Food writer Anna Jones’ much-anticipated fourth cookbook One: Pot, Pan, Planet is finally out in the world. Below, she shares her recipe for roast rainbow carrots with beans and salsa rustica.
Known for her relaxed, visual approach to vegetarian cooking, the Hackney-based cookbook author and former Guardian columnist Anna Jones has built up a devoted following over the last seven years. Her first three books (A Modern Way to Eat, A Modern Way To Cook and The Modern Cook’s Year) were all bestsellers; the latter also won the coveted Guild of Food Writers Cookery Book Award in 2017. On Instagram, she has 237,00 followers, in addition to a popular weekly recipe newsletter.
Like Nigella Lawson, Jones has a friendly, lyrical way with words that draws you in even if you’ve no intention of actually cooking (case in point: her description of a rhubarb fool recipe as “light and pillowy, and so pleasingly neon”).
A stylist and interiors enthusiast, she also knows her way around a tablescape, and her food tends to be achingly photogenic: scrolling through her Instagram feed presents a sea of pastel greens, sunny yellows and earthy oranges, spiked with splashes of vivid pink or purple. She understands, seemingly instinctively, how to make cooking feel both aspirational and accessible.
So it’s no surprise that there’s been plenty of hype around Jones’ latest cookbook One: Pot, Pan, Planet (£26, HarperCollins). The book – which has finally been published after several Covid-related delays – has a characteristically light, stylish feel, featuring lots of fresh and seasonal produce, soft green herbs and unexpected spices.
It also has a stronger focus on environmental issues than Jones’ previous titles, making the case for plant-based cooking as a way of treating the planet – as well as our bodies – with respect and kindness.
Below, Jones shares a recipe from One: roast rainbow carrots with beans and salsa rustica.
“This dish is all about glory cooking – cooking for adoration and praise,” she writes. “We all know a glory cook; they only cook all-out meals on a weekend, often on a barbecue or high-tech cooking device. They are rarely seen in the kitchen on a Wednesday night. They live for the oohs and ahhs as they carry their food to the table. A riot of colour looks super impressive, so will undoubtedly result in sighs of adoration.
“Salsa rustica is a flavour-packed herb salsa somewhere between salsa verde and pesto. I make the most of the leftover carrot tops to make it here, but if your carrots are without tops then some parsley will stand in.” Happy glory cooking.
Roast rainbow carrots with beans and salsa rustica
For the carrots:
- 2 x 400g bunches of carrots with tops (a mixture of colours looks nice), scrubbed
- olive oil, for drizzling
- a few sprigs of rosemary
- ½ unwaxed lemon
For the salsa rustica:
- 1 shallot, very finely chopped
- 2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 50g pistachios, shelled
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 3 tbsp capers
- 10 green olives, pitted
- a small bunch of mint
- a small bunch of parsley
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp honey or agave
- 1 unwaxed lemon
- 120ml extra virgin olive oil
For the white beans:
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 x 600g jar butter beans
- 2 bay leaves
- the juice of ½ unwaxed lemon
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.
Break the carrot tops off with your hands. Discard all but a handful of the tops. Halve the carrots lengthways, then toss them in a roasting tray with enough olive oil to coat, and add the rosemary and some salt and pepper.
Add half a lemon to the tray and place in the hot oven for 40 minutes until the carrots are soft to the point of a knife and catching at the edges. Keep the oven on, but reduce the heat to 160°C/140°C fan/gas 2.
While the carrots are roasting, make the salsa rustica. Put the shallots into a small bowl and cover them with the red wine vinegar, then let them macerate for about 20 minutes.
Place the reserved carrot top leaves in a small heatproof bowl and fill and boil the kettle. Pour the boiling water over the carrot tops for 10 seconds, then drain and run under cold water to preserve the bright green colour. You can skip this bit if you are short on time.
Squeeze out as much moisture from the carrot top leaves as you can, then place in a food processor with the pistachios, garlic, capers, olives, herbs, apple cider vinegar and honey or agave in that order.
Add the juice from half the lemon and pour in half the olive oil. Continue adding the olive oil, a little at a time (you may not need it all), pulsing until you have a chunky pesto consistency.
Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a little more lemon if you like. Drain and stir in the shallots.
To make the white beans, place the roasting tray you used for the carrots on a hob and heat the oil and fry the garlic until it’s soft and fragrant, moving it around to make sure it doesn’t catch and burn.
Add the butter beans, with a couple of tablespoons of the liquid from the jar, the bay leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice. Cook for 15 minutes, pushing down regularly with a wooden spoon to break down the beans to a smooth and creamy consistency, adding a little more liquid from the jar if needed.
Season with lots of black pepper (you shouldn’t need any salt as the jarred beans are salty enough) and perhaps a squeeze more lemon juice.
Spread the white bean dip on a platter, arrange the carrots over the top and spoon over a quarter of the salsa rustica, with the rest in a bowl on the side for spooning over.
From One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones (£26, HarperCollins), out now
Photography: Issy Croker