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Pile of cookbooks

Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book

This is one of the classic vegetable cookbooks. I bought a copy when I first took on an allotment and used the recipes to draw up the list of vegetables I wanted to grow. It covers everything from carrots, potatoes and other ‘standard’ veg, to the likes of chayote and salsify which may only be familiar to grow your own enthusiasts and veg box subscribers. Each vegetable is given a brief introduction along with a guide to buying and preparing, before diving into the recipes. If you like a cookbook with lots of glossy photos, this may not be the best choice for you. There are no pictures, but the recipes have beautifully written introductions and clear, easy to follow instructions.

Tender Volume 1 by Nigel Slater

I would read this book even if I had no intention of every cooking another vegetable in my life. This is more than just a collection of recipes. Nigel Slater’s writing draws you into his kitchen and takes you on a seasonal tour of the garden where he grows many of the ingredients that feature in his recipes. And the recipes are so good that even if you didn’t intend to cook another vegetable ever in your life… you will be tempted.

Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

This is one book I turn to for ideas almost every week. Joshua McFadden is a chef with a real appreciation of where good food comes from. He has created a book filled with inspiring recipes and photographs to guide you through the cooking year.

Vegetables by Antonio Carluccio

Vegetable cooking with Italian style. This book brings together a fabulous collection of recipes from a country where fresh produce is celebrated and at the heart of most dishes. I love the sprinklings of history and geography that weave their way through the recipes. It’s a book I use over and over again.

Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters

Another cookbook that is as beautiful as it is informative. Many of the recipes are simply descriptions of how to use the veg – how to roast garlic, bake onions and dress a spinach salad. It’s a lovely introduction to using more vegetables in your cooking, but with plenty of inspiration for more experienced cooks too.

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