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Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me Hardcover – November 1, 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Irish chef Cotter's lyrical rumination on local fruits and vegetables is much like a relaxing Sunday afternoon walk in the country. Following a loose structure, Cotter wanders from topic to topic, from discussing the etymology of sea spinach to an early morning wild mushroom hunt with little transition. While this may frustrate some readers, Cotter covers a remarkable amount of culinary ground and eventually gets to all the major players in the garden, from root vegetables and tomatoes to multiple varieties of kale and the joys of fresh asparagus. Supplemented with plenty of recipes for dishes ranging from the familiar (Tomatillo Salsa, Field Mushroom and Potato Gratin) to the exotic (Nettle Risotto, Watercress Soup with Walnut and Sweet Pepper Salsa), the real treasures are buried in the text, where Cotter offers numerous riffs on standards like beets, and how to employ turnips in a curry. Readers accustomed to skimming will gloss over many of the jewels scattered throughout the book, but patient cooks will be rewarded with a renewed appreciation for their garden's bounty.
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Review

'No other book on vegetables in my library is so beautifully written or so thought-provoking. The recipes are intriguing and original but even if you never cook a single thing out of this book (which would be a crying shame), its worth buying for Denis's beautiful prose - you'll never think of vegetables in the same way again.' Darina Allen in the Irish Examiner, 17th November 2007 'Not only the most gorgeous book title of the year, but also the most stylishly produced volume, and it's a cracking read too.' The Irish Times 'A cookbook to lust after.' Image Magazine 'Vegetarian cookery with delicious style.' BBC Good Food Magazine, January 08 'Whether you get a veg box every week or shop at your local supermarket, you can't fail to have noticed that the variety of veg on offer has increased markedly over the last couple of years. This is exactly the kind of book you need to make the most of them. Denis Cotter, owner of Cafe Paradiso in Cork, Eire, has a way with veg, and his passion for them really comes through. Celeriac fritters with caper and rosemary aioli were earthy and sweet and the aubergine and cime di rape (turnip tops) with chillies, feta, citrus and pomegranate is packed with flavour, with none of the gloom associated with salad in winter. We guarantee you won't even notice the lack of meat.' Book of the Month, Olive Magazine Image Interiors magazine, February 08 '!his latest book gives us an earthy and lyrical insight to his passion for food and the land it comes from. In what is much more than just a cookbook, Denis regales us with his ruminations on vegetables and adds quirky reminiscences and amusing anecdotes. The tone is fun and reverential - it's as though he treats the vegetables as stars and each recipe as one of their performances!the future for vegetarians never tasted so good.' Organic Life, January 08 '!the dishes in this book will dazzle you with their invention and tantalise your tastebuds further. Yet the book also informs you with great wit and charm, and will leave you thinking more about our own connections with the land and our evolving food culture.' Birmingham Evening Mail, 10th January 'A book for real foodies - bringing together chef's anecdotes with tasty choices.' Good Book Guide '!engaging narrative as well as stunningly innovative recipes.'
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins UK (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007251971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007251971
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,455,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a beauty! Cotter definitely loves his food-veggies and fruit, even the unusual. Particularly when it is home grown or grown within the district. Well-written, lovely photos and recipes that you use and enjoy. The recipes are usable wherever in the world you live.
This stunning book is a find, indeed.
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Format: Hardcover
I tried to like this book. It is just so hard to get into. The author rambles on without any direction. I keep wondering, "What is he talking about now?" Even the author has a hard time figuring out what he's writing about. Case in point, the Introduction begins with:

"While I was writing this book, most people I know learned not to ask two particular questions: 'How is it coming along?' and 'What is it about?'... The answer to the first question was almost always a moan, often very long, sometimes monosyllabic. To the second question I would answer simply, 'Vegetables' and most of the time I really felt that it was enough of an explanation."

It's like while he was writing it, he didn't have any direction and was confused about where it was going. Sadly, that comes out when reading. The book suffers from a terrible lack of organization and identity crisis. Looking to the table of contents offers no insight either. It consists of:

Introduction
It's a green thing
Wild pickings
A passionate pursuit
Growing in the dark
Index
Acknowledgements
About the author

The chapter titles are meaningless and give no indication what is in them. The first chapter, "Its a green thing" is where the author starts rambling on about different kinds of vegetables like kale, asparagus and watercress. I wish the table of contents would simply say, Kale, Asparagus and Watercress. The author simply starts talking about different vegetables as if they came suddenly into his mind. Oh gosh, I should talk about asparagus now, blah blah. Suddenly and without warning, the chapter ends with a handful of recipes. It's like they got shuffled into the manuscript right before printing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have so enjoyed this book . . . and the inventive bright recipes. You can feel the love for food that the author has. Even thought there are some recipes I won't be able to do because of my location . . . the rest are something I am looking forward to. This book opened my eyes to some new creativity and new ingredients.
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