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100g dried chickpeas

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda


2 small cucumbers (280g)
2 large tomatoes (300g)
1 small red onion, peeled
240g radishes
1 red pepper, seeds and pith removed
20g coriander leaves and stems, roughly chopped
15g flat-leaf parsley, picked and roughly chopped
120ml olive oil
Grated zest of 2 lemons, plus 50ml lemon juice
30ml sherry vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp sugar
Salt and black pepper
1 tsp ground cardamom
1½ tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cumin
Greek yoghurt (optional)

Soak the chickpeas overnight in a large bowl of cold water and the bicarb. Next
day, drain, place in a large pan and cover with twice the volume of water. Bring to
a boil and simmer for an hour, skimming off any foam, until tender, then drain.

Cut the cucumber, tomato, onion, radish and pepper into 1cm dice, and mix with
the coriander and parsley. In a jar or sealable container, put 75ml of olive oil with
the lemon juice and zest, vinegar, garlic and sugar, shake and season to taste.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss lightly.

Mix together the cardamom, allspice, cumin and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and
spread on a plate. Toss the cooked chickpeas in the spice mixture in batches, to
coat well. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and over medium heat lightly fry
the chickpeas for two to three minutes, gently shaking the pan so they cook
evenly and don't stick. Keep warm.

Divide the salad between four plates, arranging it in a large circle with a slight
indent in the middle, and spoon the warm chickpeas in the centre. Drizzle some
Greek yoghurt on top if you prefer the salad to be a bit more creamy.

Mixed bean salad (V)


If you can't get yellow beans, just double the amount of french – it won't be a
"mixed" bean salad, but it'll still be damned tasty. Serves four.
280g yellow beans
280g french beans, trimmed
2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into 0.5cm strips
2½ tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp extra
50g capers, rinsed and patted dry
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
10g roughly chopped tarragon
20g picked chervil (or a mixture of picked dill and shredded parsley)
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Salt and black pepper

Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Bring a large pan of water to a boil and
add the yellow beans. After two minutes, add the french beans and cook for four
minutes more. Refresh under cold water, drain, pat dry and place in a large bowl.
Toss the pepper strips in a teaspoon of oil, spread on an oven tray and roast for
five minutes, until tender. Remove and add to the beans.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the capers (be careful, as they'll spit) and
garlic, fry for 20 seconds, then add the seeds and fry for another 20 seconds. The
garlic should by now have turned golden. Remove from the heat and immediately
pour over the beans. Add the spring onion, herbs, lemon zest, a quarter-teaspoon
of salt and some black pepper, and toss to combine. This salad will keep well for a
day.

Seek out the sweetest tomatoes you can get for this dish, to balance the bitterness
of the lemon: baby or cherry yellow and red tomatoes are your best bet. Serves
four.

2 medium lemons, cut in half lengthways and cut into 2mm slices,
pips removed
3 tbsp olive oil
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp caster sugar
8 sage leaves, finely shredded
400g baby or cherry tomatoes (yellow or red ones, or a mixture
of both), cut in half
⅓ tsp ground allspice
10g picked parsley leaves
15g picked mint leaves
The seeds from one pomegranate (around 120g in total)
1½ tbsp pomegranate molasses
½ small red onion, peeled and finely sliced

Heat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2. Bring a small saucepan of water to a


boil, add the lemon slices, blanch for 90 seconds, then drain. Repeat twice more,
then drain a final time and dry. Put the lemon in a bowl and pour over a
tablespoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of salt, the sugar and sage. Gently mix, then
spread out on a parchment-lined baking tray. Roast for 20 minutes, until the
lemons have dried out a little. Remove and set aside to cool.

Put all the other ingredients in a bowl with the remaining oil, a quarter-teaspoon
of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Add the lemon slices, stir gently
and serve.

Broad bean and herb salad (V)


My favourite spring salad at the moment. It's fresh, and also full of deeper
interesting aromas from the dried mint, preserved lemon and pink peppercorns.
The goat's cheese can be left out, if you prefer. Serves four.

50g pearl barley


300g broad beans, fresh or frozen
1 head of baby gem lettuce, cut into 1.5cm slices
1 tbsp preserved lemon skin, finely chopped
15g mint leaves, roughly shredded
15g basil leaves, roughly shredded
1 tsp dried mint
1 tbsp lemon juice
About 60ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper
60g soft goat's cheese
¾ tsp pink peppercorns

Put the pearl barley in a small saucepan, cover with plenty of fresh water, bring to
a boil, then simmer for 30-35 minutes, until the barley is cooked but still has a
certain bite. Refresh in cold water, drain and set aside to dry.

