Most Americans are familiar with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall through his well-received River Cottage Meat Book, so it may come as some surprise that he has penned a 400-page vegetable-centric tome devoted to the appreciation and cooking of vegetables. But it makes a lot of sense that this passionate, out-spoken pioneer of local food has finally turned towards vegetables. River Cottage Veg is a lovely book, a love song to the many inspiring things you can pluck from your vegetable patch and bring into the kitchen.
• Who wrote it: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
• Who published it: Ten Speed Press
• Number of recipes: 200
• Recipes for right now: Pea and Parsley Soup, Avocado and Ruby Grapefruit with Chile; Arugula, Fennel, and Green Lentil Salad; Kale and Onion Pizza; DIT Pot Noodles; Macaroni Peas; Fava Beans with Herbed Goat Cheese; Chocolate-Beet Ice Cream
• Other highlights: First, it should be pointed out that Fearnley-Whittingstall is not calling this a vegetarian cookbook. In his introduction, he notes that, "It's not written by a vegetarian, or with the intention of persuading you or anyone else to become a vegetarian. But in the sense that not one of the recipes here contains a scrap of meat or fish, then it is indeed quite strictly vegetarian. I certainly hope that many vegetarians buy it, use it, and enjoy it." He may not want you to become a vegetarian, but he does want you to cook and eat more vegetables, many more vegetables. It's a good thing, then, that this book is packed full of delicious and diverse vegetable-centric recipes.
The book is divided into several sections: Comfort Food & Feasts; Hearty Salads; Raw Assemblies; Hefty Soups; Bready Things; Pantry Suppers; Pasta & Rice; Meze & Tapas; Roast, Grill & Broil; SIde Dishes; Pantry; and Veg on the Go. Many cuisines are covered here as well, from classic British fare to Indian, Mexican, North African, Thai, and other Asian foods. It's a wonderful walk through the countless number of things we can do with vegetables, many of them quick, simple, and very seasonal (you won't find a fresh tomato called for in a winter dish, for example).
Vegans take note: While this is not a vegan cookbook, over 1/3 of the recipes are vegan and another 1/3 could be made vegan, so don't feel left out!
• Who would enjoy this book? Vegetarians and vegans, of course, but also anyone who is seeking to bring more vegetables into their diet. Highly recommended!
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: River Cottage Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
• Visit the author's website: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Dana Velden)