I could not wait to get my hands on Anna Jones’ latest cookbook The Modern Cook’s Year as her others (A Modern Way to Cook and A Modern Way to Eat) shot straight to the top of my most used and consulted books at meal-planning time.

Apart from offering more than 200 tantalising new vegetarian recipes, the spin on The Modern Cook’s Year, as you may have guessed, is cooking to the seasons. Being a UK-based author, the only chapter that doesn’t quite work for southern hemisphere readers is in ‘Start of the Year’ – where you’ll find winter rather than summer produce.

My favourite recipe so far has been the Black Sesame Noodle Bowl from the summer chapter. We made it with soba noodles (instead of the recommended brown rice noodles) and it was a flavour-packed sensation! Salty, slurpy noodles with sweet sugar snaps, fragrant herbs and nutty toasted coconut and cashews – simply fantastic. Plus it looks incredible.

We’ve also tried the Black Bean and Tofu Scramble; the Bright Pink Pasta; a riff on the Summer Taco Salad; Buttery Aubergines with Toasted Couscous (great for a shared dinner, we made this for a casual Christmas catch-up with family); and Orzo with Spiced Tomato Sauce and Feta (we substituted some black olives for the feta). The One-Pan Pea, Lemon and Asparagus Pasta didn’t work for me as much as the one-pan pasta from A Modern Way to Cook; I found everything had overcooked too much by the end and the asparagus had become too soft.

Other gorgeous recipes that I can’t wait to try include: Almond Satay Bowl with Tempeh (salt, sweet, sour and spice – perfection!), and the Chocolate and Blood Orange Freezer Cake. Plus so many more; there are at least 60 vegan recipes in the book at my count and of the 130+ non-vegan recipes, it’ll take just a small tweak to switch 40+ to vegan-friendly recipes.

Vegetarians will love to add this accessible, inspirational cookbook on their shelves – especially to complete their Anna Jones set. Vegans: there’s plenty to love in the pages of this beautiful hardback, full of sumptuous colour photos. All it takes is a little bit of creativity and flexibility to enjoy a huge amount of vegan recipe goodness.


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Harper Collins