Synopses & Reviews
A few words of introduction
I cook. I have done so pretty much every day of my life since I was a teenager. Nothing flashy, or showstopping, just straightforward, everyday stuff.
The kind of food you might like to come home to after a busy day. A few weekend recipes, some cakes and baking for fun, the odd pot of preserves or a feast for a celebration. But generally, just simple, understated food, something to be shared rather than looked at in wonder and awe.
Sharing recipes. It is what I do. A small thing, but something I have done for a while now. As a food writer, I find there is nothing so encouraging as the sight of one of my books, or one of my columns torn from the newspaper, that has quite clearly been used to cook from. A telltale splatter of olive oil, a swoosh of roasting juices, or a starburst of squashed berries on a page suddenly gives a point to what I do. Those splotches, along with kind emails, letters, and tweets, give me a reason to continue doing what I have been doing for the past quarter of a century. Sharing ideas, tips, stories, observations. Or, to put it another way, having a conversation with others who like to eat.
That is why, I suppose, each book feels like a chat with another cook, albeit one-sided (though not as one-sided as you might imagine). It is a simple premise. I make something to eat, and everyone, including myself, has a good time, so I decide to share the recipe. To pass on that idea, and with it, hopefully, a good time, to others. For twenty years I have shared many of those ideas each week in my column in the Observer and in my books. They might also come dressed up a little nowadays, in the form of the television series, but it is still the same basic premise.
Tomato and basil bruschetta
olive oil: 6 tablespoons
basil: 1/2 cup (20g)
cherry tomatoes on the vine,
ripe and juicy: 4 sprigs
crusty white bread: 4 small slices
marinated artichoke hearts:
Preheat the broiler. Pour the oil into a blender. Tear up the basil and add it to the oil, then blend to a smooth green puree. Place the sprigs of tomatoes, still on the vine if you wish, on a baking sheet and broil till the skins just start to blacken and burst here and there. Place the slices of bread on the baking sheet and pour over the basil oil. Season with salt and black pepper, then place under the broiler for a couple of minutes, till the edges are crisp.
Place a sprig of cooked tomatoes on each and tuck in the artichokes, halved or sliced.
Serve immediately, while the toast is still hot and crisp.
Makes 4 small toasts
"Take a peek into the kitchen scribblings of prolific British food memoirist and BBC cook Nigel Slater (Toast, and others) in his latest collection of monthly musings about his kitchen and gardens. The book contains 250 recipes and a new set of kitchen diaries journals and 'jottings' collected over years of culinary reflection and cooking. With ingredients arranged by month and season, the book provides a glimpse into what's behind the joy of simple food. In January, post-mistletoe and champagne hoopla, Slater turns to inventive breads-and-soup pairings, like cider loaf and bacon with a celery root soup; March offers a stir-fry of greens and mushrooms; May arrives with a warm tart of crab and tarragon in creamy Dijon sauce; and autumn months feature leeks, roast pork, pumpkins, and recipes for the onslaught of zucchinis. Each month includes fruit-filled puddings and pies. Slater intersperses recipes with odes to herbs and garlic, descriptions of favorite kitchen tools, and entries relating his admiration for kitchen tables. Musings on his obsession with lemon and a poetical veneration of mashed potatoes will induce cravings in any reader. Recipes contain 'less-than-precise' instruction, are informal in tone, and easy to execute. Slater's philosophy of whatever works to 'end up with something good to eat... regardless of how cooks get there' makes this book of monthly kitchen ritual, cooking, and storytelling both a personal celebration of the author's craft and a delicious read. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
NIGEL SLATER is the author of numerous bestselling books, including the James Beard Award–winning Ripe and Tender. He has written a column for The Observer for twenty years and is the host of the BBC series Simple Suppers. His memoir, Toast, won British Biography of the Year, and has been adapted into a feature film. He lives in London.
About the Author
NIGEL SLATER is the author of a collection of bestselling books, including the classics Real Fast Food, Appetite, and the critically acclaimed The Kitchen Diaries. He has written a much-loved column for The Observer for eighteen years and is the presenter of the award-winning BBC series Simple Suppers. His memoir, Toast --The Story of a Boy’s Hunger, has won six major awards, including British Biography of the Year, and has been adapted into a BBC film. Ripe is the companion volume to Tender: A cook and his vegetable patch. Visit www.nigelslater.com.
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