Grow Cook Nourish by Darina Allen


Darina Allen runs the world-renowned cooking school at Ballymaloe in County Cork, Ireland. She founded the school with her brother, Rory O'Connell, in 1983 and since then has authored many cookery books. Besides running the school with her brother, her daughter-in-law, Rachel Allen, also teaches there and lives nearby. 

The family connection travels back to when Darina (O'Connell then) started as a sous-chef at The Yeats Room at Ballymaloe House which was co-founded by well-known Myrtle Allen.   Darina ended up marrying one of Myrtle's sons and the rest is history.

Darina's newest cookbook Grow Cook Nourish: A Kitchen Garden Companion in 500 Recipes takes readers through the entire soil-to-table process that began over fifty years ago when Myrtle invited guests to 'Dine in an Irish Country House'. She opened the aforementioned Yeats Room in her family home serving fresh seasonal produce from husband Ivan's 300 acre farmland.

Darina and family continue Myrtle and Ivan's philosophy of using natural ingredients from the farm and local area which continues to earn Ballymaloe House and related Ballymaloe businesses world recognition as the best places for food in Ireland. Growing, feeding and nurturing runs through generations of Allens.

Growing your own food is exciting but, when it comes to knowing how to make the most of your produce can be overwhelming. This is where Grow Cook Nourish comes in - drawing on the author's 30 years of experience to make sure we reap what we sow.

This title shares an extensive list of vegetables, herbs and fruits with each entry including explanations of different varieties, practical information on cultivation, growing and maintenance, plus instructions for the best ways to cook produce as well as preserve it. With 500 recipes, including a variety for every ingredient, Darina shows how to use your harvest to its full potential. Vegetables range from annual crops such as chicory, radishes and kohlrabi to perennials like asparagus and spinach. Fruits cover apples, currants and peaches plus more the more unusual and interesting myrtle berries, loquats and medlars. Plus a comprehensive list of herbs, edible flowers and foraged foods such as samphire, wild garlic and blackberries fill out the book.

A gorgeous book for the gardener and cook in all of us. Special thanks to Kyle Books for sharing the Pad Thai recipe today with us and for providing two copies to our members in the US and UK (four copies total). Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter.





Pad Thai

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Romanesco or broccoli florets are a delicious and nutritious addition to this Pad Thai, the famous Thai noodle dish. Use organic ingredients where possible.

Serves 4 to 6

8 ounces rice noodles
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
1½ tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ pound Romanesco or broccoli florets
¼ pound carrots, cut into julienne
⅓ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons crushed garlic (about 5 cloves)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
16 large wild shrimp, cooked and peeled
2 organic eggs, beaten
3 or 4 spring onions or scallions, sliced at an angle
2 ½ ounces fresh bean sprouts
3 tablespoons salted peanuts, roughly chopped

To garnish:
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
lime wedges
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
red pepper flakes (optional)


For the crispy onions:

4 to 6 small onions or shallots
sunflower oil, for frying

Put the noodles in a bowl, cover with water, and leave for about an hour.

To make the crispy onions, peel and slice the onions or shallots very thinly. Separate the rings and allow to dry for several hours.

Meanwhile, whisk the tamarind paste, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and 3 tablespoons of water in a bowl.

Blanch and refresh the Romanesco or broccoli florets and carrots in boiling salted water-3 minutes for the broccoli, 2 minutes for the carrots-until al dente.

To make the crispy onions, heat the oil to 350°F in a wok or deep-fat fryer. Deep-fry for 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Spread them out on paper towels in a single layer and let cool.

Drain the noodles.

Heat a wok over high heat, add the oil, and continue to heat until almost smoking. Add the garlic and ginger, toss quickly, then add the peeled shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the noodles to the wok and stir-fry for a minute. Pour in three-quarters of the tamarind paste and fish sauce. Toss to coat the noodles, push to the side of the wok, and add the whisked eggs. Stir to scramble a little then add the shrimp, Romanesco or broccoli florets, carrots, spring onions, bean sprouts, and half of the salted peanuts. Add the remainder of the tamarind/fish sauce. Toss, taste, and correct the seasoning with more fish sauce and lime juice if necessary.

Divide among four shallow hot plates. Garnish with the remaining peanuts, cilantro sprigs, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Serve each with a lime wedge and a sprinkling of crispy onions and red pepper flakes if you crave some extra oomph. Enjoy.

