Melissa Hemsley’s new cookbook, Feel Good, is all about exploring how food and cooking makes us feel. More and more of us are cooking with both our mental and physical health in mind, we’re looking to recipes to help us when we’re low on energy and want to feel brighter; recipes that are so easy that they are a joy to cook and make us feel more confident, food that helps us feel calmer and more grounded. Add these two recipes to your Summer entertaining repertoire now.

Extracted from Feel Good by Melissa Hemsley (Ebury Press, £22)
Photography by Lizzie Mayson
Purchase Feel Good here


A must make. Here chickpea batter is baked into a thin, crispy pancake that is perfect for dipping into hummus or to have alongside a beautiful Hearty Spiced Veg Stew.



•​​ 150g chickpea (gram) flour
•​​ 5 tbsp olive oil
•​​ 1⁄4 tsp sea salt, plus extra for
sprinkling on top
•​​ Good pinch of black pepper
•​​ 1 red onion, finely sliced
•​​ 20 pitted black olives, halved
•​​ 6 sprigs of rosemary

Place the flour in a big jug or mixing bowl and slowly pour in 300ml of water, whisking as you go.

Preheat the oven to its highest temperature. Take your largest baking tin, approx 30cm × 22cm (if you don’t have one this large, use two smaller tins approx 22cm × 18cm). Grease the base and sides with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and place in the oven to heat up.

Whisk the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil into the flour mix, along with the 11⁄4 teaspoons of salt and lots of black pepper.

Remove the hot tin(s) from the oven, pour in the batter and top evenly with the onion, olives and the rosemary sprigs. Bake for 30 minutes until deeply golden and crisp on top. (Check after 20 minutes and turn down the temperature to fan 200°C/gas mark 7 if it’s getting too dark.) Let the farinata cool in the tin(s) for 15 minutes (if you can wait that long!) before slicing each one into quarters and serving with an extra sprinkling of salt on top.

Roasted white beans with Caesar-style tahini dressing

Use any crunchy salad leaves you like here, but I particularly love the combination of Gem lettuce and red chicory for the contrast in colour and between the sweeter and more bitter leaves. I love this dressing, so this recipe makes lots – you’ll have extra. Use it as a dip, in a lunch wrap the next day, on roasted cauliflower and broccoli, drizzled over grilled sweet potatoes or tossed through a pasta salad. The croutons are a great way to use up bread that is going stale.



•​​ 3 tbsp ghee or olive oil
•​​ 400g tin of white beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
•​​ 1 tsp dried thyme or rosemary
•​​ 1 handful of walnuts or pecans
•​​ 1 handful of bread, cut into 1cm chunks
•​​ 1 Little Gem lettuce
•​​ 1 head of red chicory or another Little Gem lettuce
•​​ Sea salt and black pepper

Tahini dressing - makes extra

•​​ 2 anchovy fillets (from a jar or tin)
•​​ 21⁄2 tbsp tahini (stirred well in the the jar first)
•​​ 1 garlic clove
•​​ 3⁄4 tsp Dijon mustard
•​​ 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
•​​ 3 tbsp lemon juice
•​​ 1 handful of grated Parmesan or other hard cheese, plus extra to serve

Preheat the oven to fan 220°C/gas mark 9, then place 11⁄2 tablespoons of the ghee in a large roasting tray and pop in the oven to heat up.

Meanwhile, dry the beans well in a tea towel to ensure they don’t spit in the hot ghee.

Once the tray is hot, remove from the oven and toss the beans in the melted ghee, along with a good pinch of salt and pepper and the dried herbs, then spread out in a single layer and roast for 15 minutes. Add the rest of ghee and the nuts and bread chunks, toss everything together well and spread out again into a single layer, then pop back in the oven to cook for another 10 minutes.

Remove the tray from the oven and let the roasted bean mixture cool for 10 minutes, if you’ve got time, as it will crisp up more as it cools.

Meanwhile, add the dressing ingredients to the small bowl of a food processor, along with about 4 tablespoons of water, then blitz to combine. Season with salt and pepper and add 1–2 tablespoons of water if the dressing needs thinning down.

Slice off the ends of the lettuces and separate the leaves, then wash and dry really well so that the dressing doesn’t slide off the leaves. Arrange haphazardly on a big serving platter.

Scatter the roasted bean mixture over the leaves, drizzle over half of the dressing and sprinkle with extra grated cheese.


White with Blue Rim Prep Set

White with Blue Rim Serving Tray

White with Blue Rim Bake Set


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