Kirstin: We’ve been a bit busy again this month.
Maureen: Yes, we have too. I mean we are doing this post while I am in the US and you have just got back from Italy! We are enjoying our summer, which is what life is all about.
Kirstin: And even though I am not as much of a Nigel fan as I used to be, the fact I didn’t cook many of the recipes was no reflection on the book. I felt this book was a slow simmerer.
Maureen: I know what you mean. It’s got some delicious recipes– I didn’t get a chance to post many that I tried– but it’s not the type of book where you immediately find 15 things that you want to try.
Kirstin: So clever! So simple. This is probably the first book of his that I have liked in a long while.
Maureen: I feel bad we weren’t able to show it off more.
Kirstin: I know what you mean. I will definitely be dipping back in for more recipes in the next few months.
Maureen: I will be looking forward to the sequel, autumn/winter.
Kirstin: Bring it on!
Overall Grade (A- F): B (Kirstin) B (Maureen)
Grade for Photography (A-F): A. Beautiful, simple photography. And lots of it too. (Kirstin) Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Kirstin: Medium rotation bookshelf. Maureen: Low rotation bookshelf.
Regular readers of “Cookbook a Month” know that we do things a bit differently in the summer. Visitors, planned holidays and just-enjoying-the-sunshine days conspire against us to make regular posting a challenge.
Since we didn’t get to cover all of the recipes from “Greenfeast” that we wanted to in June, we’ve decided to extend our reviews– and cooking– of the book into July.
So that will be more Nigel, then, and hopefully, more days to enjoy the sunshine and all the joys that summer bring.
Please Note: The photo above has nothing to do with Nigel Slater’s “Greenfeast” and everything to do with Enjoying Your Summer, 2019 Edition. It shows one of the many amazing glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly on display at Kew Gardens this summer (it’s on until the end of October). If you’re in London, you definitely need to add this to your Things To Do List. We had a most delightful day of wandering around Kew Gardens and admiring sculptures like this. Click through this sentence for more information about it from Kew Gardens.
Kirstin: One of our friends once told us that a cookbook was completely worth having if it contained one recipe you made over and over. I have an old Nigel Slater paperback book called Real Fast Puddings. It is almost falling apart I have had it for so long now. But come every Christmas, out it comes again for the panettone bread and butter pudding, complete with all my scribbles in the margin. It is a classic recipe that everyone loves and makes the cookbook worth every single penny. I wonder if this recipe, a take on the classic summer pudding will be the same with this book. It’s simple enough, with a twist (you serve it hot) and the flavours have extra depth with the addition of sloe gin. It’s essentially a summer fruit pie, with bread instead of pastry. Nigel says they had it for breakfast the following day too. We ate all of ours. So I may just have to try it again to level up. And I suspect this recipe is the one that will keep this book in the high rotation shelf area.
Kirstin: Ohhhh. Summer is here! Yummy tomatoes. Even though I didn’t roast enough of them! Actually I changed this recipe a fair bit and it was still really special. The harissa and tomato (and onion), mixed with couscous was a dream of flavours. I served it with a salmon recipe from Melissa Clark’s, Dinner. Because I will keep trying those salmon recipes for our children (one of them LOVED this, the other HATED it). Anyway, back to the couscous. I would definitely make this again. I would even consider making it for more than just two people (Nigel seems to have made the recipes in this book for just two). Especially in the summer! YUM!
Nigel would like us all to eat more vegetables, thus this book. But this edition, “Spring, Summer,” is just part one of “Greenfeast,” with part two “Autumn, Winter” hitting your local bookstore on Oct. 3.
This seemed like the perfect Meat Free Monday feast: relatively easy, quick and interesting. It was all of those things, but unfortunately, it was also a fourth: bland.
What you do for this recipe is essentially you make a pesto-type sauce with the artichokes, basil and garlic. So far, so good. (Though a caveat: this step can get a bit greasy, given that all those artichokes are swimming in oil. Not a dealbreaker, but good to know that you should keep some kitchen roll to hand.) You toss it in some fresh pasta. Again, fantastic.
The problem was that the artichoke-pesto, as I decided to call it, was a bit on the bland side. We quickly solved this problem with a scattering of chilli flakes over the top, which did the trick.
Would I make this again? I probably would. I just would have kitchen roll and chilli flakes to hand.
Editor’s Note: Apologies for my lack of posts of late. We were in GCSE hell and I also had a literary festival to help run, so things have been a bit busy over here. Normal service has now resumed.
Kirstin: It’s halfway through the month and I am FINALLY making something from this book. It’s an interesting concept of a book, with pretty much every recipe title consisting of three ingredient names (while slipping in others in the final list). Last night’s meal was burrata and lentils with broccoli. Also some fried chilli and garlic. This was a perfect summer’s evening light meal. The creaminess of the burrata was beautifully mopped up by the lentils. And the brunch garlic and chilli added just the right amount of texture/ Yes, I would make this again. Oh yes.
Kirstin: This is such a pretty little book. I love the format too. It’s small, softcover and each page has an image of the recipe.
Maureen: It is gorgeous.
Kirstin: And it will be good to try and eat more vegetables. Miles is doing climate change at school and I keep being told about how bad it is for us to eat meat.
Maureen: Oh yes. I’ve been there too!
Kirstin: However, you know how I feel about Nigel books. I don’t remember the last one I actually liked.
Maureen: Let’s give this one a go. Maybe it will change your mind. I certainly hope to cook more from it than the book from the last month. I am fully prepared for all of the preparation work that has to go into vegetarian dishes, and I’m sure you are too.
Kirstin: That sounds like a plan.