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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

on 6 January 2010
I usually find there are one or two recipes in each book that are really good, most are okay and a couple of them can be quite poor. With Annie Bell's Gorgeous Greens, I keep on finding new and scrumptious recipes to try, and many of them are excellent - a couple so far are outstanding, and have leapt to the top of my 'favourite meals' list. That makes it my most successful recipe book ever. It's also brilliant if you want raw food recipes as she has two chapters on 'big' and 'small' salads (there's no difference as far as I can see, perhaps size of portions?). She also includes a section each for cheeses and potato meals for those who like cooked greens.
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on 27 April 2016
good book
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on 4 June 2015
Very easy to follow and ingredients simple to obtain
Provide the ability to make a plain meal very enjoyable
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on 11 April 2013
...and I ended up buying it myself. I like the visuals and receipts too. Will recommend to a vegetarian friend.
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on 9 February 2015
'While not strictly a vegetarian cookbook, it is the vegetables that take centre stage', in this great book, from Annie Bell.


'Even though this book isn't strictly vegetarian, any meat or fish is incidental, and, if you are someone who normally eschews them you will still find plenty to please.
The recipes are more than anything a celebration of the produce itself.
Farmers' markets and specialised shops are glorious hunting grounds for really good veggies - big boxes piled high with soil-crusted roots, cabbages with snails clinging inside their outer leaves, carrots and beetroot with their tops attached, a general sense of things having only recently been pulled from a field, casting in their turn a general sense of well-being that comes with eating lots of gorgeous greens.'


The strong cardboard covers are simply presented in an ocean blue with lime green colouring and white lettering for the author's name along with 'with photographs by Chris Alack.' Speaking of which - this is spectacular photography with some full-page spreads presented in an almost 3-D effect, ready to pick up and enjoy off the page, right here, right now!

From the jacket flap:

'...The recipes in 'gorgeous greens' range from appetisers to every manner of salads - small ones for serving as a side, larger ones to dive into for supper, with a whole chapter dedicated to the art of making a green salad.....'

The dish embellishment on this 2009 edition is 'Broad Bean and Feta Salad', from page 46, usefully using frozen baby broad beans if not in season although my eye was first drawn to the mug of 'Wintery Spelt Soup', on page 95 - more appropriate, perhaps, and very inviting in the chilly weather (at the time of writing).

Inside the covers are 192 shiny-finish pages, measuring just short of 24 cm square, with around 100 recipes, over main chapters:

♦ Dips (pg 10-23)
♦ Roasted Veg (pg 24-45)
♦ Gratins (pg 46-63)
♦ Green mains (pg 64-91)
♦ Gorgeous Grains (pg 92-113)
♦ Potatoes (pg 114-129)
♦ Big Salads (pg 130-149)
♦ Small Salads (pg 150-167)
♦ Green Salads (pg 168-185)
♦ Lovely Rich Dressings (pg 186 & 187)

all sandwiched between an introduction and a 4-page index.

Each chapter is a double-page spread in a shade of green, with a simple picture& chapter title on one side and general narrative on the other, sometimes atmospherically poetic, e.g.:

From 'Gratins':

'...The most austere of vegetables invite us into a nostalgic comfort zone when cooked as gratins. The silken texture of greens such as spinach fuse seamlessly with molten cheese, while the normally dour sprout is reborn as a vamp when roasted with Dolcelatte. Slices or ripe tomato baked with lily-white goat's cheese exude a gorgeous pool of juices at the ready for a pile of toast.....'

Each recipe is clearly laid out with a short opening description, the title (lower case), the list/s of ingredients, the number of servings and the method.

The recipes are, for the main part, easy to achieve and they all work...and...you could 'cheat' with the odd packet of readymade pastry (if pushed for time, availability, or, perhaps, ability).

Some recipes match ingredients I have not thought about doing before and it is a pleasure to just sit and read Annie's narrative...but, be warned...it is almost guaranteed to get you into the kitchen, at the very least...getting the shopping list out!

A small taste of some of the other recipes included:

* Red pepper mezze
* Pumpkin dip
* Saffron tzatziki
* Roasted beetroot and lemon soup with watercress
* Grilled manchego-stuffed mushrooms
* Aubergines in honey
* Imam bayildi
* Provençal gratin
* Gratin of spring veg
* Cherry tomato pizzettas
* Summer leaf filo pie
* Bubble and squeak pie
* Mushroom and herb pithivier
* Short crust pastry for a 23 cm tart case
* Courgette frittata
* Orecchiette with cavolo nero and chicken livers
* Red rice salad
* Leek and potato soup
* Fish and chip salad
* Pea, bacon and pine nut salad
* Apple and celeriac remoulade
* Orange, feta and herb salad
* Carrot and cumin salad
* Walnut and garlic dressing

and the intriguing:

* 'very norman market day'

My favourite to date is an absolutely gorgeous recipe for 'sweet potato and rosemary soup', with crumbled Roquefort (peeking out if you serve it quick) and a rough scattering of croutons on top.
'Crushed not mashed potatoes' is a delightful spin on the old and I team this with a dollop of rough cut 'savoy coleslaw' on the side and a chunk of crusty bread.

Other 'Gorgeous' books currently available :

Gorgeous Suppers
Gorgeous Cakes
Gorgeous Desserts

and plan ahead (at the time of writing) with:

Gorgeous Christmas
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on 11 August 2009
I must be one of Annie Bell's biggest fans... although it took me a while to realise it. For years I've kept a recipe file full of magazine cuttings and, one day, as I was going through them, I noticed half of them had been written by the same person - Annie Bell.
I'm thrilled she's written these "gorgeous" books... it's enabled me to clear out drawers full of magazine cuttings for one thing!
Her writing style is beautiful... she combines the luxurious prose of Nigella ("trifles are a deep sea dive, down through a glassy surface of cream to an underworld of hidden treasures" she says in Gorgeous Desserts) with the clear practicality of Delia. I agree with everyone else who says her recipes are simple but they do fling together imaginative flavour combinations, eliciting great reactions from dinner party guests. And, blessed joy, they pretty much always work. Her chocolate fondants are the most reliable version of that recipe I've ever found while, in this book, the pastry for her pea and feta tart is divine (and I'm not a very good pastry maker).
Like other reviewers, I'm a vegetarian and, although there are some meaty intrusions into this book (it's not, after all, written FOR veggies), it's one of the best recipe-suggestors for non-meat eaters I've ever read.
Get this woman on the telly!
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Gorgeous greens has to be one of the best cookery books ever written. If you were not a vegetarian when you started, you could well be when you have finished. Who needs meat when you have such a wonderful array of vegetable dishes, simple, tasty and attractive. Everyone I have shown it to has immediately gone out and bought a copy - an absolute delight!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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on 22 July 2009
I bought this book after I saw a selection of her recipes in a sunday newspaper and thought how good they sounded. I've made a few things from the book and must say they were all excellent and very yummy. Its great to find simple recipes without meat. My partner and myself are not vegetarians, but loved the food ideas - especially the gratins and stuffed peppers. There are lots of easy to follow recipes, which are great for summer eating. Highly recommended!
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on 28 May 2009
I'd already checked out the book at the shops and really liked the look of the recipes so came onto Amazon to get it at below RRP, the only downside was I was eligible for the free slower delivery but accidentally ordered it at the default delivery which you pay for so it didn't work out much cheaper after all, oops
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