2 tsp coriander seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp fennel seeds

2 tsp caraway seeds (optional)

A pinch of flaky sea salt

A pinch of dried chilli flakes

2 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

1 large head of broccoli (about 500g), stalk end trimmed

1 medium cauliflower (about 800g), stalk end trimmed

2 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus extra to finish

150g kale leaves

Sea salt and black pepper


For the split pea purée

200g yellow split peas

3 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole

1 tbsp tahini

50ml rapeseed oil

1 tsp cumin seeds, roughly bashed

Juice of ½ lemon, or more to taste


I love the full flavours and varied textures in this delicious, hearty dish, which comes from Charlie James, former head chef at the River Cottage Canteen in Bristol. The crispy kale is a particular treat.


Start with the split pea purée. Put the split peas and garlic cloves into a saucepan with 750ml water. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 40 minutes until the split peas are completely tender and most of the water is absorbed. If there is more than a few tablespoonfuls of water left in the pan, pour some of it off.

Tip the peas, garlic and residual water into a food processor. Add the tahini, oil, cumin, lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Blitz to a purée. It might seem quite liquid at first, but will soon start to thicken up. (If it stays a bit thin, return to the pan and simmer briefly before serving.)

While the peas are cooking, preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5. Using a pestle and mortar, bash the coriander, cumin, fennel and caraway seeds, if using, with the flaky salt and chilli flakes to break them down a bit. Add the turmeric, smoked paprika and some pepper and stir well.

Cut the broccoli into large florets, splitting the stalks if they are thick. Remove any tough outer leaves from the cauliflower, keeping the tender inner leaves attached, then split into quarters, down through the stalk. Cut each quarter into 3 wedges, keeping the stalk attached.

Put the broccoli and cauliflower into a large roasting tray, trickle over 1 tbsp oil and toss the veg in it. Scatter over the spice mix and mix with your hands to coat all the veg. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking, until the veg are tender and starting to brown.

Meanwhile, strip the kale leaves off their central stalks and tear the leaves into rough pieces. Put them into a large bowl with 1 tbsp oil and some salt and pepper and toss well so they are all coated in oil. After 30 minutes’ roasting, take the tray of broccoli and cauliflower from the oven, scatter the oiled kale leaves over the veg and return to the oven for 10–15 minutes, or until most of the kale is slightly crisp.

If the split pea purée has cooled down, warm it up gently in a pan, with a splash of boiling water from the kettle if necessary. To serve, spoon the purée onto a warmed serving platter or plates and arrange the roasted veg on top, scattering over any bits of toasty spice mix still in the roasting dish. Give it a final trickle of rapeseed oil before serving.


River Cottage

Features more veg
Features more veg