Throw the broad beans into a pan of boiling water, simmer for two minutes, drain
and refresh under cold water. (If you wish, pop the beans out and discard the
skins.)

Put the beans in a mixing bowl, add the barley, lettuce, preserved lemon, herbs,
lemon juice and olive oil, stir gently and season to taste; add more olive oil if
needed. Transfer the salad to serving bowls and crumble the goat's cheese on top.
Crush the pink peppercorns with your fingers, sprinkle over the top and serve.

For the tahini sauce


60g tahini paste
1 mild green chilli, deseeded (or less, to taste)
40g parsley, leaves and stems
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove
60ml water
1 pinch each salt and sugar

Despite the hard labour involved, I urge you to make this refreshing summer
salad – I promise you, you'll never go back to buying it in a supermarket tub
again. Serves four, generously.

90g fine bulgar wheat

4 medium tomatoes, ripe but still firm (600g)

2 medium shallots (60g)

4 large bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley (160g)

2 bunches fresh mint (30g)

1 tsp ground allspice

3-4 tbsp lemon juice

120ml top-quality olive oil

Salt and black pepper

Put the bulgar in a fine sieve and put under the cold tap until the water runs clear
and most of the starch has been removed. Transfer to a bowl.

Cut the tomatoes into 0.5cm dice (a small serrated knife is the best tool for this
job) and add to the bowl, along with any juices. Chop the shallots as fine as you
can and add to the bowl.

Take a few stalks of parsley and pack them together tightly. Use a large, very
sharp knife to trim off the end of the stalks, then chop the remaining stems and
leaves as finely as possible and no wider than 1mm. (If you can't achieve that first
go, go over the chopped parsley again, this time with the heel of the blade.)
Add the parsley to the bowl.

Pick the mint leaves, pack a few together tightly, chop as finely as the parsley and
add to the bowl. Finally stir in the allspice, lemon juice to taste, olive oil, salt and
pepper. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve at room temperature.

Soak Overnight
Prep 25 min
Cook 1 hr 15 min
Serves 6

400g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in lots of cold water and 1 tsp
bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 medium-heat dried red chillies
1 cinnamon stick
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted and finely crushed in a mortar
1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and finely crushed in a mortar
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp rose (or ordinary) harissa, plus extra to serve, if desired
90ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper
3 lemons, 1 juiced, to get 2 tbsp, the rest cut into wedges, to serve
4 tbsp coriander leaves, roughly chopped, plus extra chopped leaves to
garnish
4 tbsp parsley leaves, roughly chopped
6 eggs
300g stale baguette (or other crusty bread), torn into roughly 1cm pieces
3 tbsp capers, drained
60g crisp onions, store-bought or homemade

Drain the chickpeas, then put them in large saucepan for which you have a lid.
Add the bicarb, chillies, cinnamon and 2.2 litres of water, then bring to a boil on a
medium-high heat, skimming off any froth as it does so. Cover the pan, then
simmer the chickpeas on medium-low for 35-45 minutes, or until they are
completely soft (depending on the age of the dried chickpeas, they might take
longer).

Remove the lid, turn the heat to medium-high, then add the garlic, cumin and
coriander seeds, tomato paste, harissa, three tablespoons of oil, two and a quarter
teaspoons of salt and a generous grind of pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, then
stir through the lemon juice and herbs, and keep warm until ready to serve.

Poach the eggs until done to your liking. Meanwhile, divide the bread between six
shallow bowls and ladle the soup over the top. Sprinkle with the capers and some
chopped coriander, then top each portion with a poached egg. Scatter over the
crisp onions, the remaining three tablespoons of oil and a little more harissa, if
you want, and serve with the lemon wedges alongside.

200g curly kale, tough stems discarded (150g net weight)


½ onion, finely sliced (ideally on a mandoline)
4 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
30g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp caraway seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
1½ tsp coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
⅓ tsp chilli flakes
50g gram flour (chickpea flour)
2 limes, zest finely grated, to get 2 tsp, ½ lime juiced, to get 2 tsp juice, and the
rest cut into wedges, to serve
Salt
About 500ml sunflower oil, for frying

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Bring a medium saucepan of


salted water to a boil, then cook the kale for five minutes, until soft. Drain and,
once cool enough to handle, squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Roughly
chop the kale, then put it in a large bowl and mix with the next nine ingredients,
the lime zest and juice, and half a teaspoon of salt. Test the mixture’s consistency
by squeezing it with your hands – it should hold together, so if it’s a bit on the wet
side, add a touch more gram flour. Form into 12 balls weighing about 30g each.

