish at Palma’s Olivar market, we’ve
opted for cod, but feel free to substitute with any firm white fish, such as hake or monkfish.
Chard is sold in bunches in the market and local shops – substitute with spinach if you prefer.
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the
onion, pepper and garlic until soft. Add the chard stems and cook for a minute or so. Add
the chard leaves and stir fry until they wilt and reduce in volume.
2 Stir in the pimentón and white wine and simmer briskly until the wine has reduced by half.
Add the diced tomatoes, bay leaves, raisins and pine nuts and continue to gently simmer
until the chard is cooked and the tomato sauce reduced. Season with salt and pepper to
taste and spoon into a large baking dish.
3 Sprinkle the cod fillets with a little pimentón and season with salt to taste. Heat a splash of
oil in a large frying pan and brown the fillets briefly on both sides.
4 Place the fillets on top of the salsa, drizzle with a little extra olive oil and bake in the
preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.
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ARROZ BRUT
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6)
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 4 chicken thighs, diced
• 2 thick pork chops, meat removed and diced
• 1 small firm bottifaron sausage, (or 6 thick slices chorizo sausage cut into quarters)
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 1 long green pepper, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 red chilli, chopped
• 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
• 1 tsp arroz brut spice mix
• 225g la pobla rice or short grain rice
• 1.2 litre chicken stock
• A good pinch of saffron, soaked in a little hot water
• 200g green beans, cut into 2cm chunks
• 6 tinned artichoke hearts, cut into quarters (or a teacup of peas)
• 100g sliced oyster mushrooms
• A large handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped
• Salt
Every cook has their own secret recipe for making arroz brut. This soupy paella-style rice dish
makes a great one-pot meal to feed a crowd and a big pan is prepared for the whole family
to share. The origins of the name arroz brut, which translates as ‘dirty rice’, comes from the
dark appearance of the stock, coloured by the ground spices of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and
pepper. The spice mixture is readily available in food stores and markets (as cuatro especiales)
or simply mix equal quantities of each spice. If you prefer your arroz more soupy, add a little
extra water until the preferred consistency is reached.
1 Heat the oil in a large casserole pan or heavy saucepan and brown the diced chicken, pork
and sausage in batches. Remove the meat from the pan and season with salt to taste.
2 Add the onion, pepper, garlic and chilli (to the same pan) and sauté in the remaining oil
until soft. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a minute or so before returning the
meat and stirring in the spice mixture.
3 Pour in the stock and saffron, cover the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the rice, cover
the pan once more and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
4 Finally add the vegetables and parsley, season with salt to taste and simmer for 5 minutes in
the uncovered pan until the vegetables and rice are cooked and the sauce is a little soupy.
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PRAWNS AND SQUID A LA PLANCHA WITH
ZESTY DIPPING SAUCE
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6)
• 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 red chilli, finely chopped
• 8 generous tbsp olive oil
• Juice and grated zest of half an orange
• Juice and grated zest of a lemon
• 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp chopped capers (optional)
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE PRAWNS
• Large prawns with shell on and squid rings
(approximately six per person depending on appetite)
• 2 oranges, sliced
• 1 large lemon, sliced
• Olive oil
Fire up the barbecue and mix a zesty dipping sauce using freshly squeezed juice from sweet
Sollér oranges. Slices of orange and lemon caramelise brilliantly on the barbecue and are
delicious eaten whole.
1 To make the dipping sauce, fry the garlic and chilli in three tablespoons of the olive oil until soft
but not brown. Add the citrus juices, grated zest and the remaining olive oil. Pour the sauce into
a bowl and stir in the chopped parsley and capers. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2 Thread the prawns and squid rings onto skewers. Brush with olive oil and season to taste. Rub
the orange and lemon slices with a little oil.
3 Cook the seafood skewers and citrus slices on the barbecue until golden brown, taking care not
to overcook fruit – they should be caramelised with a soft zest.
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VEGETABLE TUMBET
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6)
• 2 medium aubergines, sliced into 1cm-thick rounds
• 4 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
• 4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
• 1 large red and 1 large yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced
• 800g tomatoes, diced (or tinned chopped tomatoes)
• 3 bay leaves
• Olive oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Cheese to taste (optional) • Chopped parsley to garnish
Enjoy Mallorca’s plump tomatoes, aubergines and peppers in this layered vegetarian dish.
