Meghan Markle
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November 26, 2018 04:37 PM
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Meghan Markle‘s first Thanksgiving as a British royal may have been a break from tradition – after all, it’s an American holiday – but she was still cooking in the kitchen!

On the eve of Thanksgiving, Meghan shared a meal with the members of the Hubb Community Kitchen, with whom she created Together: Our Community Cookbook to benefit the community affected by the Grenfell Tower fire in which more than 70 people died last year. Their meal was made up of recipes extracted from the cookbook, which has become a bestseller and made it possible for the project to stay open seven days a week instead of the previous two days per week.

Meghan put on an apron (and even cradled her baby bump!), rolled up her sleeves and helped cook some vegetables and rice. She then helped the women pack 300 meals for the local community.

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Together: Our Community Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, $16.99 U.S/$22.99 Can). Photography by Jenny Zarins.
Extracted from Together: Our Community Cookbook Photography by Jenny Zarins

Kitchen coordinator Zaheera Sufyaan told reporters that Meghan has visited the kitchen privately on several occasions and bonded with the women “really well.”

“She’s down to earth and she’s come and supported the project. She’s part of the group,” Sufyaan said of the Duchess of Sussex.

Below are three of the recipes that Meghan helped serve at Wednesday’s visit, extracted from Together: Our Community Cookbook (Clarkson Potter; $16.99).

Extracted from Together: Our Community Cookbook Photography by Jenny Zarins

Rainbow Roasted Vegetables, by Ahlam Saeid of the Hubb Community Kitchen

“To me, the way the table looks is as important as how the food tastes,” writes Saeid. “I make sure there are always flowers on the tables at Al-Manaar. And I make this dish often because it adds beautiful color to any meal.”

9 oz purple or waxy potatoes, scrubbed, cut into wedges
7 oz each beetroot and golden beetroot, peeled and cut into thin wedges
12 oz kabocha or butternut squash, de-seeded and cut into 3/4-inch wedges
4 1/4 oz baby carrots, scrubbed, or regular carrots, peeled and cut into chunky strips
6 oz baby parsnips, scrubbed and halved, or regular parsnips, peeled and cut into chunky strips
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
2 small red and/or yellow peppers, de-seeded, cut into chunky strips or rings
1 zucchini, sliced
5 1/4 oz Brussels sprouts, halved
1 watermelon radish, halved and sliced, or 4 1/4 oz daikon radishes, cut into 1 1/4-inch slices
12 asparagus tips
salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. You will need two large baking tins: the vegetables need to be baked separately because of their different cooking times.

2. Arrange the potatoes, beetroot, squash, carrots and parsnips in one of the tins, in a single layer. Drizzle with 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of the olive oil, sprinkle with half the red pepper flakes and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 20 minutes.

3. Arrange the rest of the vegetables in the second baking tin in a single layer, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, sprinkle with the remaining red pepper flakes and oregano, and season with salt and pepper.

4. When the rest tin of vegetables has cooked for 20-25 minutes, move it to the middle shelf and place the second tin on the top shelf. Cook both tins for 20-25 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender but not mushy.

Serves: 4-6

**This recipe was provided to PEOPLE by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.**

Extracted from Together: Our Community Cookbook Photography by Jenny Zarins

Egyptian Lamb Fattah, by Munira Mahmud of the Hubb Community Kitchen

“My husband was born in Grenfell; his was one of the first families to move in,” says Mahmud in the cookbook. “I learned how to make this dish from his mother. It’s traditional to serve it at Eid, the festival that marks the end of Ramadan. Don’t worry if you can’t find gum mastic (dried resin used as flavoring, sold in Middle Eastern shops and online); the dish works just as well without.”

7 tbsp melted ghee or vegetable oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 lb. lamb neck fillet or boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
1⁄2 tsp gum mastic (optional)
8 cardamom pods, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 quart chicken stock
1 1/2 cups Egyptian short grain rice or long grain rice
3 1/2 cups water
3 pita breads
1 tbsp crushed garlic
5 tbsp tomato purée
1⁄2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper

1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the ghee/oil in a large sauté pan on a medium heat and fry the onions for 5 minutes, until soft but not golden. Add the lamb and fry for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the gum mastic (if using), cardamom and bay leaves, followed by the stock. Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil and skim o the foam on the surface. Lower the heat, cover and gently simmer for 1 hour (or 1 1⁄2 hours if using lamb shoulder), until tender.

