S I M P L E C O O K I N G - M O S T L Y P L A N T S. A collection of recipes for Spring and Summer presented in a similar spirit to the best-selling Eat. The recipes are plant-based and bring together ideas for straightforward, modern cooking using vegetables, fruit, grains and pasta. Neither strictly vegetarian or vegan the collection nevertheless contains no meat or fish. The recipes are simple concise and contemporary.
The book is cloth-bound in jewel coloured linen with every recipe beautifully illustrated. The books are tactile, user-friendly and in a more compact format than the usual cookery manual. Like Eat, GreenFeast is designed to open flat with regular use.
The recipes are characateristic of Nigel's straightforward, home cooking, developed with James Thompson and photographed by Jonathan Lovekin. The book is illustrated by Tom Kemp and published by Fourth Estate.
From the introduction:
There is a little black book on the kitchen table. Neatly annotated in places, virtually illegible in others, it is the latest in a long line of tissue-thin pages containing the hand-written details of everything I eat. This is not one of the kitchen chronicles where I write down recipe workings and shopping lists, ideas and wish lists, but a daily diary of everything that ends up on my plate. Each bowl of soup, plate of pasta and every mushroom on toast is faithfully logged. I don’t know exactly why or when I started noting down my dinner, but these little books are now filled in out of habit as much as anything else.
I occasionally look back at what I have written, often as I change one journal for the next. One of the points that interests me, and perhaps this is the main reason I have kept the daily ritual going for so long, is that I can follow how my eating has changed, albeit gradually, over the years. There are of course unshakable edibles, (I seem to have started and ended each day’s eating with a bowl of yoghurt for as long as I can remember), but there are also marked changes in what I cook and eat. The most notable is the quantity, I definitely eat less than I used to, and there is a conspicuous move towards lighter dishes, particularly in spring and summer.
But here’s another thing. Despite being resolutely omnivorous, it is clear how much of my everyday eating has become plant based. Although not strictly vegetarian (the bottom line for me will always be that my dinner is delicious, not something that must adhere to a set of strict dietary rules) much of my weekday eating contains neither meat nor fish. I am not sure this was a particularly considered choice. It is simply the way my eating has grown to be over the last few years. I do know, however, that I am not alone in this.
GreenFeast, like Eat before it, is a collection of what I eat when I finish work every day. The casual yet spirited meals with which I sustain myself and whoever else is around. The recipes are, like those in previous collections, more for inspiration than rules to be adhered to, slavishly, word for word. But unlike Eat, this collection contains no meat or fish. The idea of collecting these recipes together is for those likeminded eaters who find themselves wanting inspiration for a supper that owes more to plants than animals.