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The voice of modern vegetarian cooking
The Guardian

Easy Wins

Award-winning and bestselling cook Anna Jones gives her golden rules for easy wins in the kitchen with super-simple recipes that are bursting with flavour and kind to the planet.

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ONE Lemon incidental ISSYCROKER

Easy Wins book tour

Welcome Easy Wins into your kitchen with me at one of these exciting events on my book tour (and a few more special events still to be announced).

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Garden toasts 01 1
  • Feast
  • Celebration
  • Barbecue
  • Nut Free

English Garden toasts

These little toasts are a riot of colour and represent all that is great about English gardens in spring. The first radishes, roasted until they sweeten, the sweet peas, and some allium or chive flowers, if you can get them, add some prettiness as well as a punch of flavour. These go particularly well with a glass of ice-cold rosé outside on a warm day. I use the dip-dyed pink and white breakfast radishes here, but the regular round ones would work really well too. We eat this for a late evening dinner but I’d proudly serve this as a quick starter too. They are also great at a picnic or a party; just double or triple the recipe for a crowd.

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Cauli
  • In Season
  • One-tray
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free

Sticky sesame-baked cauliflower

I wanted to share a recipe from the book in celebration. Sticky sesame baked cauliflower, it's crispy, sticky and hits the venn diagram cross-section of sweet, salty and sour. I eat it with crisp leaves and lime spiked rice.

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AJ1 Pot Beet Orzo 054
  • In Season
  • Pasta
  • One-pot

One-pot orzo with beetroot, thyme and orange

This orzo cooks all in one pan to a satisfying deep purple with the spoonable feeling of a risotto. You can use any colour of beetroot you like here; I love the deep magenta of the red ones but yellow and pink work well too. I make this orzo with different vegetables as the seasons change.

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Whole Roasted 01
  • In Season
  • Feast
  • Celebration
  • Nut Free

Whole roasted squash

Roast squash is something that I have returned to after a few years of avoiding it. Along with the other vegetarian stalwarts of mushroom risotto and stuffed peppers, there was a time when roast squash was the offering of choice and it got a bit boring. This recipe has me welcoming roast squash back with open arms, thanks to two things: firstly its very British flavours – there’s not a pomegranate in sight; and secondly how it’s cooked. I roast the squash until it’s completely cooked before stuffing it, making sure that it is crisp inside and out and the filling is well seasoned and light. This is a wonderful way to use some of the more unusual varieties of squash. I use onion and kabocha squash here, filled with plump grains and sweet roast fennel, some good sharp Cheddar, and topped with toasted buttery oats. A butternut would work too, though you won’t get quite as much of a hollow for stuffing. If you are using a butternut, cut it in half lengthways before roasting to make it easier to fill. Most squashes will roast in roughly the same time, with the exception of the thick-walled pumpkins; I’d avoid those.

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California Bowl 26
  • Salads
  • Barbecue
  • Nut Free

Lunch with Stanley Tucci: Californian barley bowl

A few months back, I was lucky enough to have lunch with the frankly amazing Stanley Tucci. You will know him as an incredible actor and director but as I learnt over lunch and some very early and very delicious wine (it was 11.30am) he is the most passionate cook and all out food lover. Family and food run through his blood, so inevitably that's what we ended up talking about. I tried to play it all cool having a Hollywood big hitter for lunch, not sure I quite managed it. I'll let you be the judges. The lunch we prepared and ate together sits at the crossroads of fresh and hearty. It’s the kind of food I remember eating when I was growing up in San Francisco. Light, bright and goodness-packed. This dish is a teaming up of all the things that remind me of California: unusual grains, bright citrus, avocado, nuts and seeds, and sprouted seeds and beans. You can use any grain here – I like pearl barley for its chewy, pillowy heartiness, but quinoa, millet or even brown rice would work a treat. If you are vegan, leave out the feta and use coconut yoghurt. I have used basil, as I usually have a plant sitting on the windowsill, but any soft herb would be good. This barley salad bowl is just as good the next day and travels particularly well, so I often make it for plane journeys or make extra for lunch the next day.

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