Excerpted from Grow, Cook, Nourish by Darina Allen, Published by Kyle Books, Photography by Clare Winfield.

The publisher is offering two copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and two copies to EYB Members in the UK. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on February 20th, 2018.

110 Comments

  • JJWong  on  1/13/2018 at 11:44 AM

    I would try the goat cheese, scallion, and potato tart!

  • heyjude  on  1/13/2018 at 11:46 AM

    Rutabaga Soup with Parsley and Pancetta

  • Amdona  on  1/13/2018 at 12:29 PM

    It all looks fresh and delish.

  • cscaccio  on  1/13/2018 at 12:53 PM

    Definitely the Pad Thai

  • sgump  on  1/13/2018 at 1:01 PM

    Luke's parsnip ice cream sounds fascinating!

  • lean1  on  1/13/2018 at 1:02 PM

    Sweet potato and lemongrass soup sounds yummy.

  • stevenpeters  on  1/13/2018 at 2:26 PM

    Luke's parsnip ice cream

  • rivergait  on  1/13/2018 at 2:36 PM

    ricotta and stinging nettle pizza....I knew Darina had some way to deal with these nasty but beautiful and healthy "weeds" I am currently pulling.

  • LaurenE  on  1/13/2018 at 2:51 PM

    goat cheese, scallion, and potato tart

  • kmn4  on  1/13/2018 at 2:52 PM

    Cucumber limeade

  • Kristjudy  on  1/13/2018 at 3:38 PM

    Goat cheese, scallion and potato tart

  • percussion03  on  1/13/2018 at 5:51 PM

    Amaranth, potato, and tomato stew

  • JRumi  on  1/13/2018 at 6:35 PM

    Italian beef stew with shallots

  • lpatterson412  on  1/13/2018 at 7:13 PM

    Tuscan Bread Salad

  • Dannausc  on  1/13/2018 at 7:25 PM

    Melted leeks

  • contest718  on  1/13/2018 at 8:42 PM

    Holly & Vinita Waddell’s Louisiana chicken gumbo

  • robynsanyal  on  1/13/2018 at 8:47 PM

    Okra masala, yum!

  • Angryyew  on  1/13/2018 at 9:09 PM

    Pad Thai

  • DarcyVaughn  on  1/13/2018 at 10:47 PM

    Jared's black garlic chicken

  • EmilyR  on  1/13/2018 at 11:32 PM

    Aunt Lil’s wild strawberry sponge cake

  • PeggyB  on  1/14/2018 at 12:20 AM

    Chicken tagine with caramelized onions & raisins

  • AnnaZed  on  1/14/2018 at 12:39 AM

    Chargrilled red onions with thyme leaves

  • PennyBarr  on  1/14/2018 at 5:23 AM

    Lovely looking book - I’d try the sweet potato and lemongrass soup first, with a hunk of sourdough!

  • Laura1  on  1/14/2018 at 6:43 AM

    tuscan bread salad

  • vickster  on  1/14/2018 at 8:49 AM

    Swiss chard with tahini, yogurt & toasted cashew nuts. I grow a lot of fruits and vegetables and could really use this book. It looks great!

  • Livia  on  1/14/2018 at 9:45 AM

    It has got to be the Goat cheese, scallion & potato tart

  • monasli  on  1/14/2018 at 10:33 AM

    Pad thai

  • minilynn3  on  1/14/2018 at 11:14 AM

    Pickled red onions

  • lgroom  on  1/14/2018 at 1:22 PM

    Oh man, do the Melted Leeks sound good!!

  • Sueskitchen  on  1/14/2018 at 2:59 PM

    It would have to be the Pad Thai

  • Lmocooks  on  1/14/2018 at 3:47 PM

    Pickled red onions. Yummmm

  • SnarkyLarane  on  1/14/2018 at 4:00 PM

    Anything with green chilies get an immediate bump to the top of the list! Sri Lankan carrots with shallots & green chile

  • jifar  on  1/14/2018 at 4:38 PM

    Leek flamiche!

  • PennyG  on  1/14/2018 at 4:45 PM

    Vietnamese spring rolls!

  • janv  on  1/14/2018 at 6:22 PM

    Lavender shortbread

  • Shelley.b  on  1/15/2018 at 10:17 AM

    Goat cheese scallion and potato tart

  • RoseMGenuine  on  1/15/2018 at 12:55 PM

    Oh! I love cooking and gardening! I would make the Marsala Brussels sprouts.

