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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a writer, broadcaster and campaigner. His series for Channel 4 have earned him a huge popular following, while his River Cottage books have collected multiple awards including the Glenfiddich Trophy (twice), the Andre Simon Food Book of the Year (three times), the Michael Smith Award (twice) and, in the US, the James Beard Cookbook of the Year. Hugh lives in Devon with his family.
I struggled with the turn from carnivore to vegetarian until Fearnley Whittingstall wrote this book. I had worked in a veg kitchen and for Time Out's Food desk, but still the veg repertoire was dull. Until finally: here is veg food which is substantial, yummy, unpretentious, easy, not weird, not quiche, and - yippee - not trying to look like meat. There are easy, varied and filling pies, lasagnas, pastas, curries and stews - meaning it fulfils carnivore sensibilities but by making the most of vegetables. These bright veggies are taking a stand, and they're winning.
Veg: River Cottage Everyday is a perfect cookbook. All the recipes that I have tried so far have been simple to make, use easy to find ingredients, and most importantly, are delicious. The instructions are clear and easy to follow and the photos are beautiful.
The biggest surprise was Hugh's "Magic Dough" bread recipe. I've been trying to find a successful pizza dough recipe for years and the "Magic Dough" lived up to the hype. The pizza crust came out crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy inside. The dough was easy to handle and rolled out nice and thin.
I've been a vegetarian for fifteen years and my husband and son are carnivores. It's a real find to have a cookbook that has recipes that we all can enjoy. Salad consumption has tripled at dinnertime.
This review refers to the UK version of the book. I had to look up what "strong flour" was. (Bread flour in the US) and the measurements are all in metric. So if you prefer fahrenheit to centigrade and ounces to milliliters, you might want to wait for the American edition of this book due out in May 2013.
Hugh creates original, gorgeous, elegant, tasty dishes. Mouth watering pictures. New ideas. What I like best is that it doesn't seem like a vegetable cookbook. It feels sophisticated and farm house at the same time. He thinks out of the box and the results are absolutely delicious. I'm getting this book for my nyc foodie people for Christmas.
I have been a fish-eating vegetarian for decades - early food heroes were Anna Thomas and Deborah Madison. Once we moved to Europe, my list expanded to include non-veg cookery writers who had a way with vegetables such as Delia and Nigel Slater. Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone was the book I kept in the places we moved about. Now it is this book that I am turning to most nights when I cook our principal meal, and await for Amazon to produce in Kindle format so the recipes will be with me at all times. What the River Cottage Veg everyday has over other Veg related cookbooks that I have recently purchased is that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall does not disguise the vegetables with excessive flavorings often heavy on soy products or salt to suit the jaded modern palette. Instead his recipes are in the tradition of French cooking - a marriage of flavors - vegetables cooked in the best way to bring out their particular vibrancy - and timed in terms of cooking length to perfection. Recipes I have so far adored: Brussels sprouts roasted with shallots seasoned with thyme and a "squeeze of lemon", Roasted squash and shallots with merguez chickpeas and the recipe that had me convinced the other night that I was in the presence of genius - Hugh's version of a Chilean squash and bean stew - Porotos granados - whose primary ingredients (with a few variations suggested) are pinto beans, butternut squash, green beans and corn seasoned with oregano or marjoram. The end result of my cooking this recipe was a feeling of satisfaction and good health. No waking in the middle of the night sensing sodium overdose. This is the kind of cooking that goes well accompanied by a glass of wine, but does not require it.Read more ›
Went from eating processed meat with every meal to a diet that is probably 90% veg based. For the last month all my week-day lunches and dinners have been prepared from this book - generally on a Sunday afternoon and frozen for the week, the recipes are easy to follow and absolutely delicious. Hugh has made a believer out of me.
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I recently purchased this looking for something not specific to vegetarians since I love meat and wanted to add more variety to my vegetable sides dishes and main dishes. There are so many recipes that I can either fix as is or tweak a bit to my family's liking. Since we are a gluten free family, it's quite easy to make the adjustment to just about every recipe. The best option for us is to use quinoa in place of some of the gluten products. Most of the recipes are easy and not fussy and can be made with normal, everyday stuff I tend to keep in the kitchen or pick up at the market regularly anyway. Many recipe combinations are made from the seasonal availability which is quite helpful. My husband, not particularly fond of all veg dishes, is quickly coming around with so many of the new things I've tried in this book! Last night we had the sesame cauliflower stir fry and wow, it's great with some spice, substance and weight. We had it on rice and it was a complete meal, we were stuffed! Our favorite is the quick couscous salad (we use quinoa instead) and basically add all sorts of veggies with feta and spices. We make lots of extras and have it to snack on or as a quick meal or take along. I highly recommend this book, it's not your standard veg cookbook. It's written by a meat lover with the knowledge that vegetables are important and necessary and the balance is very much needed in the average diet. Enjoy!!
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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has become widely known as a broadcaster for his uncompromising commitment to real food and honest home cooking. His three series for Channel 4 -- most recently River Cottage Forever -- have earned Hugh a huge popular following. His most recent book, THE RIVER COTTAGE COOKBOOK, scooped the top food writing awards in 2002, winning the Glenfiddich Trophy, the Andre Simon Food Book of the Year and the Guild of Food Writers' Michael Smith Award. Hugh lives in Dorset with Marie and their son Oscar.