Although it’s not traditional to add cheese, topping the bake with slices of grimalt or grated
manchego finishes it off nicely. Serve on its own or with grilled meat or fried eggs. The
vegetables here are cooked individually in the same frying pan, adding extra olive oil when
necessary. Drain on kitchen paper before layering in an ovenproof dish. 1 Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5. Line a colander with aubergine slices and sprinkle
with a little salt. After 15 minutes, rinse with water and pat dry with kitchen paper.
2 While the aubergines are draining, cook the potatoes. Heat a glug of olive oil in a large
non-stick frying pan and fry the potato slices on both sides until soft and golden. Remove
from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
3 Add another splash of oil to the pan and cook the aubergine slices until soft. Remove and
drain on kitchen paper.
4 If necessary, add extra oil before adding the garlic cloves and peppers and cooking
until soft. Remove the peppers, leaving the garlic cloves in the pan and then tip in the
chopped tomatoes.
5 Crush the garlic cloves into the tomato sauce with the back of a wooden spoon, add the
bay leaves and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
6 Layer the vegetables in an ovenproof dish, starting with the potatoes and ending with
the aubergines. Cover with the tomato sauce and top with cheese to taste. Bake in the
preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with parsley.
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MALLORQUIN QUICK BITES
Pillowy soft ensaimada breakfast buns – coils of sweet enriched dough dusted with
icing sugar – are positively addictive. In fact, a morning café con leche will soon seem
lost without one. At breakfast time, cafés and bars also do a brisk trade in croissant
and bocadillo (small crusty rolls), filled with charcuterie and grimalt cheese. From mid
morning, pa amb oli comes into its own and cafés are full of regulars enjoying their
favourite snack.
Planning a day on the beach? Stock up on bakery treats. Try slices of coca, Mallorca’s
answer to pizza, topped with combinations of caramelised herby onions, roast peppers,
tomatoes and olives. Cocarrois are Cornish-pasty shaped, crisp pastry filled with chard,
onion, raisins and pine nuts or, for something meaty, buy some panades – round pies
stuffed with chunks of spicy sobrassada sausage. For pudding, take a bag of bunyols –
small doughnuts sold warm and sugary straight from the pan at the market – or slices
of gato Mallorquín, a moist, dense almond cake. If you love pastries, try some robiols
– sweet pastry turnovers with fruity fillings. Don’t miss out on early evening tapas and an
aperitivo. It’s an institution, where friends and family meet for a catch-up and children
play in the square before a typically late supper.
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MALLORQUIN TIPPLES
Get into the holiday spirit and order a mid-morning carajillo – coffee with an added shot
of brandy. It’s a great way to relax before sauntering to the beach. An ice-cold glass of
cerveza (beer) is unbeatable, typically sipped from a small glass called a caña, with a
plate or two of tapas. A crop of new-wave breweries are now creating some really good
exotic beers with lemon, rose or orange flower water.
For an unusual aperitivo, try palo – a thick, dark spirit infused with gentian root and
quinine, sweetened with grapes, figs and carob. It’s served with ice and soda or sometimes
a tot of gin! After a long, lazy meal, sip a herbe. This potent anise-based liqueur, originally
distilled in homes for its medicinal qualities, contains a vast array of wild herbs. Choose
from dulces (sweet) or seques (dry) and drink it as it comes or with ice.
Mallorca’s vineyards were wiped out by disease at the end of the 19th century and
recovery has been slow. Now however, it’s full-steam ahead with some excellent new
producers, particularly in the Binissalem region around Inca. Many of them are open
for tasting tours and sell direct to the public. Or, if you’re staying in Pollença, near the
top of the island, the Ca’n Vidalet vineyard creates some award-winning wines that are
worth spending time with. The native grape varieties of Callet, Manto Negro and Moll
dominate in rosés, reds and whites respectively.
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FIND YOUR TABLE IN MALLORCA
Tended with endless care, patience and creativity, the island’s many glorious gardens
are made for eating al fresco. In the finca-style villas that accompany them, you’ll find a
comfortable home from home, where a solid wooden table creates the centrepiece for
leisurely mealtimes.
However, knowing that one style never fits all, this accommodating Spanish island offers
a generous choice of villas. Couples and families, seclusion seekers and those preferring
to be near local shops and attractions are all catered for, in both traditional and more
contemporary spaces.