  • sarahawker  on  1/15/2018 at 1:00 PM

    Tomato & chile jam

  • tennyogirl  on  1/15/2018 at 2:24 PM

    Okra Masala

  • ktwalla  on  1/15/2018 at 4:16 PM

    Goat Cheese Scallion and Potato Tart

  • lapsapchung  on  1/16/2018 at 9:10 AM

    Leek Flamiche using our home grown leeks

  • kbennall  on  1/16/2018 at 11:35 AM

    Oh god everything sounds so good. I've wanted to go take cooking lessons at Ballymaloe since I saw David Lebovitz's post about their brown bread - which I think is what I would make first.

  • melmaren  on  1/16/2018 at 1:15 PM

    Beet, blood orange & arugula salad

  • lebarron2001  on  1/16/2018 at 4:09 PM

    Lamb, turnip, onion & butter bean stew

  • sarahj22  on  1/17/2018 at 2:51 AM

    Love the sound of Swansey's Penang Laksa

  • laffersk  on  1/17/2018 at 3:15 PM

    Grilled corn on the cob with chile butter

  • southerncooker  on  1/17/2018 at 6:20 PM

    Goat cheese, scallion & potato tart caught my eye first.

  • Siegal  on  1/18/2018 at 6:24 PM

    Amaranth shortbred sounds yummy

  • mpdeb98  on  1/18/2018 at 7:55 PM

    Goat cheese, scallion & potato tart

  • milgwimper  on  1/19/2018 at 4:43 PM

    pomegranate ans rosewater tartlets

  • Scotsman61  on  1/20/2018 at 12:08 AM

    goat cheese, scallion, and potato tart

  • Mayandbill  on  1/20/2018 at 9:25 AM

    Nope asparagus with lemon and creme fraiche

  • RSW  on  1/20/2018 at 1:59 PM

    Amaranth shortbread

  • annieski  on  1/21/2018 at 7:41 AM

    Goat cheese, scallion & potato tart (page 36)

  • hazychase  on  1/21/2018 at 11:25 AM

    hm, if for today--monkfish, sweet potato and coconut stew

  • littleminxgirl  on  1/21/2018 at 7:45 PM

    There are some interesting recipes here.. I'm really interested in this parsnip ice cream

  • AlisonL  on  1/23/2018 at 9:28 AM

    The Cauliflower steaks infused with ginger & spices sounds yummy!

  • itadakimasu  on  1/23/2018 at 12:09 PM

    Pickled red onions!

  • joanhuguet  on  1/24/2018 at 1:35 PM

    Goat cheese, scallion and potato tart

  • lauriesk  on  1/24/2018 at 5:29 PM

    I would try the Beef & pumpkin stew first.

  • Shana.  on  1/24/2018 at 9:34 PM

    Sweet potato and lemongrass soup.

  • topdawg11  on  1/25/2018 at 7:19 AM

    Garlic shrimp.

  • Floramaven  on  1/25/2018 at 11:07 AM

    Beet, raspberry, honey, and mint salad since I have to choose. Half this cookbook sounds like dishes I already cook and the other half dishes I want to try!

  • jmay42066  on  1/25/2018 at 9:39 PM

    Tuscan Bread Salad

  • Julia  on  1/25/2018 at 11:01 PM

    Roast onion halves.

  • mombaker247  on  1/26/2018 at 6:30 AM

    Everything I love everything!!!

  • Lafauvette  on  1/26/2018 at 9:49 AM

    goat cheese scallion potato tart

  • fbrunetti  on  1/26/2018 at 9:59 AM

    Sri Lankan carrots with shallots & green chile

  • infotrop  on  1/26/2018 at 10:59 AM

    Caramelized carrot, beetroot & apple salad sounds like it would taste great & look gorgeous

  • tararr  on  1/27/2018 at 9:40 AM

    Making the pad Thai!

  • mrscahughes  on  1/27/2018 at 8:57 PM

    I can't pick just one thing and it looks like a trip to Ireland is a must!

  • Jenamarie  on  1/27/2018 at 9:42 PM

    Salad of Jerusalem artichokes with smoked almonds & preserved lemon dressing

  • jfrmpls  on  1/27/2018 at 9:48 PM

    I'm going to cook the pad thai.

