It’s true to say that Anna Jones always delivers: reading any recipe of hers is like receiving a promise of dependable deliciousness. With this book, however, she has given something deeper of herself. There’s so much humanity and wisdom in it. Perhaps one shouldn’t feel like this, but so often books that attempt to steer us into a more responsible and sustainable way of living feel like reproaches or reprimands. There is nothing of that in One Pot, Pan, Planet: it is so full of encouragement, of understanding, of joy; it’s like being led by the hand by a smiling, kind reveller, who wants only for us to enjoy food as much as possible, without wasting it, or missing out on everything it brings.
Of course, you don’t need to see it as a blueprint for living to be grateful for what it offers: the food itself is tummy-rumblingly good. It abounds with quick and simple ideas with what to do with the vegetables you have to hand for those times when you need a helpful jolt, and the more formally written recipes - all vegetarian, of course, but with instructions as to how to make them vegan if needed - strike absolutely the right balance between accessibility and originality. From Saag Aloo Shepherd’s Pie, Preserved Lemon and Herb-Baked Orzo, Crispy Caper & Slow-Roasted Tomato Pappardelle to Chocolate & Muscovado Fudge Cake, so many recipes just sing to me. What I have chosen to share with you today, though, is the Celeriac & Red Wine Stew with Cheddar Dumplings, a dish that is emblematic of this book: friendly, comforting, life-enhancing and flavoursome.