A taste of our Mallorca Collection
You’ll find Simpson Travel villas in Fornalutx & Sóller and Pollença & Puerto Pollença.
Left: Villa Alba in Pollença
Below (left to right): Cal Roma in Pollença, Cabanellas in Pollença, Villa Tranquilla in
Pollença and Ca’n Bobis in Pollença
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INTRODUCING TURKEY
Where east meets west, explore a menu full to bursting with
exciting tastes and flavours.
From the cosmopolitan buzz of harbourside Kalkan to rural boltholes in Islamlar and
the Bozburun Peninsula, Turkey’s olive groves, sleepy villages and ancient ruins have
created a destination where time is allowed to rest awhile. It’s also a foodie heaven,
tailor-made for stimulating the tastebuds. Almost every town has a bountiful weekly
market overflowing with local produce. In larger towns, such as Fethiye, they are so vast
they deserve several hours of exploration, whilst in smaller places like bohemian Kas,
they are more laid back and local.
On the way home, stop off at a roadside stall or rural café for a cup of çay and a tasty
snack to fill a gap, before getting back to your villa and unpacking your ingredients like
presents to create your own wonderful spread.
At the heart of Turkish cookery is the concept of meze: small hot and cold dishes,
invariably vegetarian, which are full of tantalising tastes and served before the main
course. Typically, they include seasonal vegetables and pulses coated in tomatoey sauce,
garlicky yoghurt, fresh salads and irresistible dips. Oven-warm fresh bread is always at
hand to scoop up every last morsel and jars of crisp, pickled garden vegetables grace
the table for diners to help themselves. Be sure to leave room for a choice of succulent
chargrilled kebabs, slow-cooked stews or grilled fish simply cooked with a brush of oil
and a squeeze of lemon.
Flavours are a heady mix of Ottoman and Mediterranean cuisine, spicing is subtle,
dried fruit and nuts are prevalent and syrupy pomegranate molasses or pekmez (grape,
mulberry or carob syrup) are used to add a hint of sweetness. Salçasi – a thick sun-dried
tomato (domates) or pepper (biber) paste adds richness. Pul biber (dried red pepper
flakes) and lemony ground sumac are just as common on the table as salt and pepper
to add an aromatic kick. During the long, hot Turkish summer, there’s a passion for
cooking and eating outdoors, so follow the tradition; light the barbecue and make the
most of the sunny days and balmy evenings.
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A TURKISH BREAKFAST
Breakfast is a joy in Turkey. At its most lavish, it’s a feast of sliced, spicy sucuk sausage, green
and black olives, chunks of tomato, cucumber and pepper doused in olive oil, with creamy
white beyaz peynir and yellow kasar cheeses, and thick süzme yoghurt topped with honey or a
slice of honeycomb.
Cooked options include eggs fried in butter or scrambled to make menemen, and slices of
peynir cheese sautéed in olive oil until golden. Homemade fruity jams and tahini mixed with
sweet pekmez syrup are provided to smear onto hunks of warm soft bread, and glasses of
steaming hot black çay – Turkish tea – are constantly replenished.
At its most frugal, it might be as simple as a handful of olives, a slice of cheese, chopped
tomato and chunks of bread dipped into olive oil. Lavish or frugal? The choice is yours.
To make the sweet tahini spread, combine dark tahini with pekmez to achieve your preferred
level of sweetness. Pekmez is a sugar-free fruit syrup available in jars from grocery stores.
It’s usually made with grape juice, but you’ll also find versions with mulberry or carob juice
instead. Pomegranate molasses or honey make a good alternative.
Going out for a Turkish breakfast in a local café is always a lovely experience, but so is
gathering the above together – all easily found in local markets and shops – to assemble your
own DIY version at your villa. Simply put everything out on the table and invite everyone to
help themselves.
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MENEMEN SCRAMBLED EGGS
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6 as a side dish in a breakfast spread, or 4 for a modest meal)
• 2 tbsp butter
• 3 long green peppers,deseeded and diced
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 3 medium tomatoes, diced
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 6 slices sucuk sausage or chorizo, cut in half (optional)
• 4 large free-range eggs
• A handful of crumbled beyaz peynir or feta cheese
Eggs scrambled with pepper and tomato are a popular breakfast dish. Some cooks also add a
handful of sliced sucuk sausage, others crumble peynir over the top. And why limit menemen
to breakfast time? Add both and it makes a speedy lunch or supper.