Put a medium saucepan on a medium-high heat and add enough oil to come 4cm
up the sides. Test the oil’s temperature by dropping in a small piece of bread – it
should start to brown after about 20 seconds. Carefully lower five bhajis into the
oil and fry for three to four minutes, turning once halfway, until browned and
crisp. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a baking tray and repeat with the
remaining mix. Once all the bhajis are fried, bake for five minutes, until just
cooked through, sprinkle with salt and serve warm with the lime wedges.

Crispy couscous with pumpkin, tomatoes and


cinnamon (pictured above)
The crisp, caramelised layer at the bottom of the pan makes this couscous
particularly appealing. The trick to achieving this layer – known
as tahdig or socarrat, depending on where you are in the world – is to let the
couscous cook undisturbed, resisting the temptation to stir. Serve with a bowl of
dairy-free yoghurt.

Prep 25 min
Cook 1 hr 20 min
Serves 4

½ crown prince pumpkin or butternut squash (750g), skin on, cut into
2cm wedges and halved widthways
3 tsp ground cinnamon
8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
105ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper
2 large onions, peeled, 1 cut into 1cm-thick rounds, the other finely chopped
2½ tsp caster sugar
4 star anise
⅓ tsp chilli flakes
750g plum tomatoes (around 6-7), coarsely grated and skins discarded (600g
net weight)
1 tbsp tomato paste
250g giant couscous
250g baby spinach
15g coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 240C (230C fan)/465F/gas 9. Toss the pumpkin with a teaspoon
of cinnamon, a quarter of the garlic, two tablespoons of oil, three-quarters of a
teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Spread out on an oven tray lined
with baking paper, then roast for 30 minutes, until cooked through and nicely
browned.

Put the onion rounds on a second lined tray (keep them intact) and drizzle with a
teaspoon and a half of oil. Sprinkle with half a teaspoon of sugar and a small
pinch of salt and pepper, then roast for 18 minutes, carefully flipping over the
rounds halfway, until softened and deeply charred. Keep warm while you get on
with everything else.

While the vegetables are roasting, make the sauce. On a medium-high flame, heat
three tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan with a lid, then fry the chopped onion
and star anise, stirring occasionally, for eight minutes, or until softened and
browned. Add the rest of the garlic and the remaining two teaspoons of ground
cinnamon, and cook for 30 seconds longer, or until fragrant. Add the chilli,
tomatoes, tomato paste, the remaining two teaspoons of sugar, a teaspoon and a
half of salt and a good grind of black pepper, and cook for eight minutes, stirring
often, until thickened.

Pour in 500ml water, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium and
simmer for 30 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and rich. Measure out 400ml of
the sauce (leave the star anise in the pan), pour this into a small saucepan and
keep warm. Meanwhile, tip the couscous into the remaining sauce and stir to
combine. Add 375ml water and quarter of a teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil
on a medium-high heat. Cover with a lid, turn down the heat to medium and
leave to cook undisturbed for 30 minutes, or until all the liquid has been
absorbed and the base and edges of the couscous have crisped up.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high flame. Add the
spinach, an eighth of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper, and
cook until barely wilted, about two minutes. Stir in the coriander and set aside.

To serve, spoon the couscous on to a serving plate and top with the reserved
sauce, pumpkin and spinach, layering it all up as you go, then add the onion
rounds. Drizzle over the last teaspoon and a half of oil, and serve warm.

I guarantee you won’t miss the dairy and eggs commonly used in doughnuts.
Instead, these are made with olive oil, which makes them rich and velvety. You
can use other types of alcohol and fruity juices in the glaze, if you like, but please
don’t leave out the sprinkling of salt at the end – it makes these doughnuts so
much more special.

Prep 10 min
Prove 1 hr 50 min
Cook 40 min
Makes 8

130ml lukewarm water


1 tsp fast-action dried yeast
1 tbsp caster sugar
¼ tsp salt
215g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp grated tangerine zest
½ tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1 litre sunflower oil, for frying

For the glaze


150g icing sugar
2½ tbsp Grand Marnier
2 tangerines – zest finely grated, to get 1½ tsp, then juiced, to get 2 tbsp
½ tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
Flaked sea salt, to serve

Put the first eight ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook in
place. Knead on a medium-high speed for seven minutes, or until the dough
comes away from the sides of the bowl (it will be quite sticky), then transfer to a
lightly greased bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place
for about an hour and a half, until soft, pillowy and doubled in size.

