Customer Review

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspirational cookbook, 7 Oct 2007
This review is from: Real Food (Hardcover)
Nigel Slater was writing about how to make basic family food taste wonderful long before it was fashionable. Luckily, good food cooked well does not go out of style. This book is as useful to me now as when I bought it nine years ago.

One thing I love about this book is that the ingredients are completely normal things I can buy reliably at the supermarket. The directions are very simple and generally very short. For instance, the "Parsley and Mustard Mash" has five ingredients, of which three are implied by the title (the other two being butter and creme fraiche). There is a paragraph about his views on the dish, and another one describing how to make the dish - that's it. Oh - and a sort of arty photo.

The photos are good - arty of course, but in a way made to entice you to try the recipe. Just having a look at the photo of roast potatoes makes you want to cook a proper sunday dinner.

The recipes are organised by ingredient. Once you get used to this, it becomes a useful way to browse and consider different ways of dealing with those ingredients. However, it does mean that if you're looking for a standard cookbook approach where starters, mains and puds are all in separate chapters (useful for menu planning), this book won't be so helpful.

There are a few strange recipes - for instance "Peter Gordon's Muffaletta", a sort of squashed sandwich which is surprisingly good. However the vast majority will be his take on a familiar british dish.

The recipes clearly reflect his taste - there's lots of garlic (I always leave it out), cream, dark chocolate, and other rich ingredients. Nevertheless, most of the recipes work with substitutions that fit your diet and taste. They are simple enough to stand up without going to the extremes that he sometimes does.

For people who cook for pleasure, and who enjoy good basic food made to taste utterly indulgent, I would definitely recommend this book.
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