1 Melt the butter in a large frying pan and sauté the diced pepper until soft. Add the olive oil
and diced tomatoes and continue to cook until the tomatoes break down and the juices
reduce. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
2 Stir in the sucuk (if adding) and cook for a few minutes before breaking the eggs into the pan.
When the egg whites start to set, stir the eggs into the sauce until they are soft scrambled.
Serve immediately, sprinkled with crumbled cheese if you wish.
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IMAM BAYILDI – THE IMAM SWOONED
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4)
• 4 long, thin aubergines
• 5 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
• 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 3 medium tomatoes, diced
• 2 tsp tomato salçasi (or sun-dried tomato or concentrated tomato paste)
• Large handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
• Small handful fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
• 1 tsp pekmez or pomegranate molasses or honey
• A good squeeze of lemon juice
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Legend has it that when an Imam tasted this combination of soft-baked aubergine melting
into rich tomato sauce, he was so overcome with pleasure he fainted. True or false? Judge for
yourself. Serve hot or cold with shepherd’s salad (see bottom of page 97) and slices of bread
to soak up the sauce.
The tomato sauce in this recipe can be cooked with almost any vegetable – okra, green
beans, diced courgette and chickpeas are particularly good. Add the vegetables of your
choice to the sauce, along with half the quantity of water, cover the pan and simmer until soft.
1 Peel the aubergines in alternate lengthwise strips to create a striped effect on the skin. Cut a
deep slit in each, taking care not to cut right through to the other side or to the ends. Soak in a
bowl of water with two teaspoons of salt while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
2 Drain and rinse the aubergines and pat dry with kitchen towel or a clean tea towel. Heat 3
tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the aubergines on all sides until golden
brown and soft on the outside.
3 Transfer the aubergines to a dish, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and sauté the onion
and garlic over a medium heat until soft and caramelised. Stir in the tomato, salçasi, parsley,
mint, pekmez and lemon juice. Season to taste and continue to cook until the tomato breaks
down and the juice has reduced.
4 Return the aubergines to the pan (cut side facing upwards) and stuff with the sauce. Pour a mug
of boiling water around the aubergines, drizzle with more olive oil, cover the pan and simmer
over a low heat for 40-45 minutes until the aubergines are really tender.
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JEWELLED PILAV
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6)
• 1.5 mugs (1 mug roughly measures 300ml)
pilavlik rice or long grain rice
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp butter
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp pine nuts
• 2 tbsp pistachios, roughly chopped
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp ground allspice
• 1⁄2 tsp ground black pepper
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tsp dried mint
• 2 tbsp raisins
• 2 tbsp dried apricots, chopped
• Salt
TO PREPARE THE PEPPERS
• 6 small squat red peppers
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp pekmez, pomegranate
molasses or honey
• To serve, crumbled tulum or feta
cheese and olives
Serve this Ottoman inspired pilav rice, studded with dried fruit and nuts, as an accompaniment
to grilled meats, stews or simply with salad. It’s also used to stuff vine leaves or any vegetable
that can be scooped out and filled. Peppers are the least fiddly option – to stuff 6 small squat
peppers you will only need half the quantity of pilav in this recipe. In mountain villages,
cracked bulgar wheat is used in the place of rice.
1 Wash the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and set to one side. Heat the
olive oil and butter in a medium-sized pan and sauté the onion, garlic, pine nuts and
pistachios until golden. Stir in the spices and herbs, add the rice and stir together for a
couple of minutes until the rice is well-coated in the spice mixture.
2 Add 1.5 mugs of cold water, the raisins and chopped apricots. Season with salt to taste,
cover the pan and simmer over a low heat until all the water has been absorbed and the
rice is just soft (approximately 10 minutes). Leave the rice to stand in the covered pan for
5-10 minutes before fluffing with a fork to separate the grains and serving.
3 To make stuffed peppers, cut the tops off, scoop out the seeds and pierce the bottom of
each 4 times with the point of the knife. Fill with pilav, cover with the cut tops and place
sitting upright in a saucepan.
4 Pour a mug of boiling water around the peppers and add the olive oil and pekmez to the
water. Cover the pan and simmer over a low heat for 35-40 minutes until the peppers are
tender. Spoon any of the sauce left in the pan over the peppers before serving with olives
and crumbled tulum-style cheese or feta.
