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3.8 out of 5 stars
Terre a Terre: The Vegetarian Cookbook
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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
I'm lucky enough to get to eat at Terre a Terre in Brighton about once a year and consider it to be my absolute favourite resturant. I'd go there a lot more only I live in Italy, and so I was depserate to get my hands on this book to at last try and recreate some of the dishes. Some ingredients I really can't get here, but probably easier in the UK in specialist and ethnic shops. I've deliberately waited awhile before writing a review to actually use it and see if the recipes work, I see no point in a cookbook if the food you make doesn't actually taste good! I can see why some have judged it a coffee table book, and I thought the same myself when I first got it, I didn't think I'd actually use it as the recipes seemed so complicated. But one wet weekend I gave some a try and was amazed at how well they turned out. As a result I've continued to try things from it whenever I've got TIME. That's the key thing, TIME, these recipes take a lot of preparation, although most of the accompaniments, dressings and sauces can be done well ahead and then finished. But you have to be in the mood, those Sundays when you're happy to potter.
I've found that the results have been so good that I'm willing to put in the time, and once you've made something once the next time seems much easier. The real tribute to this book is that my mum has bought herself a copy now and reports back weekly on what she's made from it. I say that's the real tribute because she is not into cookbooks or fiddly recipes at all, she usually just cooks tried and tested old favourites, but she was so impressed by the things I'd cooked from it she decided to give it a go.
So here are some of the recipes I've cooked from it that worked well for me, and were worth the effort.
Dunkin Doughnuts (parmesan and porcini dust doughnuts to dip into chestnut soup), Arepas Mojo (corncakes with salsas) Skordalia and Seasame Discos (sesame sumac aubergines with garlic puree), Walnut Whip (red onion and blue cheese bruschetta with walnut whip topping, lentils and seared radicchio - this is a particular fave, probably the one I've made most often) No Cocky Big Leeky (cheesey sausages, mash and cinnamon merlot onions, with the best gravy ever), Lettuce and Lovage (pea and parsley pikelets with st germain sauce-though I've no idea about lovage, I just left it out!)Sodden Socca (chickpea fritters, caponata, marmara tapenade, saffron orange dressing) Bum (sheeps milk cheescake with sambuca sultanas on walnut biscotti with rosemary syrup). These were all good! One recipe was only okay, Send My Regards to Broadway(mille fouille with mousse and asparagus and broad bean salad) and one didn't work and was an annoying waste of a lot of time- Saltimbocca, I just couldn't get the thin sheets of sun dried tomato to wrap around the polenta sauages and ended up with a crumbly mess!
So overall that makes 8 I was pleased with, some of which I've now made quite a few times, and 2 I wasn't pleased with, so I'd judge that a successful book. So to those who have it on the coffee table still then please try some, to those thinking of buying it - its not a book for those in a hurry but if you are the sort of cook who enjoys taking time over a recipe and fiddliness if the end result is worth it then I'd highly recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2013
As a Brighton based vegetarian I am priveleged to be able to go to Terre a Terre quite often. It's a fantastic restaurant - regardless of it being vegetarian.
I was delighted to receive this book as I have often marvelled at how they create the wonderful dishes they serve.....and now I know - with a lot of skill, thought, care and planning, as you'd expect of such high end, complex food. I find it a little strange that people are criticising the difficulty of the recipes - I expected nothing else. Some high end food can of course also be simple, but Terre a Terre is not one of those places - the blend and balance of ingredients make for stunning dishes unlike anything I've eaten elsewhere. The book provides a wonderful insight in to the makings of this wonderful restaurant, and how great to be able to have a bash at replicating the dishes at home.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A view shared by many is that Brighton is one of the most veggie friendly places in the country, so it was no surprise for me to learn Terre a Terre, one of their most highly acclaimed restaurants, had released their own cook book - only that it took this long!

As soon as you open this book you will be dazzled by the gorgeous food shots. Reading the recipes you will quickly notice they are intricately designed fine dining style and require elaborate construction of combined different mini-recipes into create a final overall dish. While they may look like they could only be recreated by a chef with years of experience the book manages to retain enough clarity in its methods not to scare off the less experienced cook.

This book is truly a must have for the host who wants to impress their dinner party guests with the perfect gourmet feast!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2013
As my all time fav restaurant I've been waiting for this book for a long, long time. Even though I'm a very experienced veggie cook, used to making complicated meals, I have to say I'm disappointed, I really won't be cooking any of the recipes in it. It's just way too fussy and unnecessarily complicated and there are just so many better things I could make with so much less time, fuss, money and running around for ingredients.

