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Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me: A chef's stories and recipes from the land Paperback – 19 Aug 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (19 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007364067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007364060
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 278,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Dennis Cotter created a considerable stir with Café Paradiso and the award-winning Paradiso Seasons, both books that brought fresh and innovative elements into food writing. Wild Garlic, Gooseberries... and Me is different from the earlier books; this is a winningly written, often very funny collection of anecdotes and tempting to vegetarian recipes. Cotter takes us on a journey which is both an introduction his favourite foods as well as a way of collecting the best possible ingredients -- and as this involves foraging in woods and hedgerows, it's not for those will have no wish to stray further than their kitchens. Want to know how to find the best mushrooms, sloes or wild greens? You'll find Wild Garlic, Gooseberries... and Me a highly useful guide.

There are four themed chapters: It's a Green Thing, Wild Pickings, Nature and Nurture and Growing in the Dark; in these different sections, there are many delightful stories about the author's favourite vegetables (which turn out to have more individual character than one might expect) and valuable info regarding their preparation. Of course, it is the recipes which lie at the heart of a book like this, and those here are cherishable, from straightforward salads and soups up to more ambitious main courses and refreshing deserts. Complementing the recipes is the quirky text (the latter, of course, the speciality of the author); Cotter is the owner of the much-acclaimed Paradiso restaurant in Cork, celebrated for its use of local produce; the illustrations include striking images of the food and the locales featured within these pages. Whatever your attitude to vegetarian cooking may be, it's possible it will be changed by this book. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

It is a book you can actually read, that tells you in a pleasantly discursive way a lot about your greens - from the familiar … to the more esoteric…’ - Book of the Month, Telegraph Magazine

‘No other book on vegetables in my library is so beautifully written or so thought-provoking. The recipes are intriguing and original but even if you never cook a single thing out of this book (which would be a crying shame), its worth buying for Denis’s beautiful prose - you’ll never think of vegetables in the same way again.’ Darina Allen in the Irish Examiner, 17th November 2007

‘Not only the most gorgeous book title of the year, but also the most stylishly produced volume, and it’s a cracking read too.’ The Irish Times

‘A cookbook to lust after.’ Image Magazine

‘Vegetarian cookery with delicious style.’ BBC Good Food Magazine, January 08

‘Whether you get a veg box every week or shop at your local supermarket, you can't fail to have noticed that the variety of veg on offer has increased markedly over the last couple of years. This is exactly the kind of book you need to make the most of them. Denis Cotter, owner of Café Paradiso in Cork, Eire, has a way with veg, and his passion for them really comes through. Celeriac fritters with caper and rosemary aioli were earthy and sweet and the aubergine and cime di rape (turnip tops) with chillies, feta, citrus and pomegranate is packed with flavour, with none of the gloom associated with salad in winter. We guarantee you won't even notice the lack of meat.’ Book of the Month, Olive Magazine


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 15 April 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wondeful cookbook which provides recipes for some unusual ingredients, and all are lovely (and some, like woodland produce, are in fact free!) You'll feast on such unusual dishes as nettle risotto, tart with wild garlic leaves and feta cheese, watercress soup, parsnip, fennel and quinoa pilaf, and a spelt farotto. So unusual but so delicious. I have been a veggie for nearly 15 years and have accumulated quite a large selection of cookbooks in that time but none of them have introduced me to so many unknown yet positively divine foods as Denis Cotter has. And don't worry, if you have a wholefood store and a woodland near you, there's no reason why you should not be able to make all the foods in this book.

I find the recipes in here far simpler than Paradiso Seasons and they require shorter cooking and assembling time, but are just as exquisite, elegant and delicious. This is a book as great for the sofa as it is for the kitchen - Denis Cotter's engrossing comments on wild food and his recipes are worth a read even if you hate cooking! The illustrations are beautiful and tempting. But most of the appeal has to be in those ingredients that I have never used before; the novelty of using wild garlic, spelt and nettle are the main attraction of this beautiful book for me. If you like trying new and original flavours, and are desperately bored of pasta with tomato sauce, this books will provide you with countless wonderful and inspired ideas for something new and unusual. But always, always delicious.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Dr F on 27 Nov. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Denis Cotter's restaurant Cafe Paradiso in Cork, Ireland, has rightly been celebrated for well over a decade now. It may not serve meat or fish, but it's certainly not a "vegetarian" restaurant in the narrow sense of the term. It's simply a fantastic restaurant serving fantastic food, and this was recognised when it was awarded the Best Restaurant in Ireland Award in 2006.

Cotter's 2 previous books have very much focused on the dishes served at his restaurant and were very well received. This new book is a more ambitious book altogeter, concentrating on his relationships with his vegetable growers, seasonal wild food, foraging, Irish vegetables traditional and new, and so much more beside. There are magnificent photos of the Irish countryside and some great new recipes, which are beautifully pictured throughout. Cotter's writing is wonderful and this is a book which can certainly bear comparison with any exalted predecessor that you might care to name, like Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book. Wild Garlic itself is a beautiful object, with high-quality heavy paper. It's designed to last because this book will certainly last and will still be read in 20 or 30 years time. A new classic food book has arrived! Highly recommended!
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer of AMAZON-UK! on 20 Mar. 2008
Format: Hardcover
...which draws the eye for a different reason, and this one is a true gem.

I was first drawn to the smell of wild garlic, in the beautiful village of Castle Combe, in Wiltshire...to me - not a particularly attractive odour, in the usual sense of the word - but powerful enough to warrant some investigation!
And what a sight .....in the dark, damp woodland..... a beautiful carpet of green and white......the latter being a flower so delicate-looking, it is hard to identify it with such a pungent aroma!
Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me is similar in that this nonchalant looking book is destined to be picked up off the bookshelf, to see what secret lies between the hardy dark green covers, embellished simply with nature and is extremely apt for its subtitle: ...'A chef's stories and recipes from the land'.

From the back cover:

'Here then, from cabbage to watercress, via asparagus and chard amongst others, is a personal take on the most truly vital ingredients of my kitchen.'

Award winning chef, Denis Cotter leads us through muddy fields, along windswept shorelines and over startlingly green farmland, amusing and informing with his witty, evocative tales, and delicious recipes. From the unique flavour of seakale to the aristocratic wonder of artichokes, Denis shares his passion for all his favourite foods and includes mouth-watering dishes for each.'

From the Introduction:

'...Food is life. We all know that intuitively but often forget it or lose touch with the importance of food in our lives beyond the basic need for sustenance....
Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Green Man on 22 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Other reviews have covered Denis' book in fair detail, so I would just like to add that as a small-time vegetable grower I have really been inspired by this book. It has completely changed my seed order for the year. I am now trying a number of kale (Cime di Rapa and Red Russian), spinach (New Zealand) etc., just so that I can savour these greens in the same way. Brilliant! Everyone should try to 'grow your own' or source something irresistible from this book.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By thehighrise on 28 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cotter's book is completely absorbing, from his stories of a childhood which sparked a passion for well-prepared veg to the recipes which are so simple to follow and foolproof enough for the less experienced cook. Some of the ingredients are impossible to find in the local supermarket but sound intriguing enough to warrant an attempt at growing in the garden; but don't let a lack of green fingers stop you - there's plenty of recipes which can be made using staples from the fruit and veg section.

Especially straightforward and tasty are the watercress soup with walnut and red pepper salsa, the aubergine and halloumi parcels and a wonderful layercake of aubergines, potatoes and goat's cheese.

Definitely worth a look.
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