Claudia Roden: 20 of her best recipes from a 50-year career

A celebration of perhaps our finest food writer. But how to pick just 20 recipes from a stellar career of more than 50 years. Some choose themselves: definitive chicken soup from The Book of Jewish Food; essential orange and almond cake from A New Book of Middle Eastern Food. But here, too, are apple latkes, tarte pissaladière, roast chicken with couscous, raisin and almonds. There’s white haricot beans with clams from Spain, fish soup with saffron from the south of France, kofte kebab from Turkey. Even a perfect lemon tart from her latest book, Med. Just a taster from the wondrous world of Claudia Roden.

Roast chicken with couscous, raisin and almond stuffing (pictured above)

The stuffing has equal star billing with the chicken here

Chicken soup

This classic, comforting soup is at the heart of any traditional Jewish meal

Pan-cooked fish with chermoula

The hot, spicy marinade is perfect with every kind of fish – fried, baked, grilled

Vegetable couscous

A classic vegetable dish given extra zing by a spicy Moroccan “jam”

Chicken and onion ‘pies’ with Moroccan flavours

A take on b’stilla, the Moroccan pigeon pie, using chicken and puff pastry

Potatoes with chorizo

This comforting dish is the taste of Spain’s Rioja region in a pan

Kofte kebab with tomato sauce and yoghurt

A Turkish classic – well worth the effort of assembling

Birds’ tongues – lissan al assfour

An Egyptian lamb stew with Italian orzo pasta

Roast belly of pork with baked apples

Asturias, in the north of Spain, is the inspiration for this twist on a classic roast

Fish soup with saffron and cream

Saffron adds a touch of luxury to this southern French dish

Red pepper and tomato salad

Adding boiled lemon gives this salad extra oomph

White haricot beans with clams

A taste of the Atlantic in this Cantabrian seafood dish

Aubergine fritters with honey

A sweet and savoury treat from Córdoba

Pasta with black olive paste

As this dish is strong in flavour it works best as a starter

Tarte pissaladière

An irresistible tart, sweet with onions and salty with anchovies


A versatile Middle Eastern pastry that can have a variety of fillings

Apple latkes

A French version, from Alsace, made with apples macerated in brandy

Lemon tart

An intensely lemony dessert cooked to a Parisian recipe

Honey cake – lekach

A beautiful cake with a long history

Orange and almond cake

A delicious treat with Mediterranean/Middle Eastern origins

Some recipes have been updated by the author