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Fast, fuss-free recipes from Ainsley Harriott

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23 JUNE 2009

Ainsley Harriott is known for his simple, speedy style of cooking – a no-nonsense approach perfect for the pressed for time home cook. In Just Five Ingredients, his new cookery book, he takes this to new levels, with the focus being on reducing time spent wandering around the supermarket and a nod towards being budget-conscious.

Using widely available ingredients, the recipes in the book which are all made of of just five ingredients include salads, fish and meat, pastas, pizzas, barbecue ideas and desserts. All showcasing inspiration derived from global cuisine, ranging from as far away as Vietnam to our neighbours, Ireland. Ainsley’s inimitable quirky style shines through in the naming of the dishes such as ‘Spitfire lamb with broad bean and pesto hash’, ‘Hallelujah! Harrisa-rubbed butterfly leg of lamb’ and ‘Calamari gets the nibble’.

Although five may seem a minimal amount of ingredients, Ainsley has also allowed himself (rather sensibly) salt, pepper and oil. Given the limit of ingredients, the book doesn’t seem shy on the flavour front, with bold ingredient pairings in dishes such as ‘Paprika halloumi with roasted lemon peppers’.

He makes good use of quality ready -made ingredients such as pesto and Thai red curry paste to speed things up. The ideas in the book are quick and innovative, with plenty of bang for your buck in terms of flavour and style. A wise purchase for the time-conscious cook .

To watch Ainsley making his ‘Pineapple carpaccio’ from the book click here.

Just Five Ingredients by Ainsley Harriott, published by BBC Books, £12.99

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