Meanwhile, whisk all the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl, until well
combined and smooth.

Lightly flour your hands and a clean work surface, then tip out the dough on to it.
Punch down to release the air, then use a sharp knife to cut the dough into eight
equal pieces (about 45g each). Clean and dry the work surface, then grease with a
little olive oil. With lightly greased hands, shape each piece of dough into a
smooth, round ball. Transfer to a tray lined with greaseproof paper, spacing them
well apart, then leave to prove again, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until the
dough springs back slowly when touched.

Heat the sunflower oil in a medium saucepan on a medium flame until it reaches
180C. Line a tray with plenty of kitchen paper. Once the oil is hot, use your hands
very lightly to flatten each round of dough so it’s got two sides but without
squeezing out much of the air. In batches of three, carefully lower the doughnuts
into the hot oil and fry for two to two and a half minutes on each side, until
golden brown and cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked
doughnuts to the lined tray and repeat with the remaining balls of dough.

Once you’ve fried all the doughnuts, drop them individually into the bowl of
glaze, turning them a few times with a spoon until coated on all sides. Transfer to
a wire rack to dry for five minutes, then coat again with a second layer of glaze.
Sprinkle with some salt and leave the glaze to set for another 15 minutes. Serve
warm or at room temperature.

Braised chickpeas with carrots, dates and feta


(pictured above)
Serve with rice or flatbreads for a vegetarian main course; leave out the feta for a
vegan version. Soaking the chickpeas is necessary to achieve the right degree of
cooking, so don’t be tempted to skip this stage.
Prep 30 min
Soak Overnight
Cook 2 hr 25 min
Serves 4-6

300g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in plenty of cold water and 1 tsp
bicarbonate of soda
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large green chilli, roughly chopped, seeds and all
15g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
75ml olive oil
1½ tsp ground cumin
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 carrots, peeled and each cut at an angle into 2 or 3 large chunks (450g)
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Salt and black pepper
1-2 lemons, zest finely grated, to get 1½ tsp, and juiced, to get 2 tbsp
120g feta, roughly crumbled
1 tsp caraway seeds, toasted and roughly crushed
1-2 tbsp parsley leaves, roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Drain the soaked chickpeas and
set aside.

Put the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli in a food processor, and pulse a few times
until very finely chopped but not pureed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as
you go. Add the coriander, and pulse a couple of times more, just to mix through.

On a medium-high flame, heat two tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy-based cast-


iron pot with a lid. Add the onion mixture and cook for about four minutes,
stirring occasionally, then stir in the cumin, cinnamon, dates and tomato paste,
and cook for a minute more, or until fragrant. Add the drained chickpeas, carrots,
bay leaves, bicarbonate of soda, 1.2 litres water and a good grind of black pepper,
and bring to a boil, skimming off any froth that comes to the surface. Cover and
bake for two hours, or until the chickpeas are very soft and the sauce has turned
thick and rich. Stir in the lemon juice and two teaspoons of salt, then leave to cool
for about 10 minutes.
While the chickpeas are cooking, put the feta in a small bowl with the caraway,
lemon zest, parsley and remaining three tablespoons of olive oil, and leave to
marinade.

To serve, spoon the feta mixture over the chickpeas and serve directly from the
cooking pot.

Cauliflower with poppy seeds, coconut cream and


chilli (pictured above)
The dish came about after reading about aloo posto, a Bengali dish of potatoes
cooked in a white poppy seed paste. This is, admittedly, very different – I use
regular, black poppy here, which is more readily available – but I love the idea of
mixing vegetables with poppy seeds and spices. To turn this into a main course
for two, serve with flatbreads and regular or dairy-free yoghurt.

Prep 20 min
Cook 25 min
Serves 4 as a side

40g poppy seeds, soaked in 2 tbsp boiling water for 30 minutes


60ml sunflower oil
¾ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp ground turmeric
¾ tsp paprika
¾ tsp cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt
1 large cauliflower, broken up into 4cm florets, along with any tender leaves
60g coconut cream
5g coriander, roughly chopped
15g flaked almonds, lightly toasted
2 limes – juice one to get 1 tbsp and cut the other into wedges to serve

Pour the soaked poppy seed mixture into a mortar and crush for a minute to
break up some of the seeds.

