Recipes: Timeless twists

TWD Paris plate, gelato pot and spoon, espresso cup and stirrer, si time 30, si wine glass, cutlery from Seletti. Photo / Babiche Martens.

With this issue looking at new trends for the autumn fashion season, I thought it was a good opportunity to explore some in the kitchen.

Taking a timeless dish or ingredient and giving it a tweak is the key to ensuring your meals are always modern and interesting. It's a little like fashion, really. Some items are staples in your wardrobe - such as the white shirt, as Michal McKay writes on page 20 - pieces that you always go to. It's just how you put it all together that makes it feel new.

This week I've taken an all-time favourite, beef, and made carpaccio. The key here is to treat the meat with care when you flatten and roll it. Take your time to ensure there are no holes, and remember the thinner the beef, the more delicate the flavour.

The saltiness of the feta, a little lemon zest, and soft herbs and greens sprinkled on top combine beautifully with the carpaccio which, dressed with dijon mustard and olive oil, looks impressive served on a large plate.

One of my New Year's resolutions was to start making cheese. I have yet to do this properly. Making labneh, however, is easy; there are no complicated instructions or fancy gear. A sieve and fine muslin cloth is all you need, and you can buy muslin in most art-supply shops.

Make your labneh a day or two in advance to get the best result and to allow plenty of time for the whey to drain from the yoghurt. Don't discard the whey, you can use it in baking or smoothies - it is full of nutrients.

Labneh is great served as a dip; drizzled with quality olive oil and served with olives and pita bread. It is also a great start to a thick, flavoursome tzatziki.

Here, I am using it to add a creamy texture to a tasty salad.

Semifreddo is another favourite. My individual take on it is to add yoghurt, which gives a delightful, unexpected tang (and you can then kid yourself that it's a little more healthy).

Semifreddo doesn't need churning so is ideal as an alternative if you don't have an icecream machine.

Mixing in the berries gives it a vibrant colour. It's a great dessert for this time of the year when berries are still abundant, but you can use frozen ones if necessary. This is a delicious favourite that will never go out of fashion.


• Labneh and black bean salad

• Berry semifreddo

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