Review of Riverford Farm Cookbook – Tales from the fields, recipes from the kitchen

Riverford Farm Cookbook – Tales from the fields, recipes from the kitchen

I know a lovely lady over at a friendly PR company who always find the best things for me to review. This time she has sent me the ‘Riverford Farm Cookbook – Tales from the fields, recipes from the kitchen‘ to review and keep.   If you haven’t heard of Riverford Farm before and their organic vegetable box schemes you can read more about it here in my review of their Riverford veggies.

The book has been written by Guy Watson who is the farm’s founder and Jane Baxter who is the head chef in the Field Kitchen.

You can buy the book from their website at the sale price of just £9.99.  They don’t charge for delivery but they do ask that you spend £12.50 in your order to be able to have the book / items sent to you. You could think of this as the site having a minimum order value of £12.50 – which is quite fair.

The book is absolutely fantastic! I haven’t yet used any of the recipes from it but I certainly will do in the future.  It is packed full of interesting information about Riverford Farm and there is so many pages of useful tips on how to store and prepare all sorts of fruit and vegetables.

The book reminds me of the ‘Leiths Vegetable Bible’ that I have in my cookery book collection due to the sheer amount of vegetable recipes. At the end of each topic is some ‘Easy Ideas…’ for that particular fruit or vegetable – They have some superb suggestions.

The topics in the book are written in alphabetical order and they are as follows:-

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Beetroot
  • Bitter Leaves
  • Broad Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Chillies
  • Courgettes And Marrows
  • Cucumber
  • Fennel
  • French And Runner Beans
  • Garlic
  • Globe Artichokes
  • Gooseberries
  • Herbs
  • Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Onions And Shallots
  • Parsnips
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Quince
  • Rhubarb
  • Salad Leaves
  • Spinach And Chard
  • Spring Greens
  • Squash And Pumpkins
  • Strawberries And Cane Fruit
  • Sweetcorn
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips And Swedes
  • Mixed Vegetable Dishes
  • Recipe for Riverford Bread – The one they serve in the Field Kitchen

The book is packed full of colour photos to whet your appetite and amongst all the recipes are lots of small chapters of 2 or 3 pages that focus on lots of different things which includes aspects of organic farming. These little chapters are informative and written in a very down to earth manner that I can relate to. I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t normally consider reading a book about organic farming but because Guy has written it in such an honest way I find that I have really enjoyed reading all about it.

Here is a list of all those little chapters:-

  • An ode to dirt
  • Beware the freaks from the fringe
  • enough
  • Keeping the faith
  • Posh nosh to choke on
  • Supermarkets: a lifetime of loathing
  • Where did all the growers go?
  • Has cooking become a spectator activity?
  • Fresh: what does it mean and when does it matter?
  • Growing vegetables organically makes you a better person
  • Food miles: why local is not always best

I am not surprised in the slightest to see that this book won two Guild Of Food Writers Awards in 2009  It won ‘Best First Book’ and ‘Best Work on British Food’. It one of those books those ‘Must-Have’ cookery books that everyone should have in their cookbook collection. It not only gives you inspiration on wholesome, healthy  food to cook for you and your family but it actually gives you the confidence to go and buy a Kolhrabi and turn it into a Kohlrabi and Peanut Stir Fry. Something I wouldn’t have thought of doing before reading this book!

Here’s a few examples of the recipes in the book :-

  • Wet and wild garlic risotto
  • Bubble and squeak soup with Wensleydale cheese
  • Corn on the cob with red pepper and chive butter

The book has over 400 pages and it would make a superb gift for anyone who loves to eat vegetables. The book is not being marketed as a ‘Vegetarian’ cook book as it does contain some recipes that include meat but I personally would still consider it a great cookbook for vegetarians as long as you tell them that there will be some recipes they may not use. I’m always looking for new recipes to follow that include lots of vegetables and this book is one of the best that I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Well done Guy and Jane!

I’m not the only one who likes the book though. Here’s what some other people have said:-

‘I like Riverford’s fruit and vegetables, I like their recipes, I like their philosophy. This is a super book.’ -Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

‘A sensible look at simple meals using British vegetables in tasty seasonal recipes – many with international influences. Celeriac and cabbage will never be the same again.’ – Independent, 50 Best Cook Books 

Click here to visit the Riverford Farm website and then visit their online shop to purchase the fantastic Riverford Farm Cookbook.

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