My favourite journeys to the Middle East are made through flavour and aroma which choice precludes the frustrations, expense and inconvenience of travel. Jean des Esseintes, the hero of J.K.Huysmans’ novel “A rebours“, had a similar disenchantment with the mechanics of travelling. There is a moment in this 19th century book when des Esseintes decides to visit London, a city that he has only previously visited through the pages of literature. Great care is taken choosing and packing suitable clothing for his stay in the English capital, whilst his staff prepare the house for his absence with infinite care, even to the covering of furniture, mirrors and paintings with crisp white dust cloths. He leaves for London and, whilst waiting for his train in Paris, dines at an English restaurant where he is delighted to find that the food and the clientèle closely resemble his Dickensian notions, upon which realisation he speedily returns home sure in the knowledge that only disillusionment would await him if he continued his journey. Being of the same persuasion, with regard to unnecessary travel, I am forever grateful to those inquisitive and dedicated writers and researchers who revel in this hardship, in order to bring back the recipes and ingredients of inconveniently distant places and peoples, and I urge them to even greater efforts. Without these selfless people I would not be totally absorbed in the wonders contained in “Casa Moro” by Sam & Sam Clark, co owners of the restaurant “Moro” in London’s Exmouth Market. I could and should enthuse over this establishment with all the superlatives that it deserves, but this has been done ad infinitum by folk with more credibility and clout than I. Suffice it to say that on entering the restaurant you are welcomed as a client to be cared for, fed and watered, rather than being questioned as to whether you have a right to be there, and if you do have that right then you should be aware how very lucky you are. Soon after opening the book I made this wonderful salad. I have to admit that I changed it to suit the ingredients that were available in our kitchen, replacing pumpkin with aubergine and treating it in the same way.