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4.7 out of 5 stars29
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 14 August 2010
This is a lovely hardback book which will sit well alongside your other cook books. The author goes through each herb in turn giving a description of the plant, its history in cooking, its main uses, medicinal properties and finally recipes. And there are some interesting recipes: Lavender Butter anyone? How about Thyme souffle? The author's chapter on Nasturtiums prompted me to buy her book on Cooking with Flowers.
All in all, a nice book that would make a great present. Two criticisms: 1) I was hoping for a chapter on Fenugreek (there was none) and 2) Each herb is illustrated with a stylised watercolour - which makes for lovely design but if you've never seen the herb in real life before, the paintings aren't the best way of helping you identify them growing in the ground.
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This cookbook has many of the recipes Jekka McVicar freely shares with anyone she comes into contact with: whether it's an audience at one of her popular talks, or someone like me visiting her herb farm for the first time. The recipe she gave me is in this book (salmon and lemongrass parcel, which is yummy) along with another 249 taken from 3 generations of her and her family's cooking, plus those given by famous chefs, friends and staff at the herb farm.

50 herbs are featured: from the usual suspects like Basil, Mint or Sage and more unusual ones such as Shiso and Vietnamese Coriander. I'm pleased she's included Shiso as I tasted this herb at one of her open days: it was delicious, but I had no idea of how to use it. Flowers such as nasturtiums, marigolds and violets also get a look in. These are Jekka's top 50 herbs for culinary use in the broadest sense of the word.

Each herb featured is thoroughly introduced: taking you through its description (including notes on how to grow it), history in cooking, harvesting & uses, and varieties. Then follows the recipes: each one is introduced with lots of little anecdotes making you feel Jekka is at your elbow telling you all about it. The final section on each herb ends with a guide on what to do with a glut, should you have one.

If you're looking for specific information on making tinctures, teas etc., then you need to look elsewhere in Jekka's previous books, though instructions for drying are given for some of the herbs such as Sweet Bay. This is a celebration of the use of herbs to complement food rather than the use of their medicinal properties.

Her daughter Hanna's artwork is the final delightful touch to a clearly laid out and good looking book.
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on 17 October 2011
This is a gorgeous book with beautiful illustrations and lovely to read, I liked that even the history of the Herb was included in each herb description, a great book to have on hand for referral on growing advice and cooking uses. The only thing that would have made the book a touch better, would have been if there were some photo's of the prepared recipes - although it would have been hard to incorporate photo's with the illustrated flow of the book.
Great for a herb lover or someone wanting to learn more about herbs.
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on 11 October 2011
This is a lovely book with great ideas and recipes - I just wish there were photographs of the herbs rather than the drawings (though beautiful) it makes it hard to identify the real herbs
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on 8 July 2010
This is the best herb cookbook I have bought. It is full of interesting and useful information on both common and less well known herbs. The recipes included are delicious. I would not hesitate to recommend this book by the herb growing Queen!
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on 1 June 2010
This book is truly beautiful and inspiring. There is nothing better than a dish cooked with fresh herbs and this book provides all the recipes you could need. Despite living in London and only having a tiny front garden I have been eagerly planting up pots of herbs and can't wait to try out the recipes.

The illustrations by Hannah McVicar are stunning, making this book a pleasure to read. It would make the ideal present for a friend (or treat for yourself!).
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on 17 May 2012
This is a perfect companion to Jekka's herb book. There are some superb recipes and some unusual ones. I think that the illustrations are excellent, although I think I would have preferred them to have been photos of exact herbs to enable identification to be easier. otherwise, a fantastic purchase.
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on 7 May 2014
A well illustrated and laid out book, based on a herb so if you have borrage recipies with this herb are kept together.
Already tried some of the recipes and the family really enjoyed them. Simple and easy to prepare and cook.
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on 6 May 2014
A wonderful book, drawings by Jekka's daughter are a delight. Some unusual recipes and good advice on how to store herbs for winter use. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys cooking with herbs
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on 21 September 2011
This book is essential for anyone who enjoys growing and or using culinary herbs. There are some fifty herbs listed, each one beautifully illustrated in colour. The book is easy to use as the herbs are listed alphabetically and for each one there is a brief history, information on growing, harvesting and preserving along with recipes for their use. I bought this book because I wanted to start a herb garden, which I have done, and it has proved invaluable. This is a book you will enjoy reading.
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