What to Eat Now: More Please! by Valentine Warner
Valentine Warner’s latest offering makes the most of summer’s eclectic bounty – and it’s a cracking read, to boot.
How refreshing to come across an instruction like this in a recipe book: “Cut the meat into tiny pieces, about the size of the small gobbets that eagle chicks are fed by their parents.” It’s whimsical asides like this that make Valentine Warner the Marmite of recipe writers: you either love him, as we do at delicious., or – you know the rest.
Most chefs try to add a little flair to their recipes but the above advice, from Valentine’s recipe for steak tartare, raises the bar. It’s joined by other enjoyable Warner-isms: “Treat the risotto like a demanding baby”, or “Eat with chopsticks, like a heron catching sticklebacks”
Sticklebacks aside, Warner’s recipes make perfect sense – and, crucially, the results taste fantastic. Divided into plainly marked chapters such as Fish Dishes, Eggs & Cheese and Flowers & a Drop of Honey, What to Eat Now: More Please! is a bouncily enthusiastic tour of seasonal British food.
It covers spring and summer (“This is not a time for the slow, sturdy dishes of autumn and winter,” writes Warner) and features all the things to forage, fish for or find (in the shops, if nowhere else) in the warmer months. Every dish has a summery feel, thanks to Warner’s inclusion of seasonal ingredients in everything from asparagus and sorrel omelette to scallops mornay, ratatouille and potted crab; barbecues and picnics are clearly the order of the day.
Fans of Valentine Warner’s enormous personality, his anecdotes, self-penned cartoons and seasonal food won’t be disappointed. And those who have yet to discover Mr Warner will find a book packed with inventive dishes that celebrate ingredients without getting too fussy over their preparation. This book could be your ticket to a really tasty summer.
Published by Mitchell Beazley, priced £20.
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