Recipe: Quick and simple star anise carrot puree

I learnt how to make this delicious star anise carrot puree on my lamb cookery course in Malton last year. It’s simple to make and tastes absolutely delicious with any meat. I even made it on Christmas day and it was perfect with turkey.

The star anise gives the simple puree a real exotic flavour. You can also add cream to the mix for an even more indulgent vegetable treat.

Star Anise Carrot Puree

Serves 4

1kg of carrots, peeled and chopped

Milk to cover the carrots in the pan

3 pieces of star anise

Two knobs of butter

Star anise carrot puree

Serving up the vibrant carrot puree

How to do it

Place all the carrots in a pan and cover them with milk.

Add the three pieces of star anise.

Bring to the boil and cook on simmer until soft, about 15 minutes – check they are soft before you blend.

Remove the star anise

Add in the butter and use a hand blender to blend the carrots to a puree.

You can make your puree well in advance and simply heat it over a low heat when you are ready to eat.

Star anise carrot puree

The star anise makes the carrots delightfully aromatic

My beautiful little bunny plate is from Ceramix who do a fabulous range of largely animal-inspired ceramics that come in many different shapes and sizes. I love this one for serving up vegetables and snacks. Find out more at

Star Anise Carrot Puree

The freshest of vibrant carrots bursting with flavour

I bought my beautiful carrots from the Oranjezicht City Farm Market. You can read all about my visits there by clicking here. It’s open every Saturday from 9am to 2pm at Granger Bay Boulevard, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.

You can also read more about  my lovely trip to Malton in Yorkshire last year where I had the privilege of doing a lamb butchery and cookery course. Simply click here.


Recipe book review: Lebanese home cooking

Having been inspired by the many tasty and inventive vegetable dishes I ate on my recent cruise around Greece and Turkey, I was delighted when this book came through my letterbox.

Lebanese Home Cooking’s subtitle is Simple, Delicious, Mostly Vegetarian Recipes and it’s packed with wonderful ways with lentils, beans, aubergines, chickpeas, potatoes, tomatoes, rice, bulgur wheat…I could go on and on.

The book is written by Kamal Mouzawak who grew up in Lebanon and was the founder of Beirut’s Souk el Tayeb Market. So he knows what he’s talking about. Even paging through the book makes your mouth water.

I love Lebanese flavours and spices, too, and there’s plenty of that going on. And although the dishes look and sound exotic, the recipes are simple and often don’t have many ingredients.

I started with the spinach stew with pine nuts. Cooked with garlic and coriander (a staple of Lebanese cuisine), the spinach condenses down and absorbs all the flavours. And spinach and pine nuts is simply a heavenly combination in my book.


Health-giving spinach and pine nuts

I also made the chickpeas with yogurt, incredibly easy, especially as I cheated slightly and used tinned chickpeas.


Chickpeas livened up with garlic and tahini

This white butter bean stew was wonderfully easy to make and the flavours of the creamy, buttery beans (my favourite in the bean family), garlic, onions, tomatoes and fresh coriander producing a fresh and tasty dish to savour.


A heartily tasty bean dish

There are some great potato and rice recipes crying out to be tried – simple, genius ideas like mashed potatoes with spring onions and mint mixed through, beautiful bread and pie recipes and the sweets! I’ll be heading back in there soon.


A recipe book you definitely need in your kitchen

Lebanese Home Cooking is on sale from tomorrow the 5th of November at £15.99.

Get in there quickly and I’m offering you a discount too.

A special offer for readers of Eating Covent Garden.
To order Lebanese Home Cooking at the discounted price of £12.99 including p&p* (RRP: £15.99), telephone 01903 828503 or email and quote the offer code APG380.
*UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.