Anna Jones is a well-known name in the culinary world. She started as one of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen students, and later worked as a chef, food stylist and recipe writer for cookbooks and productions of for instance Ottolenghi, Jamie magazine, innocent and the Guardian. With her first own cookbook out in stores, the spotlight is now on Anna herself. And that attention is very much deserved, because ‘A Modern Way to Eat’ really is a wonderful book.
In this book Anna extensively discusses her vision on food. Taste is central to her, but health and vegetarianism are other important aspects. In original, creative but still very doable recipes Anna shows us the meals she regularly makes at home. Miso salad with avocado and butter beans for instance, or faro with leeks and romesco. The recipes will most likely inspire the somewhat advanced home chef, but are definitely doable for beginners as well. I also absolutely love the many variations and suggestions that Anna adds throughout the book.
As a culinary journalist, I read and review many books and my cookbook collection is ever expanding. But I can’t really remember when I made this many recipes from one cookbook and enjoyed every single dish this much. From the fat banana pancakes with pecans to the fragrant dal with sweet potato and from the California wraps with peanuts (I made these – sorry Anna! – with chicken instead of tempeh) to the raw brownies. Those last ones aren’t exactly brownies in my book, but these dates & nuts bars are definitely crazy good. You can find my pictures and variation below.
It’s probably clear that I can wholeheartedly recommend ‘A Modern Way to Eat’. It’s an ideal book for vegetarians or those who want to eat less meat and it’s also very suitable for people with an allergy, because the many alternative ingredients offered. Most importantly, this cookbook delivers lots of inspiration and really impresses with amazing good food. A very delicious modern way to eat!
Raw brownies with pecans
These delicious bites with dates, cacao and nuts are made within half an hour. And believe me: they’re extremely addictive. Dark, intense, slightly sweet and with a perfect chewy bite. You can keep them in the fridge for about a week, but I’m pretty sure they won’t last that long. I’ve also made them with added coconut and a mixture of different nuts, so feel free to experiment.
About 20 mini brownies
¾ cup (100 g) almonds, skin on
1 ¾ cups (250 g/about 12 pieces) Medjool dates, pitted
2 tbsp honey
2/3 cup (75 g) cacao
½ tsp salt
1.75 oz (50 g) pecan nuts, finely chopped
1. Blend the almonds in a food processor until fine crumbs. Add the dates, honey, cacao and salt and blend until you’ve got a ball of dough (this takes about 1 minute).
2. Put the dough in a bowl, add the pecan nuts and knead everything together.
3. Line a 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) baking dish with baking paper and press in the dough until smooth. Put the (covered) pan in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to get firm.
4. Cut the brownies in small squares. Dust with extra cacao if you like.