River Cottage Veg Everyday
This book was a Christmas present, Claire knew how much I liked it as I had bought it for my mum for Christmas and was taken by it the moment I looked inside.
Not technically a vegetarian cookbook, more a vegetable cookbook without any meat in. An odd distinction to make I know, but I feel like a lot of the recipes in this book are for side dishes rather than actual meals. Either way it is a great book.
What I love about this book are the pictures, it’s really one of those book for flicking through when you are lacking inspiration. As there is always something there to take your fancy. As a whole the recipes are quite simple, some of the veg is hard to source from Tesco, but that’s life.
- Spelt salad with squash and fennel – Page 72
- Tahini-dressed courgette and bean salad – Page 74
- Pasta with new potatoes, green beans and pesto – Page 256
- Winter stir-fry with Chinese five-spice – Page 288
I think this was another Christmas present, but a year earlier. Having never heard of Yotam Ottolenghi before (I don’t tent to read the Guardian much), I didn’t know what to expect from it.
The first, and slightly odd, to mention is the feel of the book, it has this beautifully cushioned feel to it, which makes it a pleasure to hold and read.
Like Veg Everyday, this book is great for flicking through for ideas. I do find it a bit hit and miss though, some of the pictures look amazing others you question. From experience though a lot of those recipes are the best.
His use of herbs and spice is quite excessive, but trust him and it will pay dividends, the food is packed with colour + flavour. Some of the recipes do require some specialist ingredients, which are often hard to come across, so I just substitue where required.
One criticism is that not all the recipes have pictures, making them a bit hard to judge.
- Black pepper tofu (AKA Fire tofu) – Page 44 – We love this, but have yet to use all the quantities of the fire.
- Very full tart – Page 84
- Soba noodles with aubergine and mango – Page 112
- Chickpea, tomato and bread soup – Page 218
- Castelluccio lentils with tomatoes and gorgonzola – Page 222 – We use mozzarella instead of gorgonzola
- The ultimate winter couscous – Page 262 – This is made so much the page is filthy
500 Greatest-Ever Vegetarian Recipes
(Edited by: Valerie Ferguson)
This was one of my first vegetarian cookery books, from 2006. At the time I thought it was revolutionary. Since then I just don’t get that same feeling of excitement when looking at it’s recipes. Don’t get me wrong they are great staple meals, but they lack that creativity that I often look for.
For looking up known recipes it’s great, the instructions are clear and concise, and nearly every recipe has at least a small picture.