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BARBECUED RED MULLET WRAPPED IN VINE LEAVES
WITH SAMPHIRE AND TOMATO SALAD
INGREDIENTS
FOR THE SALAD
(Serves 4-6)
• Bundle of samphire
• 12 fresh or preserved vine leaves
• 12 small red mullet, gutted
• A couple of branches of on-the-vine
FOR THE MARINADE
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• Juice of half a lemon
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
(or fine green beans)
•
•
tomatoes (roughly 12 tomatoes),
quartered
Olive oil and lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Barbecuing fish wrapped in vine leaves ensures the flesh stays moist. Vine leaves are sold fresh
or pickled – look for them at the edges of the market where village women set up small stalls
selling a selection of homemade goods and produce from the garden. Greengrocers also sell
fresh leaves and food stores have packets of pickled leaves; you might even be lucky enough
to have a vine growing in your villa garden.
Thin stemmed, bright green samphire is foraged from Turkey’s rocky coastal shoreline – and it’s
the perfect partner to fish. You may already be familiar with its salty, intense flavour and crisp
succulent texture as it also grows back home and is sold in bundles in fishmongers and on the
fish counter in supermarkets. A little goes a long way; a modest handful is enough per person
and a splash of olive oil and lemon juice is all the dressing it needs.
1 If you’re using fresh vine leaves, blanch them in boiling water for a minute or so, then
refresh with cold water. Pickled vine leaves simply need to be washed in cold water. Rinse
the fish in cold water and drain on a piece of kitchen towel.
2 Whisk the marinade ingredients together. Generously brush over the fish and both sides
of the vine leaves. Tightly wrap a leaf around each fish and leave to marinade while you
prepare the salad.
3 To make the salad, remove any barky stems from the samphire and plunge into simmering
water for a few minutes before draining and refreshing in cold water. Mix with the tomatoes
and dress with olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper to taste.
To eat, open the leaf, add a squeeze of lemon, and dip morsels of the fish into the
tarator sauce (see next page).
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WALNUT TARATOR
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6)
• 2 thick slices day old white bread
• 3 heaped tbsp walnuts, finely chopped
• 3 heaped tbsp süzme yoghurt or thick natural yoghurt
• 1 dessert spoon of parsley, finely chopped
• 1 garlic clove, grated
• Juice of half a lemon
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
This walnuty dip, served with all things fishy, is a great way to use up day old bread.
1 Soak the bread in cold water for 5 minutes, then squeeze away any excess water with
your hand.
2 Beat the bread with the remaining ingredients in a bowl until a thick dip consistency
is reached.
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SUMAC-SPICED LAMB KOFTE
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6)
• 450g lamb mince
• 1 small onion, grated
• 2 garlic cloves, grated
• 1 teacup of day old bread, grated
• 2 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp sumac (or paprika)
• Grated zest of half a lemon
• 1 heaped tsp dried oregano
• A handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
These meatball-style kebabs spiced with citrusy, red sumac are so simple to make. They can
be cooked on the barbecue, under the grill or on a griddle pan. Whichever way you choose
to cook them, serve wrapped inside warm lavas flatbread along with some chargrilled cherry
tomatoes and the classic kebab accompaniments: ezme, haydari and shepherd’s salad.
1 Combine all the ingredients in a bowl using your hands to gently massage the mixture
together until it forms clumps.
2 Roll into fat, thumb-sized meatballs. Brush with a little olive oil and cook on the barbecue,
under the grill or on a griddle pan until chargrilled on the outside and cooked through
the middle.
Small dishes of ezme tomato and pepper salsa, and haydari minty yoghurt tend to be served
automatically with kebabs. They also work brilliantly as meze dishes (see next page).
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EZME SALSA
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6)
• 3 medium tomatoes, cut in half
• 1 roasted red pepper (available in jars) or fresh pepper, grated
• 1⁄2 small onion, grated
• 1 garlic clove, grated
• 1 tsp pul biber red pepper flakes (or chilli flakes)
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
If you prefer your salsa with a fiery kick, add chilli flakes in place of the pul biber
(red pepper flakes).
1 Grate the tomato flesh into a bowl (discard the skin). Add the remaining ingredients and
combine together to make a thick chunky salsa. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
HAYDARI MINTY YOGHURT
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6)
• A small bowl of süzme yoghurt or thick natural yoghurt
• 1 tsp dried mint, plus extra to sprinkle
• 1 garlic clove, grated
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Natural yoghurt comes in different consistencies. Choose thick and creamy süzme yoghurt,
brilliant for dips and drizzling with honey.
