Ah, Tender. Not only am I a fan of Nigel’s but I’m a sucker for ingredient-categorised books like this. Tender, as the title says, is a tale of a cook and his vegetable patch, of growing food in the city and what happens to the produce when it makes it into the kitchen. Nigel has a long, thin, London terrace garden that, with a lot of love and some help from friends (Monty Don being an especially good friend to have in this kind of situation), has been transformed into “a romantic mingling of vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers.” It’s also productive, with vegetables like chard, courgettes and tomatoes all playing starring roles both inside and outside the house.
Each section has information on growing a particular vegetable, different varieties to try in the garden, a selection of recipes and – this is what Nigel is particularly good at doing – lots of ideas, both for ingredients that go well with it and different ways to cook/serve it. This will join Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book and the Garden Cookbook by Sarah Raven in the line of well-thumbed books that live on the kitchen mantelpiece for dealing with vegetable gluts. And it’s not over yet. Volume II, his guide to the fruit garden, is due in May 2010. Another one to watch for.
Must Try: A Soup of Cauliflower and Cheese, Chocolate Beetroot Cake with Crème Fraîche and Poppy Seeds, Chickpeas with Pumpkin, Lemongrass and Coriander
Tender: v. 1: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater is published by Fourth Estate.
Reviewed by Caroline Hennessy, journalist, broadcaster and author of
Bibliocook: All About Food
Musings and meanderings, rants, reviews and recipes on Bibliocook.com:
All About Food, a blog that started in Christchurch, New Zealand and is now living in North Cork, Ireland.