Three recipes from Jamie Oliver’s new book, Five Ingredients, to try at home (From Bournemouth Echo)

NOT content with reducing our cooking times to a mere 15 minutes in previous tomes, Jamie Oliver is now trimming our shopping lists with dishes that require just five ingredients (give or take some additional seasoning).

"Some books just want to be written," Jamie enthuses. He originally wrote the recipes with four ingredients in mind, but added an extra when he realised something was missing.

"I wrote 70% of that book but then realised it was just 'good' and I don't think people want to buy a 'good' Jamie Oliver book," he explains. "So the extra ingredient is that balance between creativity and getting straight to the point."

With fewer ingredients, Jamie is hoping to make people more aware of what's going into their food - something he's keen to do himself. He embarked on a nutrition course three years ago and is now studying for his masters.

With the rise in health and wellness fads, Jamie wanted to be able to debunk much of the misinformation being circulated. He says: "You've got people who are taking 200g of butter out of a brownie and putting 200g of coconut oil in and saying it's healthier. It's just not true. I knew I had to go to school."

And he's absolutely loving it. "It's literally one of the coolest things I've ever done," he exclaims.

Discussion of education and learning about food inevitably leads Jamie to what he calls his 'life's passion': child health. "My personal goal - what gets me up in the morning - is to help halve childhood obesity in 10 years," he says.

With nearly a third of children aged 2-15 overweight or obese, he is justifiably concerned about this issue, especially given its links to middle-aged mortality, mental health and an increase in type 2 diabetes. No wonder Izzi Seccombe of the Local Government Association calls it a "major public health time bomb".

For Jamie, tackling this is not going to be easy given his relationship with the present government. He worked closely with the previous four prime ministers on child health but things haven't gone so smoothly with Theresa May.

"We exchanged a few letters and I'll keep writing them but there's not much coming back really," he says.

He is particularly angry about the changes the prime minister made to the anti-obesity strategy formulated under David Cameron. May's version failed to include restrictions on advertising and promotional deals on junk food, two actions that would have a huge impact on childhood obesity, he says.

"What that lot get up to baffles me. It baffles me economically and it baffles me morally." He believes we can halve childhood obesity in 10 years but only if we tackle education and advertising, and generally make it easier for people to be healthy.

That's not the only matter that needs to be dealt with, Jamie believes. When asked what he would do if he was in charge of the country, the chef is uncharacteristically tongue-tied, but after a brief pause he returns to the conversation with gusto.

If elected prime minister, first and foremost he would tackle education. He says: "Teachers need to be re-incentivised, they need to feel like they're on the front line of our country and, therefore, they need to be paid accordingly.

"It's a very complex thing to tackle but I think losing great teachers because they've had enough is just not what we need right now."

He firmly believes children need to be better educated about food to be able to make healthier choices. "You don't die young because you didn't do your geography homework."

Don't expect Jamie to stop talking about childhood obesity anytime soon. He says: "It doesn't matter where I could be, if I was in front of the Queen and she asked me about it, I'd just go off on one."

Here are a few recipes from Jamie's new cookbook to try at home.

PLUM TARTE TATIN

The secret to this recipe is shop-bought puff pastry. Before you turn your nose up, Jamie swears by it. Not only does it taste just as good as if you'd made it yourself, you've saved yourself a whole lot of bother.

Ingredients

(serves 6)

600g ripe mixed-colour plums

1tsp ground cinnamon

120ml maple syrup

320g sheet of all-butter puff pastry (cold)

6 large scoops of vanilla ice cream

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.

2. Place a 26cm non-stick ovenproof frying pan on a medium heat. Halve and destone the plums, add to the pan with 30ml of water and cook for one minute. From a height, sprinkle over half the cinnamon, then evenly pour over the maple syrup.

3. Place the pastry over the plums, using a wooden spoon to push it into the edges of the pan, and trimming off any excess to patch up little gaps, if needed.

4. Bake at the bottom of the oven for 16 minutes or until golden and puffed up. Making sure you use oven gloves to protect your hands, confidently and carefully turn the tarte out on to a plate bigger than the pan.

5. Dish up with nice round scoops of ice cream, sprinkle over the remaining cinnamon from a height and drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil before serving.

Calories: 392

SMOKY CHORIZO SALMON

Ingredients

(serves 2)

2 x 150g salmon fillets, skin on, scaled, pin-boned, from sustainable sources

300g ripe mixed-colour cherry tomatoes

4 sprigs of fresh basil

8 black olives (stone in)

30g higher-welfare chorizo

1tbsp red wine vinegar

1tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

Method

1. Put the salmon flesh side down in a large cold non-stick frying pan and place on a medium-high heat. As the pan comes up to temperature and the salmon begins to sizzle (about three minutes), flip it over and cook on the skin side for five minutes, or until very crisp and just cooked (depending on its thickness).

2. Meanwhile, halve the cherry tomatoes, tear up most of the basil leaves, then toss it all with one tablespoon of red wine vinegar and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.

3. Squash the olives and discard the stones, then finely chop the flesh. Mix with one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and a splash of water.

4. Finely slice the chorizo, add to the pan for the last two minutes, then toss in the dressed tomatoes for 30 seconds. Divide between your plates, with the salmon on top. Spoon over the dressed olives and pick over the remaining basil.

Calories: 363kcal

JAMIE'S AMAZING DRESSED BEETS

Ingredients

(serves 4)

600g raw mixed-colour baby beets, ideally with leaves

4 clementines

1/2 a bunch of fresh tarragon

100g crumbly goat's cheese

40g shelled unsalted walnut halves

Salt and pepper

Method

1. Reserving any nice smaller beet leaves, halve any larger beets and cook, covered, in a pan of boiling salted water for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.

2. Meanwhile, squeeze the juice of one clementine into a large bowl with one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a good splash of red wine vinegar.

3. Peel the remaining three clementines, slice into fine rounds and arrange on your plates.

4. Drain the beets and briefly refresh in cold water until cool enough to quickly rub off the skins. Halve or slice a few, then toss them all in the dressing.

5. Taste, season to perfection with sea salt and black pepper, then pick in the tarragon and toss with the reserved beet leaves. Divide between your plates, crumble over the goat's cheese and walnuts, and drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil.

Calories: 263kcal

5 Ingredients - Quick & Easy Food by Jamie Oliver is published by Penguin Random House. Recipe (c) Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited, Photography (c) Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited, by David Loftus (2017 5 Ingredients - Quick & Easy Food).

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