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River Cottage Great Roasts

Let the oven do the work with these quick and simple ingredient-focused recipes from the River Cottage kitchen
Gelf Anderson with River Cottage Great Roasts book

This article first appeared in our COP28 issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published 30 November 2023. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

In River Cottage Great Roasts, all you will need are good ingredients, an oven and some simple bakeware to create easy weeknight dinners, showstopping Sunday roasts, fuss-free breakfasts, tea-time treats and indulgent puds.

Often only requiring one roasting tin and minimal prep, these are recipes that let the oven do the hard work – and leave you with very little washing up.

With chapters like ‘Breakfast & Brunch’, ‘One-tray Wonders’, ‘Sunday Roast’, ‘Super Sides’ and ‘Puddings’, the recipes all harness the power of the oven to transform everyday ingredients into their more deliciously caramelised, roasted counterparts.

Examples from the cookbook include: Spiced whole cauliflower with preserved lemon and yoghurt; Pot roast brisket with orange and star anise; Ripped potato oven chips with smoked chilli and roast garlic dip; Creamy fish pie; Roasted cherry and almond crumble and Pears with ginger and toffee.

Published 28 September 2023, this is the next book in Gelf Alderson’s fantastic series, following on from 2022’s River Cottage Great Roasts.

The series is inspired by the countless creative roasting recipes Gelf has whipped up at River Cottage over the course of the last 11 years.

Smoked haddock with potatoes, spinach, cream and thyme


  • 500g new potatoes (skin on)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and cut into 1cm slices
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 200g spinach, (if using large leaf spinach, tough stalks removed and roughly chopped)
  • 400g MSC-certified smoked haddock fillets (or any smoked sustainably caught white fish), pin-boned and skinned
  • 400ml double cream
  • A small glass of dry white wine
  • 50g mature cheddar, grated
  • 20g pumpkin seeds
  • A pinch of paprika
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper

This works well if you replace the smoked fish with small or halved chestnut mushrooms.

Smoked haddock with potatoes, spinach, cream and thyme


  • Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/Gas 7.
  • Put the new potatoes into an ovenproof pan or roasting tray. Trickle over the extra virgin oil, season lightly with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cook in the oven for 25–30 minutes until the potatoes are just softened all the way through.
  • Take the pan out and use the back of a fork to just break each potato. Add the leeks and thyme, stir and cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Now add the spinach and return to the oven for a couple of minutes until it is just wilted.
  • In the meantime, cut the fish into 2cm cubes. Remove the pan from the oven and add the smoked haddock, cream and white wine. Stir together and return to the oven for 12–15 minutes, until the fish is cooked.
  • Take out the pan again and turn the oven setting up to 230°C/220°C Fan/Gas 8. Sprinkle over the grated cheese, then the pumpkin seeds and paprika. Return to the oven for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
  • Serve at once.

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