Recipes from The Modern Cook’s Year, the new book by Anna Jones

Cuisine - - CONTENTS -


In this salad I use every colour of beet­root I can get my hands on: the deep pinky-pur­ple beet­roots of my child­hood, next to the can­dy­cane striped Chiog­gia beets and the paint-pot yel­low ones. It makes for the most beau­ti­ful plate of food.I use or­ange blos­som wa­ter here, which I think works par­tic­u­larly well with the earthy flavour of beet­root; how­ever, its del­i­cate fra­grant flavour can split opin­ion, so if you are not a fan just stick to the or­ange zest. 800g raw beet­root (see note above) a small bunch of co­rian­der, leaves picked

and roughly chopped 125g goat’s curd 50g wal­nuts, toasted and lightly chopped FOR THE DRESS­ING juice of 1 or­ange 2 tea­spoons or­ange blos­som wa­ter or rose­wa­ter 2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 1 tea­spoon runny honey Scrub or peel the beet­root; if the skin is thin and ten­der, as it should be at this time of year, a good scrub should do. Use a man­do­line or your very good knife skills to slice the beet­root into 1cm-thick rounds and place them in a bowl.

Make the dress­ing by com­bin­ing all the in­gre­di­ents and sea­son­ing with salt and pep­per to taste. Pour half the dress­ing over the raw beet­root and leave to rest for 15 min­utes so the flavours can meld and min­gle.

Toss the beet­roots with the co­rian­der, then ar­range in a bowl or on a plat­ter and top with the rest of the dress­ing. Dot the goat’s curd over the top and scat­ter over the wal­nuts.


There is some­thing so good about charred, soft flat­breads with some cool­ing yo­ghurt and warm­ing spice. Some years ago on a trip to Granada in Spain I re­mem­ber dis­cov­er­ing their amaz­ing shawarma stands. There is such a strong North African in­flu­ence there, and the bar­be­cue smoke and heady spices filled the streets.

We sat out­side and ate from our laps as we drank rosé mixed with le­mon­ade, and ice-cold beers. For years since I have been try­ing to per­fect a veg­etable shawarma that didn’t feel sec­ond best, and I think I’ve man­aged it.

I use spring car­rots, lit­tle new pota­toes and as­para­gus, which are spiced with cumin and co­rian­der and charred and roasted in the oven, though on a hot day they could be blanched and then charred on a grid­dle or bar­be­cue. They sit on top of warm flat­breads with a very good pis­ta­chio yo­ghurt spiked with co­rian­der and sweet­ened with a drop of maple syrup. Ve­g­ans can use co­conut yo­ghurt here to keep it free of dairy.

This dish is one I love in late spring and sum­mer, but you can change the veg­eta­bles as they come into and out of sea­son. Other favourite com­bi­na­tions are red pep­pers and aubergine; broc­coli and run­ner beans; beet­root and cau­li­flower. Just be clever when you chop the veg – cut the veg that will cook slowly quite small and the quicker-cook­ing veg a bit big­ger. 1 ta­ble­spoon cumin seeds 1 ta­ble­spoon co­rian­der seeds 400g bunch of baby car­rots, scrubbed well olive oil 250g new pota­toes ½ a cu­cum­ber 1 lemon 200g as­para­gus, woody ends snapped off 4 flat­breads or round pit­tas FOR THE HERBED PIS­TA­CHIO YO­GHURT 100g Greek yo­ghurt 1 tea­spoon maple syrup a few sprigs of co­rian­der, roughly

chopped (stalks and all) the zest of 1 un­waxed lemon 50g shelled pis­ta­chios, roughly chopped Pre­heat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan.

Bash the cumin and co­rian­der seeds in a pes­tle and mor­tar un­til roughly ground. Toss the car­rots with a good driz­zle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pep­per and half the cumin and co­rian­der seeds.

Trans­fer to a large roast­ing tray, cover with foil and roast in the cen­tre of the oven for 10 min­utes.

Mean­while, make the yo­ghurt by mix­ing all the in­gre­di­ents to­gether with a pinch of salt. Af­ter the car­rots have had their time, push them to one side of the roast­ing tray, quar­ter or halve the pota­toes and add to the other side.

Driz­zle over a bit more oil, and the other half of the cumin and co­rian­der. Toss to mix the pota­toes with the spices, put the foil back on and re­turn the tray to the oven for 20 min­utes.

While the pota­toes are roast­ing, thinly slice the cu­cum­ber (I like to scoop the seeds out of the mid­dle first), mix it with the juice from half the lemon, a good pinch of salt and pep­per and a splash of olive oil, then put to one side.

Once the pota­toes have had their 20 min­utes, re­move the tray from the oven, take off the foil and scat­ter over the as­para­gus. Squeeze over the re­main­ing juice of the lemon, driz­zle with a lit­tle oil and put back into the oven for 10 min­utes un­til the as­para­gus are begin­ning to brown.

Toast or warm the flat­breads. When you’re ready to eat, take the tray out of the oven and roughly crush the car­rots with the back of a fork.

Spread some of the pis­ta­chio yo­ghurt over half of each flat­bread and add the roasted car­rots, then the pota­toes and as­para­gus. Add a gen­er­ous pinch of the cu­cum­ber and fold the warm flat­breads over to en­velop ev­ery­thing. Eat straight away.