Pour the oil into a large saute pan for which you have a lid, and put on a medium-
high heat. Once hot, add the spices, garlic and three-quarters of a teaspoon of
salt, and fry for three to four minutes, stirring often, until the garlic starts to
brown and the spices are aromatic. Add the cauliflower and any leaves, and cook,
stirring continuously, for two minutes, until the cauliflower is coated in the
spices. Stir in the coconut cream and poppy seeds, turn down the heat to
medium, cover the pan and cook for four minutes, until the cauliflower is starting
to soften.

Take off the lid, increase the heat to medium-high and cook for seven to eight
minutes more, stirring a few times, until the liquid has evaporated and the
cauliflower is caramelised. Off the heat, stir in the coriander, almonds and lime
juice, and serve with the lime wedges.

Hawaij root vegetable stew with whipped


fenugreek
Hawaij is a Yemenite spice mix used in stews and soups. It is intense, warming
and perfect for winter. The whipped fenugreek is an unusual condiment, with a
texture not too dissimilar to okra’s. I love it, but if it isn’t your thing (or to save
effort), blitz the other paste ingredients and omit the fenugreek. Feel free to play
around with the root veg; I used four, but it will work with fewer.

3 tbsp olive oil


1 onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 tsp tomato paste
6-7 plum tomatoes, peeled and coarsely grated (500g net weight)
30g coriander, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
1½ tsp caster sugar
½ head swede, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks (320g net weight)
2 parsnips (300g), peeled, halved widthways, then into 4 lengths
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut at an angle into 1½cm-thick slices (220g net weight)
2-3 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into roughly 3cm chunks (330g net
weight)
120g yoghurt, dairy-free or Greek, to serve

For the hawaij


1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted
1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted
½ tsp black peppercorns, toasted
2 cloves, toasted
Seeds from 8 cardamom pods
1 tsp ground turmeric

For the whipped fenugreek paste


2 tsp ground fenugreek
1 green chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 spring onion, roughly chopped
10g coriander, roughly chopped
1 lemon, juiced to get 1½ tbsp
Salt

First make the whipped fenugreek. Put the ground fenugreek and 250ml boiling
water in a small bowl and leaving to soak for at least two hours, or overnight.
Pour out and discard the liquid, leaving the spongy fenugreek in the bowl. Add a
tablespoon of water and use a small whisk to whip the fenugreek until it’s pale
and resembles mayonnaise – about 10 minutes by hand. Tip into a food
processor, add the chilli, spring onion, coriander, lemon juice, a quarter-teaspoon
of salt and three more tablespoons of water, and pulse until smooth, scraping
down the sides as you go.

Now make the hawaij spice. Grind the coriander and cumin seeds, peppercorns,
cloves and cardamom (in a spice grinder or mortar) until fine, then stir in the
turmeric.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan on a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook,
stirring occasionally, for about four minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic,
ginger, tomato paste and hawaij spice mix, and cook for 30 seconds more, or until
fragrant.

Add the tomatoes, two-thirds of the coriander and two tablespoons of water, and
cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have cooked
down. Add 650ml water, the sugar, root vegetables and one and three-quarter
teaspoons of salt, bring up to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and leave to
simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have
softened and the stew has thickened. Stir in half the whipped fenugreek, cook for
10 minutes more, then stir in the remaining coriander.

Divide the stew between four bowls, drizzle over the remaining fenugreek
mixture, scatter a little coriander on top. and serve with yoghurt.

Braised greens with dried lime, yoghurt and


saffron rice
The combination of dried lime and cooked herbs, typical to Iran and the Gulf, is
blissfully intoxicating. Served with yoghurt and rice, this is one of my favourite
vegetarian meals. Buy dried limes online and in Middle-Eastern shops.

1 dried black lime (AKA Iranian or Omani lime), pierced a few times with the
tip of a small, sharp knife
60ml olive oil
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
35g dill, roughly chopped
35g coriander, roughly chopped
35g parsley, roughly chopped
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
300g cavolo nero, woody stems discarded and leaves roughly shredded (180g
net weight)
Salt and black pepper
300g basmati rice, washed until the water runs clear, then soaked for at least 2
hours
60g unsalted butter
⅛ tsp crushed saffron threads, soaked in 3 tbsp hot water
300g Greek yoghurt
1 tsp dried mint

Put the lime in a small bowl with 150ml boiling water and top with a smaller plate
or saucer to keep it fully submerged. Leave it to sit for 20 minutes, to soften
slightly, then take out the lime, and put both it and its soaking water to one side.

