The Brits are still making beautiful books, thank goodness. Heavy, quality paper, lovely design, and detailed color drawings make Jekka McVicar's first cookbook a pleasure to handle even if you never cooked from it. But you will, for who can resist recipes like Lemon Verbena Creme Brulee, or Mum's Mint Sauce? From ideas on how to use up excess arugula (pesto) to a clever and aromatic way of baking fennel bulbs, the cookbook is practical as well as pretty.
This woman knows whereof she writes, for Jekka has loved and studied herbs since before she started school. She's won 14 gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show, and Jekka's Herb Farm offers the largest collection of herbs in the UK. This is Jekka's first cookbook, with 250 recipes made from her 50 favorite herbs culled from the 650 different varieties of culinary, aromatic, decorative and medicinal herbs she grows and sells. From angelica to wild strawberries (Wild Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar/Wild Strawberry Shortcake....) you'll enjoy Jekka's wisdom and creativity, as well as all her ideas on how best to put what you grow to good use. Okay, I'm off to whip up a batch of Zucchini, Dill and Parlsey Pancakes...only 2 T. of flour; like most of the recipes in the book, the food is simple, tasty and reasonably healthful... Jekka's Herb Cookbook is published this month by Firefly Books Ltd. and it seems to me a bargain at $29.95, hardcover.