Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has just brought out a completely vegan cookbook for the first time ever, but what’s it like? Rouxbe trained chef, Cherie Catchpole, reviews it for us.
When a celebrity chef brings out, what is essentially a vegan cookbook of this quality, it’s perfectly reasonable to be more than a little bit excited. And of all the household culinary names, surely Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall was the man most likely to be first to have done so, building on the success of his previous best selling book ‘River Cottage Veg Everyday’.
Although not vegan himself, he is keen for people to make vegetables dishes worthy of taking centre stage, and this book ‘River Cottage, Much More Veg‘ certainly goes a long way to help promote that idea. You won’t find one recipe featuring meat fish eggs or dairy in this book – not even honey, in an effort to make it inclusive. Hence, this book will definitely appeal to vegans, plant based eaters and omnivores alike.
What strikes you first I guess, is the size of the book. You certainly feel you are getting your money’s worth with this publication. Perhaps the second thing you realize is that each recipe has a really sumptuous rustic photo accompanying it. And since we eat with our eyes first, I’m sure this really helps to promote his recipes.
And what of the recipes? Every turn of the page gives the reader yet another delicious dish to swoon and salivate over. Some really simple and straightforward, others slightly more involved, but all of them leaving the reader wishing they had more hours in the day to make them all. I love the way HFW has added swap ideas -substitutions and additions to personalize the dish and make the recipes easier to fit in with the ingredients you might have to hand. And talking of ingredients, everything is easily obtainable, so no need to scour the net for expensive packets of exotic ingredients you will only use once.
Hearty, healthy, tasty, compassionate food is what this book is all about. Chapters are divided into veg feasts, spicy suppers, roast veg, soups and broths, raw, mezze tapas and sides, spuds and grains. The flavour combinations are original and inspired. The roasted fennel and tomato soup will definitely become a firm favorite with my family. Coming out in September as it has, this book will make a fine addition to any food fanatic’s Yuletide list. Indeed, let’s hope that everyone will feel inspired enough by the recipes in this book to go vegan for Christmas…and beyond.
This fantastic review was written by Cherie Catchpole.
You can follow her on her brilliant Facebook Page ‘Sunshine on a Plate’