SERVES 6 I love el­der­flow­ers. When the floaty lit­tle blooms show up all over the parks near where I live, I know that the first days of sum­mer are here. Th­ese toasts have a lot go­ing on: the sweet but slightly sharp el­der­flower con­trasts with del­i­cate leaves (I use a mix­ture of rocket and pea shoots), milky bur­rata and the smok­i­ness of the charred sour­dough. You can make the salad and dress­ing ahead of time and keep them in the fridge, but make sure you grid­dle the toast at the last minute. a good loaf of sour­dough bread FOR THE SALAD 300g pod­ded broad beans 400g del­i­cate salad leaves a driz­zle of good ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 1 un­waxed lemon 300g bur­rata or good buf­falo mozzarella FOR THE DRESS­ING 3 ta­ble­spoons el­der­flower and rose cor­dial (see page 116)

or use a good-qual­ity bought ver­sion 1 ta­ble­spoon white wine vine­gar 4 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil TO FIN­ISH (OP­TIONAL) some fresh el­der­flow­ers* (see cor­dial recipe overleaf for in­for­ma­tion about sourc­ing el­der­flow­ers) First, blanch your broad beans in boil­ing wa­ter for 2-4 min­utes de­pend­ing on their size, then drain and leave to cool. Once cool, peel the bit­ter skins from each one un­less they are small and sweet, in which case you can leave them on.

Heat a grill pan on your hob’s high­est heat. Next, make your dress­ing by mix­ing all the in­gre­di­ents in a jug, sea­son well with salt and pep­per and leave to one side.

Care­fully pick through your salad leaves, wash and dry them well, then put them in a bowl with the broad beans.

Slice the sour­dough loaf into 1.5cm-thick slices and grid­dle them un­til they have nice char marks on both sides. Driz­zle all the toasts with olive oil, grate over the zest of the lemon and sea­son well with salt. Put the toasts on a big plat­ter or in­di­vid­ual plates and tear over the bur­rata or mozzarella. Dress the leaves and broad beans with the el­der­flower dress­ing and pile on top of each toast. Fin­ish with a scat­ter­ing of con­fetti-like el­der­flow­ers if you like.


SERVES 4-6 This galette is quick and easy to make, and but­tery and flaky to eat. The straw­ber­ries roast and melt to a pool of molten scar­let jam in the mid­dle, some still hold­ing their shape, but all of them re­leas­ing their juices to cre­ate a se­ri­ously good jammy cen­tre.

What I love most about this, though, is that it uses very lit­tle su­gar; the nat­u­ral sweet­ness of the straw­ber­ries shines through. I have given an ap­prox­i­mate weight for the su­gar I use to sweeten the straw­ber­ries, as the amount you need will de­pend on the straw­ber­ries as well as your own tastes (I usu­ally end up us­ing about 60g).

The sur­pris­ing el­e­ment is anise seed, a sweet fen­nel-like seed which I love. The seeds can be harder to come by than other spices, but if you like you could re­place them with fen­nel seeds or even just a grind of black pep­per (you won’t need as much as a ta­ble­spoon).

When you take the galette out of the oven it will look a lit­tle runny in the cen­tre, but it will set within min­utes as it cools. 750g straw­ber­ries 1 ta­ble­spoon anise seed (see in­tro) 50g-100g golden caster su­gar FOR THE FLAKY SPELT PAS­TRY 160g spelt flour, plus a lit­tle ex­tra for dust­ing a pinch of flaky sea salt 1 ta­ble­spoon golden caster su­gar 100g cold un­salted but­ter, cut into cubes a glass of iced wa­ter 1 or­ganic egg, beaten TO SERVE co­conut yo­ghurt, whipped with a lit­tle honey and vanilla, or thick Greek yo­ghurt, cream or ice cream For the pas­try, com­bine the flour, salt and su­gar in a bowl. Add the but­ter and use the back of a fork or a food pro­ces­sor to cut the but­ter into the flour un­til you have a rough scruffy mix­ture, still with some big­ger chunks of but­ter.

Add the ice-cold wa­ter bit by bit, un­til the pas­try comes to­gether – you will only need 4-5 ta­ble­spoons. Bring it to­gether into a ball with your hands, or pulse a few times in the food pro­ces­sor. Han­dle it as lit­tle as pos­si­ble, then wrap it in cling film and put it into the fridge to cool and rest for at least 45 min­utes or so.

Mean­while, hull the straw­ber­ries and cut them in half, or any larger ones into quar­ters. Put them into a bowl with the spice and half the su­gar and leave to sit.

Once the pas­try has rested, take it out of the fridge to soften a bit and pre­heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan.

Flour your work sur­face and, once the pas­try has warmed slightly, roll it out quite thinly into roughly a 30cm round, then lift it on to a bak­ing tray lined with bak­ing pa­per.

Pile the straw­ber­ries in the mid­dle of the pas­try, leav­ing about a 4cm bor­der of pas­try to fold over. There’s no need to be too pre­cise with the straw­ber­ries, as they will shrink and change as they cook.

Next fold the edges of the pas­try over the straw­ber­ries to hold them in. Brush the edge of the pas­try with the beaten egg, then sprin­kle the straw­ber­ries and pas­try edges with the re­main­ing su­gar.

Bake in the hot oven for 55 min­utes, un­til thew straw­ber­ries are soft and bub­bling and the pas­try is golden and crisp. Serve with my choice of some co­conut yo­ghurt stirred with a lit­tle honey and vanilla, or with ice cream, cream or thick Greek yo­ghurt.


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