Heat three tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan on a medium flame. Once hot,
add the onion and soaked lime and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and
lightly caramelised – about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cinnamon, cook for
two minutes more, then lift out the lime and put it aside. Add 30g of each of the
herbs and all the spring onions, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often, until
fragrant and deeply green.

Meanwhile, finely chop the lime and add it back to the pan while the herbs are
cooking. Stir in the cavolo nero, reserved lime soaking water, a teaspoon of salt
and a good grind of black pepper, and cook for 10 minutes on a medium-high
heat, until the liquid has been absorbed and the cavolo nero has softened. Off the
heat, stir in the remaining herbs and keep the vegetables warm.

While the greens are cooking, drain the rice, then tip into a medium saucepan for
which you have a lid. Pour over 580ml boiling water, a teaspoon and a quarter of
salt and half the butter. Put the pan on a medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then
turn the heat to low, cover tightly with foil and a lid, and leave to cook for 15
minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the rice to sit, still covered, for 10 minutes.
Remove the lid and foil, add the remaining butter and sprinkle with the saffron
water. Leave to sit for another 10 minutes or so, then transfer to a shallow serving
bowl. Don’t overmix the rice; you want white as well as yellow grains.
In a small bowl, stir together the yoghurt, mint and a quarter-teaspoon of salt.
Spread this over the base of a platter, creating a slight well in the centre, then
spoon the greens into the middle of the well. Drizzle with the remaining
tablespoon of olive oil and serve with the rice.

Roast butternut squash curry


This mildly spiced dish is easy to make, and really showcases the essence of
butternut squash, thanks to the fact that it is roasted separately from the sauce.
Seasonal pumpkins, sweet potato – or any root vegetable, really – can be used
instead of the butternut. The sauce can be made one or two days ahead: just add a
splash of water to reheat, because it tends to thicken as it sits.

1 medium butternut squash (1kg), cut in half lengthways, deseeded, then cut
into 1.5cm skin-on half-moons
3½ tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into ¼cm-thick rounds
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1½ tsp tomato paste
1 tbsp mild curry powder
½ tsp garam masala
1 small baking potato, peeled, halved and cut into 5mm-thick slices
1¾ tbsp soy sauce
½ tbsp maple syrup
100g baby spinach
1½ tbsp coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1 red chilli, thinly sliced (deseeded, if you prefer less heat)
2 tsp black sesame seeds
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/425F/gas 9. In a large bowl, combine the
squash with one and a half tablespoons of oil, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt
and a good grind of pepper. Transfer to two oven trays lined with baking paper
and roast for 30 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown, then set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan on a
medium-high flame, then fry the onion and carrot for about seven minutes, until
softened and lightly browned.
Add the garlic, ginger, tomato paste and spices, and cook for a minute more, until
fragrant.

Add the potato, soy sauce, maple syrup, 850ml water, half a teaspoon of salt and
a good grind of black pepper, and leave to simmer for 15 minutes, until the liquid
has reduced slightly and the vegetables have cooked through.

Tip into a blender (or use a stick blender) and blitz for about a minute, until
completely smooth, then pour back into the pan and put on a medium-high heat.
Add the spinach, cook for two minutes, until wilted, then gently stir in the roast
squash to coat, and cook for four minutes, to heat through.

Divide the curry between four plates, top with the coriander, chilli and sesame
seeds, and serve each portion with a wedge of lime.

Tofu and cauliflower ‘korma’


Serve this splendid vegan curry with rice or naan depending on personal
preference, and a dollop of dairy-free (or, for non-vegans, regular) yoghurt.

½ red onion, thinly sliced


2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and black pepper
40g cashew nuts
20g blanched almonds
120ml olive oil
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods, shells discarded, seeds roughly crushed in a mortar
2 tsp cumin seeds, roughly crushed in a mortar
2 tsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed in a mortar
¾ tsp ground turmeric
2 tomatoes, grated and skins discarded (180g net weight)
1 large cauliflower, cut into large florets (750g net weight)
15g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
250g extra-firm tofu, crumbled into medium chunks

Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/425F/gas 9. In a small bowl, mix the red
onion, a tablespoon of lemon juice and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt.
Put the cashews and almonds in a small saucepan on a medium-high heat, cover
with water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, simmer for 20
minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat one and a half tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan on a
medium-high flame, then fry the onion, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until soft
and well browned. Transfer to a blender, add the nuts and 200ml water, and
blend for two minutes, until very smooth.

