Claire Thomson is a practical, encouraging and joyful cook who has, in this her third book, gathered together 10 ingredients or food groups — chicken, tomatoes, eggs, salad & vegetables, cheese, potatoes, minced meat, pasta, lemon and chocolate — and built around them a wide-ranging repertoire of recipes, that makes the most of the global storecupboard. In short, this is everyday food with a flavour boost. I will be strict with myself and give you only a few examples of recipes I’ve earmarked, from Roast Onions with Sherry Vinegar, Thyme & Goats Cheese, Spiced Roasted Courgette with Lime, Avocado & Broken Tortilla, to Algerian Meatballs with Chickpeas & Turmeric. But the recipe I have to share with you is the gloriously compelling Tomato, Date and Chickpea Tagine, which would be as good as a main course with some couscous as a side dish to accompany some slow-cooked lamb.
NEW KITCHEN BASICS: 10 Essential ingredients, 120 recipes: revolutionize the way you cook, every day by Claire Thomson (Quadrille, £25.00)
Photographer: Sam Folan