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How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food (UK) by Nigella Lawson

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Notes about this book

  • FeastsandFestivals on June 22, 2012

    Nigella's best book by a mile. Nothing since has come near this. It works because it's true, you know that she's cooked most of these recipes a hundred times for real, not just for the telly. It's a great book to kick you out of a cooking rut...

  • Janemac on June 13, 2011

    This was one of the books that started my cooking 'obsession', all the recipes work and there are some great tips too. Will soon need to replace the book as it has been so well used its starting to fall apart!

  • rodillagra on November 11, 2009

    Everything I have cooked from this book has worked.

  • cookmag on September 15, 2009

    One of my favorites

  • Jane on April 22, 2009

    If I could only have one cookbook this would probably be it.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Lentil and chestnut soup

    • Breadcrumbs on January 16, 2014

      p. 64 (Canadian Ed.) I’ve eaten a lot of soup over time but never in my soup travels have I come across this combination of ingredients. This soup sounded festive to me as well so when I saw how quick and easy it was to prepare (the secret is in the use of canned or bagged in my case, chestnuts). This is totally do-able on a weeknight, especially if you use a food processor to mince your veggies. I used my Bamix hand blender to puree the soup so my texture was a little coarser than that you’d get in the blender but we liked it nonetheless. I topped my soup w the suggested drizzle of cream and some minced chives and parsley. deThe soup is sweet and nutty however the flavours of the vegetables, particularly the celery and carrot were still discernable. We enjoyed this very much

  • Clementine cake

    • cassiemcgannon on November 14, 2012

      I made this with two mandarins and a lemon, as it's hard to get clementines where I live. It's dense and moist. Although it takes a long time (two hours to boil the citrus), you can ignore it for most of that. It's not going on my list of all-time favourites cakes, but the next time I need something that's both low-fuss and wheat-free, I'll be making it again.

    • Jane on December 02, 2012

      This is an incredibly easy cake. You do have to plan ahead as the fruit needs to boil for 2 hours but once done it is just mixed with the other ingredients then baked for an hour. The cake is very moist with a lovely citrus flavor.

    • Zosia on January 09, 2014

      Moist and easy cake with a flavour reminiscent of marmalade, sweet and citrus-y but with slightly bitter notes. I baked as individual cakes in 90ml moulds for 25 minutes.

    • Queezle_Sister on January 09, 2014

      Zosia, you always find such excellent recipes! This sounds great, as I am a big fan of the bitter notes from citrus zest. This goes on my "to make" list!

  • Chicken and chick pea tagine

    • knittingfrog on September 29, 2014

      A lit bland for me...needs more spice for the amount of meat...also need to decrese oil amount...use a non stick pan and use chicken rendered fat to cook the rest!

  • Beef stew with anchovies and thyme

    • FJT on December 13, 2011

      Sumptuous stew. I've made this many, many times. Great for entertaining - I make it a few days in advance so the flavours can develop. This is an absolute favourite and no-one ever guesses that there are anchovies in the sauce!!

    • marmite on October 30, 2013

      Very good and nice with the horseradish sauce as recommended by Nigella. Can see it becoming a firm favourite.

  • Ratatouille

    • TippyCanoe on July 12, 2014

      This recipe is one that I have used for years and I prefer it to all others that I have made. Lawson's secret is a good dash of ground coriander at the end. Somehow that really makes it perfect. Her proportions are good and her instructions are clear.

  • Moules marinière

    • Breadcrumbs on December 02, 2012

      p. 126 - Nigella’s take on a classic dish turns out a quick and tasty dinner. Here’s how it comes together. Mussels are cleaned and de-bearded. A pan is warmed over medium heat. Butter, a little chopped parsley, minced shallots and garlic are added to the pan and allowed to cook until the garlicky aromas waft through the air. At this point, white wine is added to cook for a minute or two. NL said to put the lid on and lower the heat at this point but I honestly couldn’t be bothered for such a short time. Mussels are then added the lid is placed atop and the mussels cook from 3 – 5 mins until done. Mussels are divided amongst plates and topped with the pan juices and a sprinkling of fresh parsley. I served these with some warm, crusty sourdough bread for dunking. While this wasn’t the best version of the dish I’ve ever made, it certainly was quite good and especially good given how quickly it came together. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/879968#7746134

  • Lamb and bean braise

    • Zosia on January 09, 2014

      Lamb, vegetables and beans slowly cooked in red wine - delicious but definitely not a weeknight meal (as suggested in the recipe). I used lamb shoulder chops and white kidney beans in place of lamb neck and cannellini beans. Serves 3-4.

  • Golden root-vegetable couscous

    • Zosia on November 17, 2013

      Tasty vegetarian stew with Moroccan-inspired flavourings. The vegetable combination was a little sweet so I doubled the tomatoes. Couscous was light and very fluffy but only 500g was needed for 8 people.