  • eggplantolive  on  1/27/2018 at 9:49 PM

    Spicy Vegetable stew with yogurt! Such fond memories of a weekend at Ballymaloe. Would love to go back and spend a few days at the cooking school!

  • ktpotat  on  1/27/2018 at 10:31 PM

    Goat cheese ,scallion and potato tart

  • Marcia1206  on  1/27/2018 at 11:25 PM

    Italian beef stew with shalots

  • Bakersdozen  on  1/28/2018 at 12:56 AM

    I want to try the Chicken tagine with caramelized onions & raisins.

  • chill0  on  1/28/2018 at 5:59 AM

    Swansey's Penang Laksa

  • lynneskip  on  1/28/2018 at 7:11 AM

    it'll be the Goat Cheese/Spring Onion/Potato Tart for me!

  • stephlinde  on  1/28/2018 at 7:54 AM

    Roast cauliflower, freekeh, pistachio, and pomegranate.

  • RickPearson54  on  1/28/2018 at 9:02 AM

    Pad Thai

  •  on  1/28/2018 at 11:16 AM

    Goat cheese, scallion, & potato tart

  • dusksunset  on  1/28/2018 at 11:50 AM

    tuscan bread salad

  • rachael_mc  on  1/28/2018 at 5:10 PM

    beef and pumpkin stew

  • mmstarla  on  1/28/2018 at 5:38 PM

    These sound great. I would love to try the Garlic shrimp (Gambas al ajillo)!

  • Whyvette  on  1/28/2018 at 7:59 PM

    Gambas al Ajillo are my favorite dish at tapas restaurants, so I'd try them first!

  • sequoia55  on  1/29/2018 at 12:02 AM

    Jared's black garlic chicken

  • jim.windle  on  1/29/2018 at 9:48 AM

    Steak with Bearnaise sauce and pommes frites

  • Rammy  on  1/29/2018 at 11:45 AM

  • chasteph  on  1/29/2018 at 3:35 PM

    Roast plums with buffalo mozarella sound lovely and easy.

  • TheCookbookCook  on  1/29/2018 at 8:38 PM

    Parpadelle with double fava beans and arugula

  • Sfgordon  on  1/30/2018 at 5:44 PM

    I would try the romanesco, broccoli or cauliflower pakoras

  • Phizz_17  on  2/1/2018 at 8:30 AM

    Chicken tagine with caramelised onions and raisins.

  • cambridgecook  on  2/1/2018 at 11:07 AM

    Luke's parsnip ice cream

  • yd1556  on  2/1/2018 at 8:13 PM

    Definitely the Pad Thai

  • t.t  on  2/3/2018 at 11:49 PM

    Swansey’s Penang laksa

  • maria411  on  2/5/2018 at 6:34 PM

    melted leeks

  • cake17uk  on  2/6/2018 at 7:51 AM

    Spicy butternut squash/pumpkin & coconut curry would be my first choice to try

  • fionajk42  on  2/6/2018 at 11:27 AM

    I'd try romanesco, broccoli or cauliflower pakoras

  • Karla123  on  2/6/2018 at 6:54 PM

    I would love this beet, raspberry, honey and mint salad made with goodness from my garden.

  • HungryJamie  on  2/8/2018 at 6:29 AM

    Italian beef stew with shallots.

  • shaz4  on  2/10/2018 at 4:19 AM

    Upping my breakfast game with her Raw apple muesli

  • camerashy131  on  2/10/2018 at 9:59 AM

    Chocolate brownie with pistachio & rose petals: these sound sensational

  • soffner  on  2/10/2018 at 9:17 PM

    Lamb, turnip, onion & butter bean stew

  • choppergirl  on  2/11/2018 at 8:59 AM

    Eggplant fungetto with scallops

  • verorenee  on  2/11/2018 at 1:46 PM

    Garlic shrimp

  • KarenDel  on  2/13/2018 at 12:20 PM

    I would try the Goat cheese, scallion & potato tart first.

  • JenJoLa  on  2/17/2018 at 1:26 PM

    Jared's black garlic chicken

  • orchidlady01  on  2/18/2018 at 10:04 PM

    Chicken tagine with caramelized onions & raisins

  • pcaradonna  on  2/19/2018 at 5:40 AM

    Tuscan bread salad

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