Heat another tablespoon and a half of oil in the same pan on a medium-high
heat, then fry the garlic, ginger and chilli for a minute. Add the cinnamon,
cardamom, a teaspoon each of cumin and coriander seeds, and half a teaspoon of
turmeric, and cook, stirring, for a minute. Add the tomatoes, cook for four
minutes, until thickened, then add the onion and nut mixture, 500ml water, a
teaspoon and a half of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Bring to a simmer,
lower the heat to medium and leave to cook for 20 minutes, until reduced by a
third.

In a bowl, mix the cauliflower with the remaining quarter-teaspoon of turmeric,


three tablespoons of oil, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of
pepper. Spread out on an oven tray lined with baking paper, and roast for 18
minutes, until cooked through and coloured. Stir into the sauce, add two-thirds of
the coriander and the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice, and leave to simmer
for five minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil in a medium saute pan on
a high flame. Add the tofu, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black
pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp – about eight
minutes. Lower the heat to medium, add the remaining teaspoon each of cumin
and coriander seeds, and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir half of
this mixture into the cauliflower, and reserve the rest.

Transfer the korma to a shallow serving bowl, top with the pickled red onion,
followed by the remaining tofu and coriander, and serve.

Chickpea and rainbow chard soup (pictured


above)
If you can’t get hold of chard, use spinach or another leafy green instead. For
non-vegetarians, grated parmesan would go very nicely here, as would some
buttered bread to mop everything up.
Prep 20 min
Cook 65 min
Serves 4

360g drained tinned chickpeas (1½ tins) – reserve the remaining drained
chickpeas and their liquid for the other recipes
100ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped into ½cm cubes
3 sticks celery, roughly chopped into ½cm cubes
1 small potato, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
1 tbsp thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp tomato paste
¼ tsp smoked paprika
8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
900ml vegetable stock or water
600g rainbow (or swiss) chard, stems cut into 1cm chunks, leaves roughly
shredded
1 red chilli, finely sliced on an angle
10g picked flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 lemons – 1 zested, to get 1 tsp, and juiced, to get 1 tbsp, the other cut into
wedges, to serve

Heat the oven to 160C/325F/gas 3. Pat the chickpeas dry, then spread out 100g
of them on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Add two teaspoons of oil, a good
pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper, toss to coat, then roast for about an
hour, until golden and crisp.

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan on a medium-high flame, then


saute the onions, stirring often, until softened and lightly browned – about seven
minutes. Add the remaining 260g chickpeas, carrot, celery, potato, thyme,
tomato paste, smoked paprika and half the garlic, cook for two minutes. Add the
stock, a teaspoon and three-quarters of salt and a good grind of black pepper, and
bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium, cover the pan and leave to simmer
gently for about 25 minutes, until the vegetables are completely soft. Transfer to a
blender in batches and blend smooth, then keep warm until ready to serve.

Heat two tablespoons of oil in large saute pan on a medium heat. Add the chard
stems and cook for five minutes, until softened. Add half the chilli and the
remaining garlic, cook for two minutes, then stir in the chard leaves, a quarter-
teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, and cook for four minutes, until
wilted. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley, lemon zest and juice.
Divide the soup between four bowls, top with the chard, the crisp chickpeas and
the remaining chilli, drizzle with the remaining 30ml oil and serve hot with
lemon wedges.

Courgette, chickpea and herb pancakes


Serve these with a spoonful of yoghurt instead of the coriander cashew cream, if
you prefer, or even just drizzled with lime juice. Makes eight pancakes.

Prep 15 min
Cook 55 min
Serves 4

For the pancake mix


3 courgettes
Salt
150g chickpea flour (also called gram flour)
1 tbsp cornflour
20g coriander leaves
10g mint leaves
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
½ green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
120g drained tinned chickpeas (½ tin)
4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
80ml olive oil

For the coriander cashew cream


75g cashew nuts
40g coriander
60ml lime juice (from 3-4 limes)
40g coconut cream

Roughly grate the courgettes, then put them in a sieve set over a bowl with half a
teaspoon of salt, mixing to combine. Leave to sit for 20 minutes, then squeeze out
as much liquid from the courgettes as you can. Set aside the courgette flesh – you
should have roughly 370g.

Meanwhile, put the cashews in a small saucepan, add boiling water to cover and
simmer on a medium heat for 20 minutes. Drain, then put the nuts in a blender
with the coriander, lime juice, coconut cream, 50ml cold water and half a
teaspoon of salt, and whizz until completely smooth.