2. Meanwhile, wash the rice until the water runs clear, then drain.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the ghee/oil in a heavy-based pan on a medium heat. Add the rice and stir until all the grains are coated. Add 2 cups of the water and bring to the boil. Stir in 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt. Turn the heat to the lowest setting, cover and cook for 25–30 minutes, until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

4. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Split the pita breads horizontally into two thin halves, then tear or cut them into bite-sized pieces. Spread on the baking sheet and bake for 10–12 minutes, turning them halfway through, until golden brown and crisp.

Heat the remaining ghee/oil in a pan on a medium heat. Fry the garlic until lightly golden. Add the tomato purée and fry for 2–3 minutes, stirring. Add the cumin and vinegar and stir for a few seconds. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of water, stir until well blended, season and simmer for 15 minutes until reduced and thickened.

To assemble: spread the baked pitta pieces on a serving platter, top with the rice, then add the lamb and some stock from the pan. Drizzle some tomato sauce over the top. Serve with extra stock and tomato sauce on the side.

Serves: 4

**This recipe was provided to PEOPLE by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.**

Extracted from Together: Our Community Cookbook Photography by Jenny Zarins

Persian Chicken with Barberry Rice, by Sanna Mirza of the Hubb Community Kitchen

“This recipe is a favorite of mine and always seems to please guests at the dinner table,” writes Mirza. “The jeweled rice gives it a sweet, tangy, mouth-watering taste and, although the dish takes a bit of time, it’s pretty easy to make. It’s worth it because the end result is so spectacular.”

For the chicken:
2 small ice cubes
generous pinch of saffron threads, ground to a powder
2 tbsp butter
8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs (or buy with skin on, pull off the skin and discard)
2 onions, peeled: 1 quartered, 1 thinly sliced
1 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 cups water
2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp dried barberries, rinsed

1. Place the ice cubes in a small bowl, sprinkle the crushed saffron over the top and set aside. As the ice melts, the saffron will slowly release its bright orange color and pungent flavor.

2. Melt the butter in a sauté pan on a medium heat and fry the chicken pieces for 5 minutes on each side, until lightly golden. Add the onion quarters, sprinkle with the turmeric, salt and pepper and cover with the water. Bring to the boil and skim o any foam on the surface. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the thighs and simmer, covered, for another 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, fry the sliced onion in the ghee or vegetable oil for 10–15 minutes, until golden brown. Add the tomato purée and stir for a minute to coat the onion. Set aside.

4. Remove about half of the stock and the onion quarters from the chicken pan. Reserve the stock for later (save the onions for a soup or a stew).

5. Pour the saffron water over the chicken. Add the fried onion and tomato purée mixture, the lemon juice and barberries and stir well. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes.

6. Turn the chicken thighs again and simmer, covered, for a final 15 minutes. The sauce should be well reduced and glossy. If the sauce is too thin, remove the chicken and boil to reduce until thick; if it is too thick, add some of the reserved stock. Keep warm while you finish the rice.

For the barberry rice:

2 quarts water
2 cups basmati rice
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp dried crushed edible rose petals
1⁄4 tsp ground cumin
1⁄8 tsp ground cardamom
1 tbsp salt
5 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil 1 onion, finely chopped 25g dried barberries, rinsed and soaked for 15 minutes Chopped almonds and/or pistachios, to garnish

1. In a large heavy-based pan (covered with a tight-fitting lid), bring the water to the boil.

2. Put the rice in a bowl and wash several times under running water, stirring gently with your fingers. When the water is clear, drain the rice.

3. Mix the cinnamon, rose petals, cumin and cardamom until well blended. Set aside.

4. Add the salt to the boiling water, then add the rice. Let the water come back to the boil, stir the rice and cook, uncovered, for about 7 minutes. It should be soft on the outside and slightly hard inside.

5. Drain the rice. Return the pan to the heat and add 3 tablespoons of the ghee or vegetable oil. Spoon half of the rice into the pan, then sprinkle with half of the spice mixture. Spoon the remaining rice on top and sprinkle with the remaining spices. Poke the handle of the spoon into the rice, making five holes to let the steam escape. Wrap the lid in a clean tea towel and place on top of the pan. Turn the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes.

6. For the rice garnish, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee or vegetable oil in a small frying pan on a medium heat and fry the onion for 10 minutes, until golden. Drain the barberries and squeeze out the excess water. Add them to the onion and stir for 30 seconds, taking care as the barberries tend to burn easily.

7. When ready to serve, stir the rice gently with a fork to mix the spices evenly, and spoon onto a serving plate. Garnish with the onion and barberry mixture and sprinkle chopped almonds and/or pistachios over the top. Serve with the chicken.

Serves: 4-6

**This recipe was provided to PEOPLE by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.**

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