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Book review: Planted by Chantelle Nicholson

28 April 2018 by
Book review: Planted by Chantelle Nicholson

Cookbooks of varying quality touting the words ‘vegan', ‘vegetarian' and ‘plant-based' have been gracing the desks at The Caterer recently, but few have addressed the requirements of this style of cooking for restaurant chefs in the way Planted does.

Written by Chantelle Nicholson, chef-patron of Marcus Wareing's Tredwells restaurant in London's Covent Garden and director of operations at Wareing's restaurant portfolio, Planted is no flash-in-the-pan product of the vegan food craze; Tredwells has had vegan dishes on its menu since it opened in 2014 and Nicholson has long advocated plant-based cooking.

This may be her first solo cookbook, but Nicholson has co-authored Wareing's books, so she has publishing experience, and the thought and consideration that has been put into the taste and presentation of each dish is apparent, when so often the appearance of vegan food is an afterthought. The photography by Nassima Rothacker is charming and enticing.

The book is categorised into breakfast and brunch, snacks and starters, mains, desserts and bakes, and tagged by season. I have already added recipes such as the sage and shallot tart; radish and mooli with ricotta and herb salad; and mushroom, spinach and truffle toast to my to-do list, while the lavender and lime drizzle cake would be a nice alternative to the classic.

The cornbread with refried beans, jalapeÁ±o mole and smoky blackberries is a slightly more adventurous option, and a good example of the book's recipes with global flavours.

Nicholson writes, "[Food] is a great source of enjoyment, of creativity, of fun, of friendship and of delicious tastes and flavours. This trumps all… I wrote this book to celebrate delicious food." And that it does.

Planted by Chantelle Nicholson (Kyle Books, £25)

Recipe of the week: Slow-cooked aubergines, tamarind, roasted onion, white bean purée >>

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