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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really wonderful uses for homegrown vegetables - and even bought ones
I bought this book because my husband gardens enthusiastically by Sarah Raven's The Great Vegetable Plot, a present from his daughter.

I have a lot of cookery books on my shelves. But having just browsed through Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook, I can tell you at once that I will be using this book often. Some of her recipes I have already used; she is generous...
Published on 13 Jun 2007 by Mme Judith Clarke

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars lovely book but ...
I think this book looks great and has some interesting information about fruit and veg. However, the recipes I have tried were not good at all. The leek tart had too much cream in it and I ruined the beautiful kale I had been given but adding 1 tablespoon of sugar to the pan! What a disaster that was!I read it again, yes, it did say 1 tablespoon of sugar. I am now very...
Published on 18 Jan 2012 by Cha Cha


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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really wonderful uses for homegrown vegetables - and even bought ones, 13 Jun 2007
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This review is from: Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook (Hardcover)
I bought this book because my husband gardens enthusiastically by Sarah Raven's The Great Vegetable Plot, a present from his daughter.

I have a lot of cookery books on my shelves. But having just browsed through Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook, I can tell you at once that I will be using this book often. Some of her recipes I have already used; she is generous throughout with other people's ideas (and acknowledges them). It is tremendously useful to have, gathered together in one volume, so many things to do with the sometimes over-abundant produce of the potager. And indeed to showcase those first delicate broad beans, asparagus spears, peas and new potatoes.

The emphasis here is on vegetables and fruit, but the book is not vegetarian. Where a few slivers of raw ham will make things more delicious, there they are. And delicious the recipes look. Ms Raven's days working at the River Café shine through her use of fresh garden produce.

But if you have no garden, the book will still give you plenty of ideas. And I mean plenty. This is not one of those cookbooks with only one recipe to a spread. There are lots, and lots. And the introduction to each fruit or vegetable contains still more ideas, often simple and quick, always mouth-watering.

The book is well produced with thick pages and two ribbon markers (already in use chez moi - and the book only arrived here where I live in rural France with the postman around midday today).

The index looks excellent (really important if you are searching for a way of using a glut of a particular herb, or lesser ingredient). I would have enjoyed a bibliography, but the generous acknowledgement of sources throughout the text adequately replaces one.
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66 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing cookbook, but frustrating at times, 12 Feb 2008
By 
Poroto (Tokyo, Japan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook (Hardcover)
I have resisted writing a review until now, as by and large I think this is a wonderful book and I am in agreement with many of the positive reviews. However, I have experienced my fourth "disaster" using recipes from this book today and I really had to say something. I am a fairly experienced cook but this book really does not explain things as well as it should / could. I made the "Mushrooms with polenta" which says that you need to allow the polenta to "cool completely" before cutting it into wedges to fry. However, given the quantities of water required in the recipe in proportion to the polenta (1.5L water to 140g polenta), there is NO WAY you are ever going to "cool completely" enough to be able to cut it into wedges from just cooking it a "few minutes" as Ms Raven suggests, unless you subsequently put it in the deep freeze overnight. This I knew from experience, but I gave Ms. Raven the benefit of the doubt. The result: completely liquidy polenta and hours wasted boiling down and a ruined saucepan. I have had other similar episodes: The "Meringue roulade with raspberries", delicious though it was, was not deemed a success due to the recipe's direction: "Place the tin fairly near the top of the preheated oven" - now, my oven is not a very expensive one - it has, as its heat source at the top, an electric grill even in an oven setting. This means that if you put things too close it will inevitably brown quicker than normal ovens. Which is exactly what happened to my meringue, browning the top and the almonds but not cooking the inside, leading to a mushy meringue. I would have appreciated an explanatory note for different kinds of ovens. The "Mint and apple compote" was another one. As the recipe does not specify what kind of apple, I presumed unwisely that it must be cooking apples. How wrong I was. Cooking apples do not disintegrate adequately for you to be able to push it successfully through any "coarse sieve". As a result my husband spent the better part of half an hour pushing the stuff through the sieve, which probably would have been done quicker in a mouli which is another implement Ms. Raven suggests apart from a coarse sieve but unfortunately we don't possess. Yes I know, I should have read the recipe properly where I would have learned that you need to push it through a sieve i.e. cannot use cooking apples, but we don't always have time for that. Sometimes all you have time for is a quick 5 minutes scanning through cookery books and writing a shopping list from the recipes. The same with the "Courgette souffle tart", which sounds delicious but was a watery mess, completely inedible, because nowhere in the recipe does Ms Raven explain that one needs to salt and squeeze the water out of the courgettes beforehand. Normally I never salt courgettes / aubergines etc and they turn out fine but admittedly I had never cooked courgettes in a tart before. Again, this is explained at the beginning of the courgette chapter, but I had not read this - and I would have thought it essential advice to give in the recipe itself, as one doesn't always have time to leisurely read recipe books from cover to cover. Having said all of this, I have made lots of other delicious and wonderful meals from this book, and it is packed with information on sowing, harvesting and cooking methods. You will not regret buying it but read each recipe carefully and if you are not sure about something, ask an expert.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I nearly didn't buy this book..., 2 Jan 2009
This review is from: Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook (Hardcover)
I nearly didn't buy this book - but I'm very glad I did. All the recipes I have used have worked well,and some have become real household staples. Many of them, however, seem to be for huge quantities, and I frequently find myself dividing by two or four to get a mangeable dish. The book is organised on seasonal lines, but everything seems to come into season before the book says it should - global warming perhaps? I did find myself wondering if the author really grows all these vegetables - you'd need a garden the size of Gloucestershire. I also found the persistent name dropping irritating - is there anyone this woman doesn't know? These carpings should not, however, detract from a book which has proved to be an excellent investment.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't stop cooking from this, 6 July 2007
By 
Katherine Page (Harrow UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook (Hardcover)
I wondered whether this would be a bit too 'lifestyle' orientated, but while it does have some beautiful photography, it is packed to the brim with recipes I want to cook...I gave up making a shortlist because there were so many. On my cookbook shelf next to my two other 'most used' cook books, The Kitchen Diaries and How to Eat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A truly inspirational book!, 13 Nov 2007
This review is from: Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook (Hardcover)
Sarah Raven will be a familiar name to some, as she is a presenter on TV's 'Gardener's World', with 'Monty Don', who pens on the back cover:

'Sarah is a superb cook and a truly fine gardener. Every page of this wonderful book is rich with authenticity and experience and a celebration of the best that a garden can produce. It is an inspiration.'

In her book, 'The Great Vegetable Plot', she wrote:

'A vegetable garden is a beautiful thing to make, with the bonus of producing the best possible things to eat. If you get it right the whole place can become your market, your haven and your playground.'

Garden Cookbook is all about the pleasure that fruit and vegetables can give you; its aim is to put them at the centre of every meal.
It's also a practical guide to all that is wonderful in the edible plant kingdom, with more than 450 recipes using the vegetable garden - or a good seasonal market or greengrocer - as both their source and inspiration.
It is not a vegetarian book although it contains plenty of recipes that have nothing but vegetables in them......'

The vibrant cover opens to 464 shiny high quality pages and with the two cheery coloured ribbon page makers - one green/one orange to keep your places - it is already apparent that this is going to be a quality publication.
Simply split into six 2-monthly chapters then subdivided into the seasonal-relevant featured produce and completed with a comprehensive index.
Interspersed with on-location photography, and some of the recipes featured, from Jonathan Buckley.

Each chapter opens with relevant information about the individual fruit or vegetable featured, including helpful, down-to-earth preparation advice, e.g.:

'Cabbage:

When you are preparing cabbage, rip of the leaves one at a time and get rid of most of the central stem. It cooks at a different rate to the leaves so chuck it away......Cabbage has a versatile flavour which is delicious with butter and plenty of salt and pepper.....If on a diet, treat it like pasta, cut it up into fine spaghetti-like strands and serve it with a scattering of Parmesan cheese....
As well as green or white cabbage, at this time of year you must have a few meals of red. The virtues of red cabbage are its incredible colour and its texture, which is firmer than green. It will take more cooking so it is the ideal vegetable for rich, reduced slow-cooked dishes like braised red cabbage and soup. With an added acid - vinegar or wine - the colour fixes as a brilliant magenta. Without this, it can turn an unappetising grey.'

Then come a few recipes featuring the said item.
Each recipe is clearly laid out with an opening note, number of servings, the list of ingredients and the method.

