Chef to the stars and wholefood champion on flax oil and fennel dressing
My kitchen is … a dining room, living room and kitchen all in one. I have a long island in the middle, with a stove in the middle of it, facing out into the room. I have a wall of cupboards and drawers and a large south-facing window, so there’s natural light. It’s quite modern with rustic touches, such as my farmhouse sink and classic taps.
My favourite kitchen tool is … my Japanese vegetable knife: I really can’t do without it. And my Vitamix, which I use for making soups, dressings and almond milk.
My storecupboard staple is … raw almonds, which I turn into milk, butter, cheese or for toasting.
When I’m starving I … have a rice cake with whatever I have to hand – kraut, cheese or just a drizzle of flax oil.
My culinary inspiration is … nature. That vibrant freshness you get from freshly picked veg makes me want to go straight into the kitchen.
My best-kept kitchen secret is … soaking whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. It sparks the sprouting process which neutralises phytic acid, making these ingredients more digestible and more nutritious. Paul Pitchford’s 2002 book, Healing with Whole Foods taught me this – it’s my go-to bible for remedies and health information.
My current obsession is … a fennel dressing I’ve just posted on my blog. I’m teaching it, making it for my clients, eating it myself on steamed veg, on avocado, on kale … You just blend fennel, lime and dill with a few cashews and a drizzle of flax oil.
Everything tastes better with … flax oil. I love the rich nutty flavour, especially on a plate of greens or on a salad combined with a little tamari, sea salt or lemon.
When I go shopping I … make a list which I then ignore and instead buy whatever looks good! Often at the end, I’ll check the list and realise I managed to buy most of what I needed.
For dinner tonight … I have a bunch of vegetables that need using including tatsoi, which is a really interesting Asian green: it has a long stem with a little round leaf at the end – really pretty. I also have some squash, so I’ll probably make a soup with that and some Japanese sweet potatoes, and stir the greens into it.
At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin (Jacqui Small) is published on 18 June; amychaplin.com