The other thing is the pictures are all very similar, nouveau cuisine type photos of little tiny stacks with some weeny shreds of veg next to them and a smear of sauce. Makes you think you'll still be hungry even after all that effort.

I'll really look forward to eating there so much more now I know I'll never be bothered to make any of it at home though, so no loss for T-a-T.

Get it out of the library before you spend £20 on it and make sure you're going to love it first.

I'll await the second book and hope it's a bit more user friendly.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2010
Although this book is well presented, the recipes included can be very complicated and overly-elaborate. Each recipe typically has 3-5 sub-recipes that you need to cook. While the names of the recipes are intriguing, such as "Sodden Socca" and "Skinny Melinky", it actually makes it quite difficult to flick through the book to pick out a recipe you fancy cooking. I would suggest choosing this book if you like to spend a lot of time preparing lots of different components in your dishes, but avoid if you are looking for straightforward recipes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2012
This is not my usual type of cookery book. I am not a vegetarian but do love veggie food. The style of cooking is a little too precise for my tastes but the pictures are amazing. I have tried only one recipe since obtaining the book and if the results are anything to go by I will be trying other's! The soda bread is the best I have ever tasted!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 25 December 2010
I actually received this as a gift last christmas day, and thought it would have been impossible to create any of these dishes. However, after looking into the recipes for Bengal Babs I thought i'd give it a go. With a good deal of planning and food gathering, I made the dish, which was spectacular. Each part fully complemented the others and everyone was very satisfied with the result. The best thing is that quite a lot of the recipes can be made separately, for example the onion salad and the risotto. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is keen to challenge themselves in the kitchen, or to make something more simple to go with other food.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2010
Terre a Terre is my favourite restaurant so I was really excited when their book came out. Somehow, I don't think I will be using it much though, if at all, even for special meals. The recipes look far too complicated and time consuming even though I consider myself an experienced and competent cook. It's on my coffee table and I think that's where it will stay unfortunately. Interesting to hear the story of how it all started though.
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on 8 October 2012
It probably helps if you've eaten at Terre a Terre, then you know what to expect. This is vegetarian cooking in a different league and you can't get these results without putting in some effort. This is a book that tells you how to produce the meals that they serve in the restaurant. It's not everyday eating, it's for a special occasion and for a special occasion it is worth investing the time to track down the ingredients and craft the dishes.

Let's be clear, this is not a beginners book. Every recipe has four or five components all made from scratch - ideal if you have an army of sous chefs standing by but if you don't your experience will tell you if you should cheat a bit, miss an item or do it properly.

I have cooked many recipes from here for Christmas dinner (I'm determined as a veggie to one-up the "traditional" and vary the menu with top notch dishes) but I also use it for posh dinner parties and selected components can be used often - the soda bread is a particular favourite.

Anything I have made from this book has received praise and a request for the recipe. Chestnut soup with parmesan doughnuts (yes, I know Parmesan isn't veggie but you can substitute if it bothers you), the cheesecake with sambucca sultanas and walnut biscotti, the chocolate torte with caramel ice-cream and orange, the flatbreads topped with yummy stuff and the halloumi fritters all spring to mind as memorable feasts.

The authors have some bizarre titles for the dishes some of which make no sense at all, that scrummy cheesecake is called "BUM". The food tastes and looks good and is worth the effort for special meals, at other times you can look at the lovely pictures while preparing your simple supper!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2010
I read other reviews before I bought this so expected it to be complicated cookery with hard to find ingredients. I was delighted to find that it is nothing of the sort. It is the most inspirational and useful cookery book I have ever purchased.
It can appear to be complicated at first glance but the layout of sub-recipies is extremely helpful in breaking down processes and reflects the way I approach cooking. This allows you to pick out individual items that look appealing; e.g. the halloumi tikka in Bengal Babs is spectacularly gorgeous and has made a regular appearance on our curry menu ever since I tried it. I have used the spice mix for other things such as chickpea tikka massala & I now have an enormous jar of the spice mix ready to use at any time! It was worth buying just for that recipe.
A lot of the items within recipies can be prepared in advance so even if you are doing a faithful copy of a menu it isn't as daunting as it first appears. I have not had any difficulty finding the ingredients; if they aren't available in your local supermarket then you will certainly find them at delis and Asian/Oriental/Carribean food shops.
I love this book and am delighted with the way it has enhanced our everyday food as well as giving us really impressive special occasion menus. I am now looking forward to going to Brighton and trying the 'real thing'.
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