Yotam Ottolenghi has described One Pot, Pan, Planet as “a book where thought meets practical action meets deliciousness”. High praise indeed from the man who makes vegetable dishes sing.
One Pot, Pan, Planet, published by HarperCollins, is the latest book from Anna Jones, who has become something of a voice for modern vegetarian cooking. Her previous books, A Modern Way to Eat, A Modern Way to Cook, and The Modern Cook’s Year, have sold in 10 countries and been translated into five languages.
This latest book is a call to arms for people to embrace a plant-based diet, for the sake of the planet as much as anything. “Our food system has the single biggest impact on the climate,” she writes in the book’s introduction. It affects every inch of our planet and every creature on it. If we want to help slow, and one day (hopefully) begin to reverse, climate change, it is widely agreed that the most powerful thing we can do is eat fewer animals and more plants.”
Jones blazes a trail in showing people how to cook quickly, sustainably and stylishly without meat. In this latest book, she limits the pans and simplifies the ingredients for all-in-one dinners that keep things fast and easy. The recipes are grouped by what utensil they are cooked in.
Recipes are quick to prepare
The One Pot chapter has stews, soups and curries, like Persian noodle; the One Pan chapter has fritters, pancakes and crispy-edged veg such as golden rosti with ancho chilli chutney. The One Tray chapter has quick and easy all-in-one dinners and desserts, like baked dahl with tamarind-glazed sweet potato. Most of the recipes are very quick to prepare but a few are slightly more complicated – these are the dishes she loves to cook for friends.
Jones offers practical advice for how every small change in planning, shopping and reducing waste makes a difference to the planet. She includes recipes for using up veg and suggestions for using the foods that most often end up being thrown away.
The recipe here was inspired by a Syrian yoghurt-baked orzo dish Jones knew about from a friend. She couldn’t find a recipe so made it up. “I am sure it is a long way from the traditional recipe but it has all the things I want to eat with orzo,” she says. “I’m still in search of the Syrian version. Please do get in touch if you have a good recipe.”
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PRESERVED LEMON & HERB-BAKED ORZO
2 medium leeks, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of an unwaxed lemon
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, roughly ground in a pestle and mortar
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 green chilli, finely chopped
100g baby spinach, washed
350g orzo pasta
4 generous handfuls of mixed soft herbs (I like parsley, tarragon, mint and dill)
400 ml plain yoghurt of your choice
1 organic egg, beaten, or 30g ground flaxseed
½ large preserved lemon, flesh discarded and skin finely chopped
1 teaspoon sumac
4 spring onions, thinly sliced zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200 deg C fan/gas 7.
In a 28cm baking dish (I use a round one), toss the leeks with the olive oil, half the lemon juice, the coriander, fennel and chilli and season well with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil and cook in the hot oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss the spinach in a large mixing bowl with the orzo, half the herbs and all the remaining ingredients. Season well with salt and pepper.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and stir through the yoghurt, spinach and orzo mixture. Pour over 400ml boiling water and stir again to combine. Cover the dish with foil (or a lid if it has one) and return to the oven for 25 minutes.
After this time, remove the foil, squeeze over the remaining lemon juice and return to the oven for 5-7 minutes until the top is crisp and beginning to turn golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before sprinkling over the remaining herbs, spring onions and lemon zest.
Recipe and image from One Pot, Pan, Planet, by Anna Jones, published by HarperCollins. Reproduced with the publisher’s permission.
This story originally appeared in PS News.