Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me: A chef's stories and recipes from the land

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9780007251971: Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me: A chef's stories and recipes from the land

Following the successes of Café Paradiso and the award-winning Paradiso Seasons, Denis Cotter is back with an evocative, witty collection of tales and a superb range of exciting and delicious vegetarian recipes.

Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me cajoles, informs and questions our relationship to the land and the vegetables we eat. We go on a personal journey with Denis as he shares his passion for his favourite foods.

Denis drags us into muddy fields and introduces us to the growers of the best produce imaginable. Through heart-felt and charming text, he informs and amuses. The excitement of a robust blackberry jam becomes a passionate argument for us to go out into the countryside, the dazzling sight of high-trailing borlotti beans ignites a discussion on the future of artisan growing.

Whether creating a restaurant masterpiece or foraging in hedgerows and woods, Denis searches for a new connection between food, people and land … oh, and he also teaches you how to search for mushrooms, wild greens and sloes, how to cook asparagus and take on an artichoke with attitude.

Divided into four themed chapters, 'It's a Green Thing', 'Wild Pickings', 'A Passionate Pursuit' and 'Growing in the Dark', each including information and anecdotes about the vegetables that feature as well as many delicious recipes. There are simple salads and soups as well as more challenging main meals and mouth-watering desserts.

Recipes include:
Fresh Pasta with Abyssinian Cabbage, Pine Nuts & Sheep's Dressing;
Courgette Flower, Pea and Chive Risotto;
Samphire Tempura with Coriander Yoghurt;
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Potato Pancakes and Tarragon Cream;
Cabbage Timbale of Celeriac and Chestnuts with Porcini and Oyster Mushroom Sauce

Stunning images of the landscape, the food and the finished recipes complete this delightful read and unique recipe book.

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Review:

Dennis Cotter created a considerable stir with Café Paradiso and the award-winning Paradiso Seasons, both books that brought fresh and innovative elements into food writing. Wild Garlic, Gooseberries... and Me is different from the earlier books; this is a winningly written, often very funny collection of anecdotes and tempting to vegetarian recipes. Cotter takes us on a journey which is both an introduction his favourite foods as well as a way of collecting the best possible ingredients -- and as this involves foraging in woods and hedgerows, it's not for those will have no wish to stray further than their kitchens. Want to know how to find the best mushrooms, sloes or wild greens? You'll find Wild Garlic, Gooseberries... and Me a highly useful guide.

There are four themed chapters: It's a Green Thing, Wild Pickings, Nature and Nurture and Growing in the Dark; in these different sections, there are many delightful stories about the author's favourite vegetables (which turn out to have more individual character than one might expect) and valuable info regarding their preparation. Of course, it is the recipes which lie at the heart of a book like this, and those here are cherishable, from straightforward salads and soups up to more ambitious main courses and refreshing deserts. Complementing the recipes is the quirky text (the latter, of course, the speciality of the author); Cotter is the owner of the much-acclaimed Paradiso restaurant in Cork, celebrated for its use of local produce; the illustrations include striking images of the food and the locales featured within these pages. Whatever your attitude to vegetarian cooking may be, it's possible it will be changed by this book. --Barry Forshaw

Review:

It is a book you can actually read, that tells you in a pleasantly discursive way a lot about your greens - from the familiar … to the more esoteric…’ - Book of the Month, Telegraph Magazine

‘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 Café 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

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