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Riverford Farm Cook Book: Tales from the Fields, Recipes from the Kitchen [Paperback]

Guy Watson , Jane Baxter
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 12.91 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 2008

‘What we like most is to produce foods ourselves from start to finish – from farm to table, the Riverford way. Food should tell a story and, because we know what it is, we can tell you.’

Guy Watson’s ethos is simple: he wants to put fresh, flavoursome, seasonal food back onto people’s plates. In 1985, armed with a wheelbarrow and a borrowed tractor, he established his first Riverford farm in South Devon. Since then, and largely thanks to a groundbreaking home-delivery vegetable box scheme, a small network of Riverford farms has sprung up across Britain. Packed with tips on growing your own organic vegetables and brimming with hearty recipes from Riverford’s celebrated Field Kitchen, the ‘Riverford Farm Cook Book’ gives an organic farmer’s unique insight into great-tasting food grown with care and cooked with passion.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 421 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; 1st Trade Paperback edition (1 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007265050
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007265053
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 15.4 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


‘I like Riverford’s fruit and vegetables, I like their recipes, and I like their philosophy. This is a super book.’ Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

From the Inside Flap

`It is a nutritional and culinary tragedy that our traditional greens have been maligned in a national capitulation to the bland, seasonless, overpriced, overtravelled broccoli, peppers and mange tout that have replaced them. Never mind the latest exotic or wonder food. You are being taken for a mug. A Savoy or January king cabbage with help you live longer at a fraction of the price.'
Long before it was fashionable to do so, Guy Watson's Riverford Organic Vegetables was delivering vegetables and fruit in weekly boxes direct from the fields of South Devon straight to kitchens up and down the country.
Pioneering in promoting ethical eating and passionately dedicated to quality local produce, Riverford aims to put fresh, flavoursome food back onto people's plates. In the Riverford Farm Cook Book, Guy uses his twenty years' experience of growing vegetables to give a farmer's unparalleled insight into choosing the tastiest and best fruit and vegetables for your table, in opposition to the bland fare most often on offer in our supermarkets today.
Lamenting the falling standards in the production of British food, Guy explains why our mass-produced celery is now stringier; our carrots watery; the flavour of our broccoli nondescript. Guy's practical tips on seasonality, storage and preparation, along with a range of original, easy recipe ideas for each vegetable from Jane Baxter, chef of Riverford's celebrated Field Kitchen, will help you rediscover the many ways in which you can cook good quality vegetables as well.
These distinctive and delicious recipes will bring out the best f your organics box, whether that's creating spiced celeriac with lemon, wet and wild garlic risotto or a comforting rhubarb crumble.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As inspiring as the place itself 31 Aug 2008
The Riverford Farm Cook Book does what it says on the tin. Providing a gorgeous range of recipes from Jane Baxter, accompanied by writing from Guy which provides a background to the Riverford ethos. There is also guidance on vegetables you may wish to grow yourself - and how to store them - and when they're in season.

Recipes are organised by the main ingredient, maybe 3 or 4 recipes for each ingredient, but then there's a long list of 'quick ideas' - mini recipes which you can knock up speedily, and directions to the other recipes in the book which involve that ingredient (I know the index could do the same but I think it's a really nice touch!). Ingredients range from apples to celeriac with everything in between.

Brussel Sprouts (some might hate them but I don't!)

Bubble and Squeak Soup with Wensleydale
Crisp Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts and Balsamic Vinegar
Wok fried Brussels Sprouts with Ginger

Onions and Shallots

Red Onion Salad with Beetroot, Lentils, Feta and Mint
Sausages with Onion Gravy
Caramalised Shallots
Twice-cooked Belly Pork with Spring Onions and Ginger

Recipes are unfussy and don't have hordes of odd ingredients - but you know they'll be good just from reading them. Guy's writing is accessible, interesting and thought provoking! 5 stars and well deserved.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I will eat, eat and eat again from this! 21 Sep 2008
By Lady Fancifull TOP 500 REVIEWER
I can only echo other reviewers, a GLORIOUS book (even though the occasional meat/fish ingredient will mean adaptations for those not of a carnivorous turn of tum and tooth!)

The arrangement by the fruits and vegetables which Riverford sell is excellent (and to anyone who doesn't use their box scheme I would recommend this too as highly as the book - organic foods from supermarkets are NOT in the same league - nor are inflexible box schemes which land you with ancient mountains of sad cabbage - Riverford food is so alive and vibrant i expect it could deliver itself!) - try Riverford Home Delivery in Google

I do agree that perhaps a hardback version would have been useful as this book will certainly be well thumbed in my kitchen.

