Meera Sodha’s recipe for vegan salted miso brownies

If I were in charge of brownies and their taxonomy, there would be a proper list of categories. The only thing that unifies them really is the chocolate, beyond which they could be cakey, crumbly, chewy, chocolatey or, er, cocoa-ey. This one is my perfect brownie: dense and fudgy, thanks to the chia seeds; and rich, but not sickeningly so, with a salted caramel-like flavour that comes from using white miso and salt together. It makes this brownie incredibly special. And there is no category for that.

Make sure you use flavourless coconut oil, unless you actually want to add a coconut flavour, and check that the chocolate is suitable for vegans.

Prep 10 min
Cook 45 min
Makes 16

4 ½ tbsp milled chia seeds
150g flavourless coconut oil
250g dark chocolate (85%), broken into small pieces
420g light brown muscovado sugar
120g plain flour
3 ½ tbsp white miso (shiro miso)
1 tsp flaky sea salt

Heat the oven to 190c (180C fan)/390F/gas 6, and line a 20cm x 22cm square tin with greaseproof paper. In a small bowl, mix the milled chia seeds with 270ml water and set aside.

Put the coconut oil and broken chocolate into a medium-sized saucepan, and set over a low heat. Stir occasionally until melted, then mix in the sugar, flour and miso, and crumble in the salt flakes. Finally, stir in the soaked and bloomed chia seeds, then pour into the lined tin and gently shake to distribute evenly.

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45 minutes, then remove. The brownies might still be a bit wobbly in the middle, but they will soon settle down as they cool and be deliciously fudgy. Leave to cool completely, then cut into 16 squares.


Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian. Food styling: Katy Gilhooly. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay

Sunrise Salad

A splash of vivid orange for the summer BBQ table.

SheWhoMustBeFed came home with a humungous bag of carrots after the organic market where she works closed up for a well deserved Christmas break. Having a distinct shortage of rabbits and horses around the place this necessitated some Invention In The Kitchen of the carroty type.

Thus was created an Oh So Easy To Make, yet Oh So Very Nice To Eat salad that is Oh So Very Orangey.

On the off-chance that you find yourself with a humungous bag of carrots here’s what you can do with them:

Gather Ye:

  • Many carrots, grated
  • Many cooked chickpeas (for a kilo of carrots I’d use three tins. Adjust as necessary)
  • A bag of slivered almonds
  • A clutch of parsley, chopped
  • A clutch of fennel fluffy bits, chopped
  • A lemon or two, squeezed bereft of their juiciness
  • A few cloves of garlic, mashed
  • A pour of toasted sesame oil
  • Olive oil
  • Tamari
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Prepare Ye:

  1. Fry the chickpeas, garlic, salt, and pepper in a generous splash of tamari and (as always) a splash of olive oil. Don’t burn the garlic or you will be asked to sit in the corner wearing a Dummy’s Hat.
  2. In a saucepan fry the almonds in some more olive oil. Don’t burn the nuts or you will be asked to sit in the corner wearing a Dummy Hat and a set of those Charlie Chaplin eyebrows and mustache things. You’re aiming for a light brown colour – immediately you achieve this remove from heat and drain the oil using a sieve (discard oil).
  3. Toss together the carrots, fried chickpeas, parsley, fennel, lemon juice, sesame oil, and cooked nuts.
  4. If making ahead of time don’t add the nuts until just before serving.