61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Delia's Vegetarian Collection (Hardcover)There's no doubting that this book has a good range of recipes, which will serve me for a long time, but I've several gripes about it.
Firstly a lot of the recipes are quite involved. This is not a book for knocking things up in a few minutes or using the few meagre items left in your fridge. Having said that, the swiss baked eggs are a marvellous piece of naughtiness-laden comfort food. Delia's instructions are fairly explicit though, so if you are a beginner cooking to impress then you shouldn't have _too_ many problems, although she's not quite as down-to-earth and full of handy tips as Nigella Lawson or Nigel Slater in this respect.
Secondly, although the book looks divine, with photos filling every other page and some double pages, most of it is totally unnecessary filler fluff - more than half the pictures are of raw ingredients. I already know what a basketfull of apples looks like, thanks Delia, and while I've never seen whitecurrants before, a knowledge of their black and red cousins, combined with a good imagination, should be enough to stand me in good stead. I would much rather have seen more of the recipes photographed. What a waste of space - looks great on the coffee table but next time please can I have either a more useful or a cheaper book.
Finally, not really a big issue but of minor annoyance (to me at least), her insistence on using imperial measures and farenheit temperatures (albeit with metric equivalents in brackets) seems about 20 years out of date, and smacks somewhat of the little-England mentality which I guess Delia represents to some degree. To a generation raised with things that can be divided by 10, it's confusing as hell.
If, like me, you cherish vegetarian recipes wherever you can find them, this is definitely an important book for the collection. But if you are looking for a first book then, as a vast sourcebook of easy-to-cook recipes, I cannot recommend Madhur Jaffrey's "World Vegetarian" too highly. If it's more something to impress friends that you're looking for, while this book ranks highly I would first try to get hold of a copy of Marlena Spieler's sadly out-of-print "Vegetarian Bistro" with its wonderful French-inspired high-butter-high-cream-high-mmmmmmm dishes.
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Initial post: 15 Apr 2010 22:55:51 BDT
Nigel Slater full of tips? His recipes are so open to interpretation two people could only come up with similar dishes by accident. However, Nigella Lawson definitely has great tips.
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