Emphatically yes, must be the answer. The River Cafe phenomenon has always been inspirational, if not aspirational; and the new book is packed with astoundingly good, simple recipes and ideas. It is constructed round the appearance of individual fruits and vegetables in the garden or the market. Perhaps in part to distinguish themselves from the rather many cookery writers who have previously adopted this approach, Gray and Rogers work through the year month by month rather than by season. Thus May brings apricots (Apricot, Lemon and Almond Tart, Apricot Jam Ice-Cream), asparagus (in Risotto, with Anchovy and Milk Sauce, in a salad with gulls' eggs), broad beans (in a Minestrone), melons (Melon and Lemon Sorbet, Melon Marinated in Valpolicella with Vanilla), spring carrots (Braised Spring Carrots and Artichokes, Carrots Marsala) and spring onions (Peas Braised with Spring Onions, Spring Onion and Thyme Pizza). So it goes on, beautiful, simple, delicious. And if our carrots aren't quite perfect, well, we can have a word with our greengrocer, or join an organic box scheme. Or we can just aspire. Not the least achievement of Gray and Rogers is to restore to this simple food the magical allure it possessed when most people knew it only through the early books of Elizabeth David. --Robin Davidson
"this is as dazzling and imaginative a collection of vegetable recipes as you are ever likely to find in one book...it has barely left my kitchen all summer" (Nigel Slater, The observer)
"It is the most wonderful book - it looks beautiful and makes you want to get chopping and stirring and picking and eating straight away" (Nigella Lawson, Vogue)
"Their two astonishingly successful books have already sold over a million, but in many ways the latest is the best of the lot." (Sunday Express)
Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray have an unswervingly clear vision of how food should be cooked: they take immense care over the ingredients and cook them as simply as possible. But one vitally important element in the art of preparing good food is one which we have increasingly lost sight of: seasonality. If you cook food in its right season it will inevitably taste better. And that's what River Cafe Cookbook Green is all about.
Divided into months, the twelve chapters look at which vegetables, herbs, leaves, fungi and fruits are at their best at any given time, with information on how they are grown, which varieties to select and how to prepare them. The focus is also on organic produce, something in which Ruth and Rose have come to believe passionately. Meat and fish recipes are certainly included in the book, but the emphasis here is much more on vegetables, pasta recipes etc, in line with the way we are increasingly eating today.
Fully illustrated throughout, and even larger than before, this cookbook is an education as well as a culinary treasure-trove.