Author: Nigel Slater
Category: General Cookbook
% Gluten free recipes: 84% give or take a few ‘throw together some ingredients style recipes’
Adaptability: Many recipes with gluten only contain small, easy to replace amounts
Worth buying: Yes. Especially if you enjoy cooking with the seasons.
Chronicling a year in his kitchen, my food hero Nigel Slater has unknowingly packed this book, published back in 2005, with a surprising amount of gluten free recipes. In fact most of them (over 80%) are gluten free or can easily be adapted. A couple of days a week, he shares his inspiration for the things he cooks. Lunches for friends, last minute suppers and desserts baked over the weekend, including a naturally gluten free chocolate brownie to die for. I frequently bake the cakes from this book, but also use it for inspiration with my seasonal organic veg box. Delicious results have included Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry, Roast Duck with Pancetta and Potatoes while his roast pork recipe is incredibly reliable. With an emphasis on seasonal ingredients, choice meat and fish cuts and only the odd bowl of pasta, it is a pleasure to be able to use so much of a – dare I say it – ‘normal’ cookbook.
Nigel uses little or no flour in much of his baking, relying on nuts for flavour and moisture, so most of the recipes are accessible to the gluten intolerant cook. The Lemon Frosted Pistachio Cake is a regular in my oven, needing only a tiny amount of flour to be replaced, whilst the airy Hot Chocolate Pots are free from flour already.
The style of the book reflects the diary of its title, with thrown together meals needing no formal written recipe. And the daily jottings befit bedtime reading for the foodie – with tales of trips to independent food shops, descriptions of the perfect sandwich (tasty torture for the gluten free) it will have you dreaming of the meals to come.
Given the high proportion of gluten free recipes, and simple seasonal approach, Nigel is a true friend to the gluten free community. And watch out for his columns in the Observer Food Monthly supplement and Sainsbury’s Magazine too for the odd naturally gluten free recipes.