1 Fold the dried mint and garlic into the yoghurt until well-combined. Season with salt and
black pepper to taste.
SHEPHERD’S SALAD
Accompany your Turkish feast in the traditional way with a bowl of shepherd’s salad, a mix of
diced small cucumbers, ripe tomatoes, long green peppers and sweet onion, sprinkled with
finely chopped parsley, then dressed to taste with olive oil and vinegar at the table. There are
no rules about quantities, the chef decides!
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KISIR BULGAR SALAD
INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4-6)
• 1 mug (roughly measuring 300ml) fine cracked bulgar wheat
• 3⁄4 mug boiling water
• 3 medium tomatoes, diced
• 1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
• A teacup of flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
• A teacup of mint leaves, finely chopped
• Crinkly lettuce leaves (enough to line a serving plate)
FOR THE DRESSING
• 5 tbsp olive oil
• Juice of a small lemon
• 1 tbsp biber salçasi (red pepper paste)
• 1 tbsp tomato salçasi (or sun-dried tomato or concentrated tomato paste)
• 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Kisir bulgar salad is similar to tabbouleh. Packed full of fresh herbs, it’s wonderful with
barbecued kebabs and mixed vegetable brochettes or served meze style with hard-boiled
quails eggs, slices of aubergine and courgette fried in olive oil until golden, and seasoned
süzme yoghurt mixed to taste with biber salçasi (red pepper paste).
1 Place the bulgar in a bowl and pour the boiling water evenly over the top. Leave to stand
until all the water has been absorbed and the bulgar is soft – about 20 minutes. Fluff with a
fork to separate the grains and allow to cool.
2 Whisk the dressing ingredients together, then add to the cool bulgar. The best way to
combine the mixture is to use your hands and gently massage the ingredients together.
3 Stir in the tomato, spring onion, parsley and mint. Serve the salad on a bed of crinkly
lettuce leaves.
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TURKISH QUICK BITES
A lavish Turkish breakfast is a must-try experience; a leisurely way to start the day. For
days when sightseeing is on the agenda, make a pastane pastry shop pit-stop for a
crispy filo börek with a choice of cheese, spinach, potato, meat and mixed vegetable
fillings. Borek are either cut into squares or rolled into cigar and snail shapes, then sold
either by weight or by piece.
Gözleme are the most common all-day snack and definitely the most entertaining to
watch being prepared. They’re sold everywhere from roadside cafés to the buzzing
market place. Women in traditional dress sit at low wooden tables and skilfully roll out
dough until wafer thin; this is then filled to make a pancake and cooked on a concave
hotplate. You’ll have a choice of herby cheese or spiced minced meat.
Lahmacun – Ottoman-style pizza, and pide – canoe-shaped flat bread, come with a
variety of toppings. They’re cooked to order and arrive hot from the wood-fired oven in
minutes. For something sweet, try syrupy künefe – fine filaments of pastry baked on top
of sweetened creamy cheese or maybe bite-sized pieces of nutty baklava or semolina
cake, drenched in honey. Sticky fingers are guaranteed!
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TURKISH TIPPLES
Çay, Turkish tea, welcomes visitors, cements friendships and helps secure a deal in the
bazaar. Tea boys duck and dive through the busy market delivering constant refreshment
to traders. Grown along the shores of the Black Sea, it’s traditionally brewed in a
decorative double boiler and served black and strong in small, tulip-shaped glasses. In
Turkey, you’ll never be far away from a glass of tea. Take a seat at a tea house or tea
garden and while away the time people watching.
Cooling ayran, yoghurt whisked with water and a pinch of salt until frothy, is drunk with
most meals. Raki is served in narrow cylindrical glasses, the aniseedy clear grape spirit
turns characteristically cloudy on the addition of ice cubes and water to taste. It’s worth
splashing out a bit to get a good Turkish wine – cheaper brands can be rather heavily
oaked or too thin. Luckily, there are plenty of good wines made from local grape varieties
like Emir whites, Kalecik Karasi reds and Calkarasi rosés.
