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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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