Sunday, November 5, 2023

Veg-Table - Nik Sharma

I don't know if I'm out of step (possibly) or if it's a slow year for cookbooks. Normally about this time there would be a dozen or so on my wish list but right now there's not a lot I'm really excited by. Of course it's also possible that I've reached a cookbook saturation point - I absolutely ran out of space for anymore a couple of years ago.

One title that did cut through for me though was Nik Sharma's Veg-Table - and yes I do love the periodic table style classification of different vegetables that make up the endpapers, it's clever and effective. This is Sharma's third book and it's both very much in his big flavour, science forward, style, and a distinctive addition to his oeuvre. 

Sharma is based in California (I think I'm right in saying that) so there are things here that we'd struggle to find in the UK, although Leicester is fairly good for a broad range of produce as we're such a multicultural city - I can find plenty of things in the Turkish, Indian, and Afro Caribbean shops and market stalls that I've never seen in a supermarket and don't easily recognise. Books like this are great for cities like mine.

On the other hand, even if I can't buy everything, there's a lot of good stuff in here, and honestly recipes that make brussels sprouts seem appealing are probably the most useful thing I'll ever find in a cookbook. The distinctly scientific approach might not appeal to everybody - I find it interesting when I've got time to read and I like the thoughtfulness behind each recipe, but it's not something I'd particularly look for. If it is your thing you're going to love this.

Altogether a great gift for the foodies in your life, especially the veg lovers and if you don't know Nik Sharma's books yet now is an excellent time to discover them. 

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