Win a cookbook with recipes from Alice Waters, Prue Leith, Anna Jones, Russell Norman & many more

Launching this week is a cookbook that artist Michael Rakowitz has put together with friends and chefs from around the world including Claudia Roden, Yotam Ottolenghi, Alice Waters, Giorgio Locatelli, Pure Leith, Thomasina Miers, Anna Jones, Russell Norman, Sam and Sam Clark and Margot Henderson. A House With a Date Palm Will Never Starve takes it’s title from the Mesopotamian proverb and each recipe includes the use of the palm date, a current superfood and Iraqi cupboard staple that is gluten-free, vegan and can be used in everything from soup to sticky puddings.  The recipes are absolutely delicious and we’ve included one of our favourites below – Falling-apart Lamb Shoulder with date syrup, chickpeas, fennel and dill by Thomasina Miers.

Claudia Roden and Michael Rakowitz photographed by Caroline Irby

If the name Rakowitz is familiar, it might be because his statue The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, made from over 10,000 tins of date syrup, is the latest commission to occupy the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. Rakowitz sees the cookbook as creative extension of the sculpture. You can also see more of Rakowitz’s work at both The Whitechapel Gallery where there is has a major exhibition of his works showing until 25 August and also at FOOD: Bigger than the Plate at the V&A where he is exhibiting culinary-inspired work, on until 20 October.

The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist by Michael Rakowitz, 2018, Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square. Image courtesy of GLA

And we’re thrilled to say that we have two copies of the cookbook to giveaway.  Simply enter your details below by Monday 29th July and we will pick two lucky winners out of a hat.


Falling-apart Lamb Shoulder with date syrup, chickpeas, fennel and dill by Thomasina Miers

1 lamb shoulder, approx. 2kg / 41/2lb, bone in and trimmed of excess fat

4 sprigs of thyme

1 tsp dried oregano

5 garlic cloves

2 tsp each cumin and fennel seeds

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tsp each ground paprika and cinnamon

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 tbsp date syrup2 red onions, roughly chopped

For the chickpeas

250g / 11/4 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight

A small bunch of parsley

1 tsp peppercorns

To serve:

A couscous salad flecked with masses of coriander and parsley.

The rich depths of the date syrup give this slow-cooked lamb a wonderfully complex sweetness and the resulting caramelization is quite irresistible!Preheat the oven to 190̊C / 375̊F / gas mark 5. Take the lamb out of the fridge and leave to come to room temperature. With a mortar and pestle, bash the thyme together with the oregano, two garlic cloves, and a teaspoon of salt to make a rough paste. Warm the cumin, fennel, and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat and, when fragrant, add to the mortar with the paprika and cinnamon, and grind to a paste. Add the olive oil and date syrup and mix thoroughly. Make shallow slashes all over the lamb, then rub in two-thirds of the paste and season well with salt and pepper. Toss the onions in the rest of the paste and place in a deep roasting tin with the lamb on top and 100ml / ½ cup water in the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil, put in the oven, and roast for half an hour. After that time, turn the heat down to 160̊C / 320̊F / gas mark 3 and roast for another ninety minutes. While the lamb is cooking, drain the soaked chickpeas and put in a large pan covered by between seven and eight centimetres / three inches of cold water. Smash the remaining three cloves of garlic, add the parsley and peppercorns, and simmer for one to two hours until the chickpeas are tender, seasoning them with a teaspoon of salt when they start softening. Remove the foil from the lamb, add the chickpeas, and cook for another hour or so until the meat is tender enough to pull apart with two forks. Serve with lemon wedges and a couscous salad dotted with pomegranate seeds, roughly chopped parsley and coriander, and finely chopped red onion.

— Francesca
3rd July 2019