10 Best Recipes in The Guardian Cook

Photography by Yuki Sugiura, Styling by Valerie Berry

v Photography by Yuki Sugiura, Styling by Valerie Berry

This is one of the most popular cabbage recipes in Ukraine. Normally we would use white cabbage, but Savoy  adds luscious texture and colour.

I add  dried barberries to lift the flavour a little, but don’t worry too much if you have trouble finding them.


Serves 6 (makes 12 parcels)
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 carrot, grated
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 fresh bay leaf
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 head Savoy cabbage, 12 leaves separated

500g beef mince
500g pork mince
160g rice, parboiled and drained
40g barberries (optional)

To serve
100ml sour cream
½ small bunch dill, finely chopped

1 Make the sauce first. Heat the rapeseed oil in a heavy-based casserole. Fry half of the onion and the grated carrot over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until they just start to caramelise. Add the sugar and the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the bay leaf, tomatoes and 400ml water.

2 Blanch the cabbage leaves for 2 minutes in boiling water. Then refresh them in cold water and drain well on kitchen paper.

3 Mix the minces, parboiled rice, barberries, seasoning and the remaining diced onion. Place 50g of the filling on to each cabbage leaf and fold into parcels.

5 Place the parcels on top of the sauce, folded side down, tucking them next to each other snugly so they do not unravel.

6 Cook over a low heat for about 45 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with lots of chopped dill, sourdough bread and a dollop of sour cream on the side.

Curried prawns with salted lemons and tenderstem broccoli

Curried prawns, salted lemons, broccoli

Curried prawns, salted lemons, broccoli

For the garam masala
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 cardamom pods, seeds only
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 whole clove

For the prawns
2 small shallots, halved
10g ginger, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
½ tsp chilli flakes
2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and finely chopped
125g tenderstem broccoli, sliced into thirds
200g large prawns, peeled
5g each of basil and coriander, leaves picked

Place the lemon slices in a bowl and sprinkle both sides with the salt and caster sugar. Leave for at least an hour.

Fry the garam masala spices in a dry pan, constantly stirring, until they release their aroma, then crush in a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder.

Heat 2 tbsp oil over a medium heat, add the shallots cut‑side down and cook for 5 minutes, until golden. Turn and cook for 3 minutes. Lower the heat, add the ginger, garlic, chilli flakes and rosemary. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the garam masala and cook for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the lemon and prawns, then cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the basil and coriander. Serve with rice.

Apple chips and caramelised nuts

crispy apples

Apple crisps, caramelised salted Macadamia nuts

Serves 1-2
1 granny smith apple, very thinly sliced
70g pecan nuts
For the syrup
50g sugar
50ml water
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod, deseeded
2 cardamom pods, bruised
1 long pepper
1 lemon, zested
A pinch of salt

1 Preheat the oven to 110C/230F/gas mark ¼. Place all the syrup ingredients, except the salt, into a small saucepan. Cook on a low heat, stirring, to dissolve the sugar. Then raise the heat to medium and boil the syrup for 3‑4 minutes until slightly thickened.

2 Line two flat baking trays with parchment, lay out the apples on one of them and brush with the syrup. Then discard the spices, add a small pinch of salt and toss the nuts in the remaining syrup. Spread on the second tray.

3 Bake the pecans for 30 minutes, then add the apples and return to the oven for an hour.
4 Take the apple slices off the tray while they are still warm, otherwise they will stick. Store in an airtight container.

Jamaican ital stew

Serves 2 adults and 2 kids
1 tsp vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
15g ginger, grated
10 allspice berries, crushed
1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
2 beef tomatoes, grated
1 tsp black treacle
1 red pepper, chopped
1 fresh corn on the cob, kernels shaved off
3 spring onions, chopped – keep the green and
white parts separated
6 okra, halved lengthways
1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

For the spinners
120g flour
60ml water
10g butter, melted

Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a heavy-based casserole. Add the garlic, ginger, allspice and coriander. Cook on a low heat for 3 minutes, then add the thyme, squash, tomatoes, black treacle and enough water to cover the squash.
After about 10 minutes, add the pepper, the corn kernels, white parts of the spring onion, okra and cook for another 10 minutes.
Mix the flour with the water and melted butter, then roll thin, 5cm-long dumplings with the palms of your hands. Drop them in the pot for the last 10 minutes of cooking; cover with a lid. Garnish with fresh coriander and the green parts of the spring onion.

Marrow and potato stew

This is my grandmother Lusia’s recipe. She was an instinctive cook. One day she picked some courgettes and potatoes from her allotment, threw in some home-made tomato juice and sour cream and a bunch of chopped dill. My mother made this at least once a week when in season.

Serves 4
6 tbsp sunflower or rapeseed oil
800g marrow, sliced into 2cm rings
30g plain flour
3 banana shallots, sliced
2 tbsp tomato puree
4 garlic cloves, sliced
400g Cyprus potatoes, thinly sliced
300ml sour cream
300ml water
Salt and black pepper
1 small bunch of dill, chopped

1 Heat 2 tbsp of sunflower oil in a heavy-based pan. Dip each side of the marrow in flour, shake the excess off and fry on medium heat on both sides until nicely caramelised. Do this in batches, adding some extra oil each time. Remove each marrow piece to a paper towel.

2 Add the shallots and the tomato paste and cook on a medium heat, stirring all the time, until the shallots start to soften (about 3 minutes). Then add the garlic and cook for another minute.

3 Add the potatoes, sour cream and 300ml of water (use the sour cream container to measure this), season very well with sea salt and pepper and stir. Place the browned marrow on top and cook on a low heat for 50 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked and the liquid is reduced. Sprinkle with dill and serve.

Also in The Guardian:

Three lentil burger

Ukrainian green borsch

Puffed mushroom omelette

Olive oil confit chicken

Nahm Dtok (Isaarn beef salad)

Poussin Tabaka, tkhemali, lobio (Georgian chicken, plum sauce and beans)



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