As well as the great recipes, the information about each fruit and vegetable reminds me of the living, vital nature of our food (well,proper food, not the ersatz stuff loaded with a thousand additives) Certainly, as I go through my Riverford box i really enjoy relating the food to its history. A passion for life shines through these pages, food as a bounteous gift from Gaia!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vegetables as the star of the show... 30 Sep 2008
You may not have heard of Guy Watson, but you'll probably have heard of Riverford Farm. With 20 years experience of growing vegetables and building a business based around them, his is a passion and an insight that you rarely come across.

Part of his vision was to set up a Field Kitchen at the farm to cook the vegetables he grows. He joined forces with Jane Baxter, ex-River Cafe amongst much else, who cooks the harvested bounty with inspired enthusiasm and serves it - refectory-style - to eager customers.

Now between them, they've published their Riverford Farm Cook Book with Guy's notes and Jane's superb recipes. You won't be able to resist the likes of Beetroot Hater's Soup, a warming autumnal Dev-Mex Pumpkin Stew or Caramel Apple Pavlova. Each ingredient is prefaced with notes on how Guy came to grow it and his own storage and preparation tips before you dive into Jane's innovative recipes.

I particularly love his whimsical notes. For example, Guy on white cabbage: "When we grew vegetables for the supermarkets, we used to send off lorry load after lorry load of white cabbage. I was always at a loss as to who ate them all. How much coleslaw can the nation eat? Just about every other use of a white cabbage is better served by green cabbage of kale." And he's probably right.

A combination of sound advice and good cooking, Guy's book will get you out of a hole with uninspiring vegetables you might get in your delivery box, or encourage you to try new varieties when shopping. In these credit-crunch days, it's sensible that vegetables should be not just the supporting act, but the stars of the show.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book 18 July 2009
I bought this after visiting the farm and having a meal in their field kitchen. The meal at the field kitchen was truly stunning and it is brilliant that I can recreate some of their wonderful recipes at home. My partner has called it "restaurant quality food".

It's organised into sections which relate to the veg (and some fruit) in alphabetical order. Around 4 recipes are given for each plus extra ideas at the end. The index is also very helpful in also listing ingredients which comprise part of the dish but may not be the main ingredient (eg if you are looking for cheesy dishes you don't have to flick through the whole book if you have some cheese to use up).

I made the chocolate beetroot Brownies for work and they were a huge hit. The baked courgettes with chilli and mint worked wonders in persuading my other half to eat courgettes, not usually his first choice veg.

Also good are the hints at the end for using up the bits and bobs lurking in the bottom of the fridge and I also liked the commentary on subjects like supermarkets and food miles which I wholeheartedly agree with.

If you are still pondering whether or not to buy this book you can download some of the recipes from this book from the Riverford web site which gives you an idea of how great the book is.

I love cooking and own a lot of cook books, but this has to be one of the best. I'm veggie and whilst a few of the recipes aren't there is plenty of veggie content to make it well worth the money.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My most used cookbook (and that's saying something!)
I actually got this book free with a veg box order, wasn't expecting much but was pleasantly surprised when flicking through it. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Dan
5.0 out of 5 stars Found in Somerset
I was in Somerset when I learned from colleagues about this Devon farm. They go there fairly regularly and take away vegetable boxes and others. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Gary Lee Morrison
5.0 out of 5 stars So self-effacing I had to trumpet it.
We were given this book as a present from a friend who is a box customer. We are box customers of a different box, living elsewhere. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Latina
5.0 out of 5 stars New format edition, please
I am enjoying new recipes from my daughter's Riverford farm cookbook while she's away on holiday...but the physical form of the book is driving me crazy. Read more
Published 17 months ago by sally mellersh
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Food
I bought this for my wife at christmas. So I have been getting some delightful meals since then! The recipes are mainly vegetables with a few meat dishes. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Tony Abbey
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem!
A delightful book, with lovely recipes - a real find for those of us who use a veg. box service.Simple but tasty recipes, using seasonal, organic produce, with interesting... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Ms. Hw Brand
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful for allotment enthusiasts, smallholders, vegbox...
This is a really useful cookbook for anyone, but especially if you subscribe to a vegbox scheme, or you grow your own, or if you have just bought an unusual vegetable and have no... Read more
Published on 6 Aug 2012 by Died and gone to Devon
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book
This is a fantastic book. As a Riverford Customer I get the recipe cards in the box each week, however, the added information in this book is excellent and is a great read.
Published on 25 July 2011 by Black Fox
5.0 out of 5 stars The riverford cookbook
Being local to Riverford here in Devon I can strongly recommend both their books and their Field Kitchen for eating out.
Published on 25 April 2011 by Christopher Harley
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just Recipes
The recipes in the Riverford Farm Cook Book are original and delicious and the same can be said for the book itself. Read more
Published on 3 Jan 2011 by L. Dixon
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