Pear tart with thyme, gorgonzola and walnuts.

Karen Martini's pear tart with thyme, gorgonzola and walnuts (recipe here).

Karen Martini's braised lamb stew with barley and vegetables.

Braised lamb stew with barley and vegetables / Karen Martini winter warmer

Slow-baked lamb shoulder with garam masala.

Karen Martini's slow-baked lamb shoulder with garam masala. This method of cooking lamb is divine, producing full-flavoured, unctuous meat that takes on the fragrant spices.


Learn the secrets to a perfect seafood and chorizo paella as Karen Martini cooks up a Spanish feast.

Basbousa with pistachio and almond.

Basbousa is a classic semolina cake, cooked throughout the Middle East and around the Mediterranean. My meme made it when I was growing up, using honey and rosewater, but she never worked from a recipe, all by feel. This is my version.

Apple and cherry pies.

These flaky little pies are delicious straight from the oven with a dollop of creme fraiche, or warm with hot custard. You will need to prepare a quantity of rough puff pastry.

vanilla and figleaf panacotta

Vanilla and fig-leaf panna cotta with scorched lemon syrup

Versatile harissa is a simple way of adding heat.

Harissa, basically a chilli paste with ground spices, is an essential condiment in my father's birthplace of Tunisia and across north Africa.

Garam masala.

The roasted spices will perfume the house while you're making this, from the woody and rich notes of cinnamon and mace to the distinctive citrus floral top notes .