The Natural Cook is an inspirational book for the way we eat now. It puts fresh, flavoursome, vegetable-focused food centre-stage, and features recipes that make use of every ounce of an ingredient. This stems from my unique cooking ethos, Root-to-Fruit, that celebrates the entire vegetable, wasting nothing. In this book, I show you how to cook using the best, most ethically sourced ingredients without it costing the earth.
Divided into four seasonal chapters, The Natural Cook explores 26 readily available vegetable or fruit ‘hero’ ingredients. Each ingredient is presented in its own ‘mind map’ (shown below), teaching you how to make three delicious simple dishes using just a few ingredients from your cupboard. These techniques are then followed by three world-inspired recipes, which make use of the prepared ingredients as well as drawing in other seasonal fruit and vegetables. For example, spring onions can be steamed and put inside a Banh mi with tilapia or mixed with chilli and lime to make up a trout ceviche.
Raw asparagus can be cut into ribbons with extra virgin oil and chilli, then added to mackerel sashimi, pickled ginger, orange and soy dressing while char-grilled asparagus can be transformed into a socca pizza with olives and ricotta.
At the end of each recipe, I give clear tips and ideas for turning any leftovers into other delicious meals, ensuring that absolutely nothing is wasted.
I only use a minimal amount of imported produce in these recipes with key whole foods such as spelt flour, rapadura and raw (not heat-treated) local honey, which can all be found in most supermarkets and health food shops. The book will also teach you how to buy and value seasonal, organic vegetables with tips on how to grow your own and even on how to start a compost heap, helping you to become a more creative cook, using ingredients economically.