However, Turks drink far more beer than wine. The most popular brand is Efes, either
as a blond, perky pilsner or a stronger dark ale served draft in cafés and bars or by the
bottle in shops. Sipping a chilled glass on your villa balcony, watching the sunset, you’ll
soon see the attraction.
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FIND YOUR TABLE IN TURKEY
With its turquoise seas, intriguing coastlines and landscapes that remain remarkably free
from human interference, Turkey has a fine grasp of what makes an idyllic destination.
How you choose to experience this alluring combination of east meets west is entirely
up to you.
There are luxurious family villas with paved terraces, balconies and views in equal
measures, as well as bijou retreats in areas of outstanding natural beauty. You’ll find
romantic Ottoman influences and whispers of a Greek past, alongside the architectural
innovations of the here and now. Explore and discover a style to complement your own.
A taste of our Turkey Collection
You’ll find Simpson Travel villas in Akyaka, the Bozburun Peninsula, Dalyan, Fethiye & Kaya
Valley, Islamlar, Kalkan and Kas.
Left: Villa Sascha in Akyaka
Below (left to right): Villa Zaffre in Kalkan, Bodoska Evi in the Kaya Valley,
Villa Askim on the Bozburun Peninsula and Simpson Secret in Islamlar
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THE HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE, MADE COMPLETE
We travel, not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.
With a heritage that spans nearly 40 years in the industry, Simpson Travel opens the
door to some of the most exquisite corners of the Mediterranean. Through our unique
collection of villas, apartments and hotels, we can take you to beautiful beaches,
peaceful rural retreats and some of the most charming towns and villages imaginable.
Our destinations in Corsica, Greece, Mallorca and Turkey were carefully chosen for
the richness of the experiences they offer, whether that’s a mountain hike, a gentle boat
trip around the coast or an exploration of some of the world’s most ancient history and
heritage. And they also accommodate those times when a cold glass of good wine, a
fantastic meal and a breathtaking view are all you need to wind down at the end of a
lazy summer day. Our Adult Only Hotels are particularly popular for those seeking the
rare and elusive pleasures of complete peace and quiet, and our Exclusive Villas offer a
taste of sheer luxury with plenty of space to share it.
However, when you travel with us, it’s not just the location you gain, but also our
commitment to exceptional service every step of the way, from the moment you get in
touch to that gentle touchdown at the end of your stay – flights and overseas car hire
or transfers are always included. And if you’re a parent looking for a helping hand, our
crèches and children’s clubs allow you to enjoy quality family time together – and apart
– thanks to our experienced and highly qualified nannies.
The Simpson Travel team you speak to on the phone or over email have visited each and
every villa and hotel, and know them inside out. Along with our overseas representatives,
they offer you the care and attention that only local knowledge and presence provides.
It means we’re always on hand to offer advice when you need us or simply bid you a
warm welcome and leave you to your own devices, to relax, unwind and be the person
you’d really like to be for the rest of the year.
020 3797 2761
simpsontravel.com
5175
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MEET THE AUTHORS
Chris and Carolyn Caldicott
‘The road less travelled’ today symbolises an alternative
attitude rather than an alternative destination, and by
choosing to take the harder path we can continue to offer
a superior experience to all those who travel with us.
– Graham Simpson
Known as the ‘godparents of global vegetarian cuisine’, Chris and Carolyn Caldicott
travel the world together, creating recipe books that are part travelogue, part culinary
inspiration: visual feasts in the truest sense of the word.
For over 20 years, this globetrotting husband and wife team owned and ran the World
Food Café in London’s Covent Garden, serving delicious street food inspired by their
culinary adventures. This led to the World Food Café recipe books and subsequent
television appearances on The Food Channel, The Restaurant Show and America’s Test
Kitchen Live.
Carolyn now works as a full-time author, food stylist and cook. As well as writing on food
and travel for Elle, she’s the author of Vintage Tea Party, Rosehips on A Kitchen Table,
Bombay Lunchbox, Great British Cookery and Beside the Seaside. She has recently
been featured in OK! Magazine, Telegraph Magazine, Observer Food Monthly and The
Guardian. As well as travelling to some of the most remote parts of the world as Photographerin-Residence to the Royal Geographical Society, Chris is a freelance photographer and
writer. He specialises in food and travel for magazines and newspapers such as Vanity
Fair, House and Garden, Condé Nast Traveller, Tatler, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, The New
York Times and The Telegraph. 108
020 3797 2761 [email protected] simpsontravel.com

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