Recipes include:

* Savoy Cabbage and Coriander Soup
* Seville Marmalade
* Rosemary and Pork Farfalle
* Fillet of Beef with Rocket
* Vegetable Korma
* Spring Greens Risotto
* Spinach and Gruyère Tart
* Asparagus Omelette
* Caesar Salad
* Smashed Roast New Potatoes with Garlic & Rosemary
* Pea Purée
* Strawberry and Black Pepper Ice Cream
* Almond Meringues
* Cherry Clafoutis
* Smoked Haddock and Nasturtium Fish Cakes
* Salad Niçoise
* Gooseberry Fool
* Whole Fish stuffed with Fennel
* Pizza
* Kentish Apple Cake
* Moussaka
* Chilli Chocolate
* Cranachan
* Pear, Apple and Quince Charlotte
* Game Salad with Pomegranate
* Cranberry Vodka
* Vegetable Stock
* Scotch Broth

This book is further enhanced by the charming acknowledgements given to all who have helped and inspired the publication, such as for 'Chorizo with Potatoes':

'Originally a Nigella Lawson recipe championed by Nigel Slater in 'Real Food', this is a quick, cheap and easy dish.......
Just replace 100g chorizo with 100g morcilla. The morcilla will break up during the cooking, thereby enriching the sauce.......'.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Cook Book I have ever had!, 11 July 2007
By 
Mrs. Pa Denyer (West Sussex UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook (Hardcover)
This is a cookbook for all tastes. Sarahs approach to food is so refreshing! I am 65, with veggies in the family to cater for, and although I know quite a bit about cooking by now, her ideas and recipes have inspired me more than most. This book presents her commonsense attitude to food preparation, and does not draw a line between vegetarian and the rest. I am sure most cooks would find something new and delicious to try out ,as I have done.
I really recommend it.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tempting recipes for garden produce, 16 Aug 2007
By 
This review is from: Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook (Hardcover)
I spent a blissful hour with my early morning cup of tea in bed, going through the July/August section alone, thinking "mmm, this is a good one" or "yum, that sounds nice". The recipes are interesting, don't require a store-cupboard the size of a small supermarket and are easy to follow. Many recipes are suited to Aga cooking.

It is the perfect recipe book I've been waiting for, working with in-season produce, and helps you to deal with "gluts" of home-grown vegetables, fruits and herbs. I love the colourful presentation, and greatly appreciate the cheerful pagemarking ribbons, just wish there were more!
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, 29 Jun 2007
By 
Christine Havers (Scottish Borders) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook (Hardcover)
Excellent, inspirational book. It is well laid out with easy to follow recipes and takes care of all those surplus vegetables which most gardeners end up giving away. A superb present for my fellow gardening, cooking friends.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars .....knowledgeable, great recipes and seasonal food all the way!, 31 Dec 2007
This review is from: Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook (Hardcover)
I love this book. As a Garden designer, I love the fact that she doesn't put aside the aesthetic qualities of fruit and vegetables, she grows them on her farm in a beautiful setting - go there if you have not visited before, inspiring workshops. She is a very down to earth lady, with tons of tips and advice. Simple recipes, with generous acknowledgements to other people. She is passionate about her food and it shows in her book. She loves sharing and having first hand experience of the food she cooks with, she is able to show the reader that there are some simple rules to follow. Nothing complicated, just fresh ingredients, beautiful vibrant presentation on the plate and succulent aromas and tastes to boot. The seasonality of the recipes is a great way to show many people how to use vegetables, nuts and fruit in a variety of recipes which do not leave vegetarian eaters out. There are so many ways of preparing an extensive variety of vegetables that it's a real pleasure preparing these seasonal dishes for friends and family.
I have cooked all of summer, autumn and winter recipes so far - every single one is a delight. My favourite??? The Basil ice-cream! You have to try it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stupendously good, 28 Jun 2012
By 
EFP (Gloucestershire) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook (Hardcover)
It's just not fair. Sarah Raven can grow stuff in the garden, she can write, present telly and, dammit, she can cook. This is a collection of wonderful recipes, some of which I can guarantee you won't find in any other cookbook. This is a weighty tome and well worth the money because it is packed full of recipes. The photography is mouth wateringly stunning too and just in the right proportion, i.e. it doesn't dominate the book as is so often the case with cookbooks at the moment.
I can't recommend this book highly enough. It really is just great.
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Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook
Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook by Sarah Raven (Hardcover - 4 Jun 2007)
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