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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Vegetarian cookery books have gone through at least three phases. First we had the heavy nut roasts and lentil bakes like those in the original Cranks book. Excellent stuff but something of a work out in the colonic gymnasium. These were followed by books almost desperate to demonstrate that the food could be more interesting. Inevitably these books would include in their introductions, phrases along the lines of "Vegetarian food doesn't have to be boring". Indeed there second phase books still being published. The third phase is much more confident. It takes the vibrancy of its recipes for granted and simply presents vegetarian cuisine as a style of cookery to sit alongside and as valid as any other. Nicola Graimes' New Vegetarian Kitchen deservedly takes its place alongside Yotam Otolenghi's fabulous Plenty and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's wonderful River Cottage Veg Every Day in this third category.

Given the law passed recently that no cook book may, any more, organise itself into chapters along the lines of Soups - Starters - Main courses - etc, this one has chapters based around methods of cooking (or not). So we have Grill, Fry, Steam etc (and Raw). Each section contains, in itself, starters, main courses and puds.

I have a rule of thumb that if a book contains one recipe which becomes part of my regular repertoire then it was worth buying. Here that has been easily achieved by the initially strange sounding cultural melange of Thai-spiced polenta with sweet chilli pak choi. The contrast between the comforting blanket of the polenta, the heat of the chilli and spices and the bite of stir fried vegetables is superb. Indeed, Graimes seems to have a definite way with polenta, as the more mono-culturally mediterranean Polenta bruschetta with rosemary, tomatoes and cannelli beans is equally excellent.

Elsewhere, in the Simmer section, Onion and Cider soup with fontina croutes moves a classic French onion soup into the orchards of Normandy, or even takes it across the channel and, with its combination of cheese, onion and apple has a whiff of a ploughman's lunch.

Other recipes which may entice you into this book include warm halloumi, asparagus and broad bean salad with chipotle dressing, blinis with aubergine caviar and honey figs, mushroom and cashew pies with red onion chutney, udon noodles with mange tout in sichuan dressing, or the unusual but magnificent water melon curry on black lentil cakes.

Overall this is a spectacularly global book, ranging from the very English mushroom, chestnut and prune suet puddings, through the pizzas and pastas of Europe, via mexican quesilladas, to the delicate fire of Japan, China, Vietnam and Thailand. On the way, Graimes is not afraid of succeeding with something which, in the wrong hands can go very wrong, namely fusion food.

Really, really good.
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on 13 April 2011
Wow, this book is full of truly innovative, absolutely delicious vegetarian recipes. I love how there is everything in here from quick and easy light meals, perfect for a weekday evening to amazing, dinner-party worthy dinners and desserts. Even as a non-vegetarian I get bored of seeing the same meat-free staples wheeled out again and again on restaurant menus and in cookery books, but New Vegetarian Kitchen has really impressed me with the inventiveness of its recipes. The Mushroom and Cashew Pies for example took a recent picnic by storm, whilst Spring Vegetables with Crunchy Walnut Crumble made for a simply wonderful, quick, fresh, vegetable packed Sunday lunch.
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on 4 April 2011
This book is very useful, has an incredibly wide range of easy-to-follow recipes for all occasions. Whether vegetarian or not, this book will provide meal ideas to cater for everyone. Would definitely recommend this book.
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on 9 April 2011
This is probably one of the best veggie books that I've ever bought. Clear and concise, and all the recipes I've tries so far work wonderfully. Highly recommended.
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on 19 September 2012
I've been a veggie for almost 40 years and am a keen cook. I was pleased to add this lovely book to my large and ever growing collection of recipes. It's arranged by cooking type which is an unusual edge and when you are looking for something quick you can open the raw or grill sections. I often find myself reaching for this book whether for a simple supper or for ideas for a more formal dinner. Many tasty recipes accompanied by a lot of lovely photographs. Have enjoyed meals such as the summer paella, the watermelon curry with black lentil cakes, grilled mushrooms with aubergine schnitzel and the baked tomato risotto with parmesan-walnut crisps. A hit with my meat eating partner too.
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on 30 October 2011
I bought this for a friend and she was really impressed with the variety of tempting recipes, she was really pleased to have a cookery book that was new to the market. The book is superbly presented. I was delighted with it as a present for someone special.
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on 7 March 2014
I was on the look out for a book that would supply some inventive ideas for a seasonal veg pack that I collect each week. Sometimes you just run out of ideas... but this book is really inventive. I've tried about half a dozen of the recipes so far and they really are an explosion of flavour for the tastebuds. I'm not vegetarian, but I like to do the odd veggie meal, and so far they have been pretty warmly received by my 2 teenage daughters, despite their initial skepticism. Even for non-vegetarians, the ideas are very adaptable to adding meat if really needed. The desserts look delicious, and I'm looking forward to trying out some more of the recipes.
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on 6 March 2014
I've been a strict veggie for years, but my family aren't. I've got many veggie cookbooks on my shelf which I've abandoned after a recipe or two, but I've worked my way through a third of The New Vegetarian Kitchen and every recipe has been inventive, colourful, tasty, filling, exciting and manageable! We all love it, and I can't wait to try the next two-thirds :-)
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on 19 March 2015
This kindle version seems to have all sorts of blanks which are yet to be filled in by the publisher. X degrees centigrade / y degrees Fahrenheit is no help to me, and neither are things like <how long does this need to stand>. Finish off your work before putting the book on sale. Not good enough by a long shot.
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on 8 January 2016
Lovely book, but at least 3 ingredients per recipe I've never heard of - rice cakes good, but kecap manis? eggah? pangratto?? Ignore all the fancy ingredients and some nice recipes. Jamie makes it simpler!
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