Next Monday, August 15, coincides with Av 15 and its festival, Tu B'Av. It is an unusual celebration with an interesting history. In Temple times, unmarried girls of Jerusalem would put on white dresses and dance in vineyards. The city's single men watched them with a view to selecting a wife.
The holiday has more recently become akin to a Jewish Valentine's Day.
I adore frozen yoghurt and it is a little less rich than ordinary ice cream. Lychee is one of my favourite flavours and is very refreshing. The second recipe makes the most of summer's gorgeous summer berries and cherries. Out of season, frozen berries work well.
This quick-to-prepare, fruity salad is always a hit, and stretches a few chicken breasts a long way. Poaching the chicken gently keeps it tender; and dressing it while warm keeps it moist and packed with zingy flavour. You can also make it with leftover cooked chicken. It looks pretty piled on salad leaves. Serve with crusty bread to mop up.
White fish and tahini are combined regularly in Middle-Eastern cookery. I use blood orange when in season, as it is so beautiful, but it can be substituted for standard oranges. The pomegranate seeds replace the burst of colour from the blood orange.
This tasty recipe was given to me by my aunt Isabella, who inherited it from her delightful Sicilian mother, Nonna Costanza.
It is an easy ice-cream recipe that does not need an ice-cream maker. The end result is what in Italy we call a semifreddo - literally semi-cold. A semifreddo is made with beaten egg yolks, sugar, whipped cream and various flavourings, in this case Marsala wine.
This salad has got so much going for it. It is fresh, colourful – in an orange sort of way - and really, really good for you. The cinnamon, cumin and orange flower water dressing makes it sexy enough to serve to guests, and it is also totally more-ish.
Blackened cod has become most famous as the signature dish of upmarket sushi restaurant Nobu. It is incredibly easy to make at home. The black cod itself can be bought from Japanese supermarkets (such as Atariya, www.atariya.co.uk), but if you cannot source it, you could use very thick cod fillets or even sea bass.