Top positive review
174 people found this helpful
A lovely book, but...
on 30 December 2002
First things first; I really like this book. I banned Delia from my bookshelves a while ago when she included anchovies in a 'vegetarian' recipe on her TV show, then a week later my aunt, bless her, made me that very dish. I was given this book as a gift and I'm pleased to say that our fishy friends have been spared this time!
I appreciate this book because I am the sort of person who cooks a lot of vegetarian meals, who likes spending time in the kitchen, who enjoys the difference that using varied and often quite expensive ingredients can make, I like to cook for friends, and even don't mind spending half the evening making an elaborate dish just for me. And in true Delia style these recipes work, they are straightforward, and they really are very tasty.
However this is probably not the book for you if you only want an occasional vegetarian meal, or if you want a range of simple everyday recipes - most of the simplest dishes are only accompaniments and almost all the main courses are worthy of a dinner party - and it's certainly a bad buy if you are on a budget. I tried the spinach and ricotta lasagne with pine nuts, and very tasty it was too, but it took ages to make, and I reckon it cost me £14 not including store cupboard ingredients such as flour and herbs! Why specify tinned or frozen spinach when the fresh baby-leaf version is so much more profitable for Sainsbury's et al?!! No wonder Delia's beloved Norwich City can't afford a decent goalscorer...
So, to sum up, it's a wonderful book for the hobbyist cook or veggie who likes to entertain, but not an everyday cookbook. If you want something simpler, just as effective and definitely cheaper then I recommend something by Rose Elliott instead.
The foreword by Victoria Wood is very funny, but don't buy it just for that!