i Editor's Letter: Hallmark Day

Harissa-crumbed fish with tabouleh and tahini sauce

Ingredients to serve 4

Book Of A Lifetime: A Perfect Spy, By John le Carré

When writing a recent novel, I spent time thinking about the concept of identity; the idea that people can fool not just their close associates, but even themselves, and literally become the person they believe they are. It became increasingly clear to me that nobody ever really knows another person. And my mind kept returning to John le Carré's 'A Perfect Spy', where the world of spies and double-spies becomes a metaphor for the treachery of the human heart, where identity can become lost and confused in a web of hidden corridors.

Smoked salmon tartare with avocado

Smoked salmon tartare with avocado

Serves 10 as canapés

Lara's crab rostis

Serves 4

Crab and samphire

Serves 4

Mozzarella grilled between lemon leaves

Serves 4

Melanie McDonagh: Dishwashers – can't live with them, can't live without them

A strange love affair in the kitchen

Fig and vanilla jam

Makes approximately 1 litre (1¾ pints)

Asparagus with lemon mayonnaise

Serves 4

Linguine with lemon and sage

Serves 4

Preserved-lemon dressing

We make this dressing from time to time at work – everyone in the kitchen loves it and when we have menu meetings, it is bound to be brought up as a suggestion by one of the cooks. It is good over a simple green salad and ripe tomatoes, or served alongside chicken or fish (pictured right).

Preserved lemons

These lemons are so easy to prepare and will last unrefridgerated for up to a year. Once they are well rinsed, they can be used in slow-cooked dishes, salads and all sorts of dressings.

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