Quick and easy cookbooks
Time Out reviews the best recipe books for simple, satisfying meals
The Kitchen Revolution
Rosie Sykes, Polly Russell and Zoe Heron, Ebury Press, £25
This cookery book is written by chef and former Guardian food columnist Rosie Sykes, documentary producer Polly Russell and kitchen-phobe Zoe Heron. The book’s concept is straightforward but ingenious: for each week of the year, there’s a plan of seven meals, based on seasonal ingredients and storecupboard stand-bys, complete with a weekly shopping list of fresh ingredients and essentials.
The shopping list and recipes can be downloaded and printed from the dedicated website, thekitchenrevolution.co.uk. Book publishing can often seem as though it’s caught in a pre-digital age; this combination of book and website therefore marks a brave foray into multiplatform territory – a move that other publishers are certain to follow.
Each week there’s a big meal from scratch, a ‘seasonal supper’ based on what’s best at that time of year, two meals based on leftovers and storecupboard ingredients, a larder feast (made mainly from storecupboard ingredients) and a ‘two for one’, half of which can be frozen to eat later in the week.
The recipes are written in hand-holdingly simple step-by-steps, with tips for forward planning. The dishes won’t terrify kitchen novices, but they’re by no means dull – as well as meatloaf and chilli con carne, there’s fish stew with aïoli and rabbit with almonds and pine nuts. The idea is to encourage planning, cooking and shopping in a way that saves time and money and minimises food waste. It could all sound lentil-munchingly worthy, but the recipes are so good, and the approach so logical, that it doesn’t.
We love the timely concept and the recipes, but think that there’s a lot of unrealised potential to the website – for example, pictures of the finished dishes and the ability to rate and add feedback about recipes.