  • Fresh horseradish sauce with chives

    • marmite on October 30, 2013

      Made it to go with the stew as recommended by Nigella & it went very well. Found quantity excessive though.

  • Translucent apple tart

    • Jane on October 11, 2013

      I made this very quickly by using frozen puff pastry. The filling was so quick to put together. One gripe is that Nigella lists one cooking apple - cooking apples vary hugely in size. I wish writers would specify weights for fruits and veg. I ended up using 2 medium sized apples and it worked fine.

  • Aromatic chilli beef noodle soup

    • Breadcrumbs on January 16, 2014

      p. 381 - Lovely! Since I was using pork I opted to go with chicken broth as I didn’t have any pork broth and I’m not a fan of bouillon cubes, which Nigella suggests. I also had some fresh Thai bird chilis so I chopped 2 along w a little bit of garlic before adding the chunk of ginger and the broth to the pan. I went with baby bok choy and snap peas as NL suggests. I topped my soup w some chopped green onions, parsley, basil and chives since I didn’t have any Thai basil. This was a tasty and satisfying soup. I especially appreciated the flavour from the aromatics. The ginger and chili infused broth was so good I would have been happy to enjoy it all on its own. The other components just enhanced the experience. This would be a great soup to soothe a cold I bet!! We served the sliced pork alongside so folks could add it at will. The pork was outstanding in the soup. It melted in our mouths. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/879967#7753348

  • Char siu - marinade 1

    • Breadcrumbs on January 16, 2014

      p. 399 - To quote Nigella who quoted a Dr. Jonathan Miller….this dish is “not quite char siu, its just char siu-ish” Regardless of it’s authenticity, we’d call it delicious. Super quick and easy to put together as well. A simple marinade is mixed together and the meat is covered and refrigerated overnight. The next evening the meat is placed in a roasting pan and baked for approx 45 mins, while basting from time to time. The meat is tender and juicy with a lovely ring of the mahogany glaze of the marinade around the edges. mr bc loved it straight up atop some steamed brown rice. I sliced mine and served it atop Nigella’s Aromatic Chili Beef Noodle Soup as she suggests. This was a big hit either way. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/879967#7753342

  • Cottage pie and shepherd's pie with uncooked meat

    • micheleK on November 20, 2010

      Different flavor from my mother's.

  • Gingered chicken salad

    • Applepie24 on May 28, 2014

      Nigella suggests 'an orientalish style dressing' using soy, sesame oil and rice vinegar.

  • Mashed potatoes with fish

    • blackp on May 26, 2011

      What page is the recipe on? I just wasted 15 minutes looking through the hopeless index and didn't have enough time to flip the 450 or so pages.

    • MrsGideon on July 18, 2011

      @blackp it's on page 466 of my edition. It's just one paragraph in a section on potatoes in the "Feeding Babies and Small Children" chapter. It's more a serving suggestion than a recipe.

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Reviews about this book

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Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • Lentil and chestnut soup

    • Serious Eats

      Part of the success of the soup also comes from the red lentils, which are cooked until nearly falling apart...The result is a creamy, slightly nutty soup that's more more complex than it looks.

      Full review
  • Clementine cake

    • Running With Tweezers

      The smell that wafts through your house while the clementines are cooking is dreamy, making this the ideal dessert around the holidays or for parties.

      Full review
  • Seaweed and noodle salad

    • Lisa Is Cooking

      knew this was going to be a good meal. For me, these flavors never disappoint. I made extra noodles, and the next day I enjoyed them cold from the refrigerator for lunch..

      Full review
  • ISBN 10 0701165766
  • ISBN 13 9780701165765
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Sep 28 1998
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 544
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Chatto & Windus
  • Imprint Chatto & Windus

Publishers Text

The Great British Culinary Renaissance we hear so much about may have done many things - given us extra virgin olive oil, better restaurants and gastroporn - but what is hasn't done is teach us how to cook'. How to eat is a book that does: part recipe collection, part culinary manifesto and part evocation of the pleasures of eating, it has hundreds of recipes and menus, but more than that, it encourages you to see cooking in context and, most important, to acquire a real understanding. It covers kitchen basics, children's food, everyday cooking, weekend lunch, the last-minute dinner party - and much more. But at its heart, it is about a feeling for food, a book to be read as well as cooked from. HOW TO EAT is a book that wrests cooking back from the professional kitchens and the trendy menus to give confidence back to the ordinary, unexpert home cook. Unique, invaluable, comprehensive, this is a celebration of good food and an utterly modern kitchen.

Other cookbooks by this author

How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food (UK)

Member Rating

Average rating of 4.5 by 23 people