In a medium bowl, whisk the gram flour, cornflour and 200ml cold water until
smooth. Roughly chop half the coriander and mint, and stir into the mix with the
spices, ginger, chilli, chickpeas, courgettes, half the spring onions and a teaspoon
of salt.

Heat half a tablespoon of oil in a medium nonstick frying pan on a medium


flame. Once hot, ladle in about 110g of the pancake batter, using a spatula to
spread it out into a thin circle about 15cm in diameter. Fry for about two minutes,
until it’s golden brown underneath and bubbles are starting to form on the top,
then flip and cook for another two minutes on the other side, until golden and
cooked through. Slide the pancake on to a plate and repeat with the remaining oil
and batter, until you have eight pancakes, or enough for two per person.

Mix the remaining herbs and spring onion with the last teaspoon of olive oil. Top
each pancake with the herb mixture and serve with the coriander cashew cream.

Berbere lentils and tomatoes with ginger and


cardamom (pictured above)
Berbere is a spice mix used in many Eritrean and Ethiopian dishes. A typical
blend will contain cloves, fenugreek, cumin, coriander, allspice, nutmeg, chillies,
garlic and ginger. That’s quite an extensive list, so it’s easier to use a shop-bought
blend, which are widely available. Serve this as part of a spread with today’s other
dishes, or as a wintery side.

Prep 15 min
Cook 40 min
Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil


1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1½ tsp berbere spice mix
½ tsp ground turmeric
5 large plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
Salt
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
8 cardamom pods, seeds removed and roughly ground in a mortar
200g red split lentils, soaked in water for 10 minutes, then drained
10g fresh coriander (about 3½ tbsp), roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a large saute pan on a medium-high flame, then fry the onion for
eight to nine minutes, stirring frequently, until soft and caramelised. Add the
berbere spice mix and turmeric, stir for a minute, until aromatic, then add three
of the chopped tomatoes (about 300g), the tomato paste and a teaspoon and a
quarter of salt. Cook for three minutes, so the tomatoes start to break down, then
stir in the garlic, ginger, cumin and cardamom, and cook, stirring continuously
for two minutes.

Add the lentils, then pour in 500ml water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat
to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every once in a while, until the
lentils are nearly soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add the
remaining tomatoes and cook for five minutes more. Stir in the coriander just
before serving.

Roast berbere vegetables and chickpeas


This will serve four generously.

½ tsp ground turmeric


½ tsp paprika
¾ tsp berbere spice mix
¾ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 sweet potatoes (about 700g), unpeeled and cut into 2cm dice
240g cooked chickpeas (tinned are fine here), drained, rinsed and patted dry
1 cauliflower (about 700g), broken into 2-3cm florets
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
90ml olive oil
Salt
130g baby spinach
1 tbsp lemon juice

Heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7. Mix together all the spices in a bowl. Put the
sweet potatoes and chickpeas in one large bowl and the cauliflower in another.

Put two-thirds of the spice mix, half the garlic, three tablespoons of oil and half a
teaspoon of salt in the sweet potato and chickpea bowl, toss to coat, then spread
out on a 30cm x 40cm baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Put the rest of the spice mix and garlic, two tablespoons of oil and half a teaspoon
of salt in the cauliflower bowl, and toss to coat.

Roast the sweet potato and chickpeas for 10 minutes, then add the cauliflower to
the tray, stir and roast for 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are soft and
golden brown, and the chickpeas are crisp.

Mix the spinach with the remaining tablespoon of oil and an eighth of a teaspoon
of salt, and spread out on top of the vegetables. Return to the oven for a final 10
minutes, until the spinach is crisp, then leave to cool for about five minutes.
Drizzle over the lemon juice, gently mix together one more time, transfer to a
platter and serve.

Coconut, cucumber and lime salsa


This simple salsa adds freshness when served alongside rich, spicy dishes.
Coconut cream makes it vegan, but Greek-style or natural yoghurt will work just
as well.

Prep 6 min
Cook 5 min
Serves 4

1 medium cucumber, coarsely grated (300g net weight)


15g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
4cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
200g coconut cream
Juice of 1½ limes (about 30ml)
⅓ tsp salt

Put the cucumber in a clean tea towel and squeeze to get rid of as much water as
possible – you should be left with 180g drained cucumber. Put this in a large
bowl, stir in all the remaining ingredients, and refrigerate until ready to serve.