Flavour by Ruby Tandoh

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Notorious on Bake-Off and a subsequent powerhouse off it, Ruby Tandoh (aged 24) has already produced a book and a slew of cookery columns for Elle magazine and Guardian Cook. Her second book, sub-titled Eat What You Love is a plea to follow your instincts when it comes to food, and is organized by ingredient: citrus, chicken, herbs, stone fruits, cheese, nuts and seeds and lentils. In citrus, for instance, you get recipes for chilli prawn noodles, lemon courgette risotto and elderflower lime tart; chicken teaches you five ways with chicken wings, roast chicken with fennel and a medicinal chicken soup. ‘Eat what you want today’ advises Tandoh in her Introduction. You could start with Carrot and Feta bites with lime yogurt from the Root Veg section.

Carrot and Feta bites with lime yogurt

Makes 16, serving 4

4 large carrots (roughly 600g total)

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

6 spring onions, thinly sliced

150g feta, crumbled into small chunks

Zest of 2 limes

4 tablespoons plain flour

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Small handful of parsley, finely chopped

2 large eggs

Vegetable oil, for frying

For the dipping sauce:

150g natural yoghurt

Juice of 1 lime

Small handful of parsley, finely chopped

Salt and black pepper, to taste

These are something like vegetarian meatballs: little bites of carrot married with the heat of spring onion, spice and plenty of tasty feta. A lime yoghurt dip does a good job of cooling the saltiness of the cheese and brightening the flavour of the carrot bites with a zesty, sour zing. Take care not to rush or skip the salting and draining of the grated carrot, as it’s this stage that draws out the moisture so that the little veg bites hold together without sogginess.

Coarsely grate the carrots and mix with the salt in a large bowl (it sounds like a lot of salt, but it’s just there to draw the moisture out of the carrots, and most of it will be lost). Let the salted carrot sit for 10 minutes, then squeeze it out – either in your hands or through a muslin cloth or tea towel – removing as much of the liquid as you can. Stir the spring onions, feta, lime zest, flour, spices and parsley into the drained carrot. Whisk the eggs lightly together then add them to the mix. If the mixture is too dry to just about hold together in balls when you squeeze it in between your palms, add a drop of milk or water; if it’s too wet, add another tablespoon of flour. Heat a little oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Divide the carrot mixture into 16 portions, shaping each little mound into a rough rugby ball shape using your hands. Working in batches, fry over a medium heat for around 4 minutes, giving them a quarter turn every minute, until they’re nicely browned and set on all sides. For the dipping sauce, mix the yoghurt, lime juice and parsley with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Serve with the carrot bites while they’re hot.

Flavour by Ruby Tandoh, Chatto & Windus £20, www.penguinrandomhouse.com