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The Week I Cooked From: Nigel Slater ‘A Year Of Good Eating’

Without much of a gap, I’m continuing my series of ‘The Week I Cooked From…’ purely because I picked up Nigel Slater’s ‘A Year of Good Eating’ right after Christmas and felt so eager to make a start with it. ‘A Year of Good Eating’ is pretty much what it says on the tin, a recipe diary from month to month broken into seasonal quarters through the year, with plenty of mouth watering visuals to inspire you. Nigel’s thinking on food resonates so true to me, it made every dish from these pages even more special. Good food should be a part of our every day lives and with a little consideration, cooking can be so simple. There needn’t be any nonsense about cutting out any of today’s food villains either (be that sugar, gluten, fat…I could go on), everything in moderation.

Monday: Polish Sausage, sauerkraut, onions and soured cream

What a way to start the week, if all Monday’s looked like this I think we’d be a lot happier. Winter warming comfort food, in case the photo didn’t give that away, I enjoyed mine curled up on the sofa. Bread would’ve been nice with it but the dish was gone before I could give bread a chance.

Tuesday: Salmon in wasabi mayonnaise

I first thought of this as being a really sophisticated upgrade from tuna mayo, I hope that doesn’t put you off mind. The crispy salmon skin, the spicy yet creamy mayonnaise – oh it was all just perfect. Also the only time I have been successful with home made mayonnaise that wasn’t a bitter disaster, so I can probably thank Nigel for that too.

Wednesday: Peri peri chicken pie

Now I’m a northern girl so it was hard not to be sceptical about a pie without gravy but this was SO good. Tomatoes will be going in all my pies from now on. As will chicken, maybe peri peri style. Maybe this will be the only pie I ever make again.

Thursday: Bacon granola

Bacon granola. Yep, bacon with your granola – for breakfast. A real ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ moment because it works so well. The nice thing was not having to wait for it to bake in the oven, takes next to no time at all to prepare all in one pan over the hob.

Friday: Carrot and cardamom soup, ricotta dumplings

Carrot soup will never be the same again. There’s hardly anything on the ingredients list for this but there’s huge amounts of flavour. And as much as I love a good wedge of fresh bread with my soup, the dumplings were an equally satisfying replacement.

What did I learn by cooking from ‘Nigel Slater: A Year of Good Eating’?

  1. Food can make you really, really happy.
  2. A healthy appetite for all of the food. Life is too short to worry about the latest fad diet or whether we should be cutting out one food group to the next. Cook from scratch, know what’s in your food and where it came from and you can’t go wrong.

Since this week of cooking from Nigel’s latest book, I’ve gone on to try at least seven other recipes and I know I’ll eventually make my way through the lot. Every single one of them is as much a pleasure to cook as it is to eat. If you don’t get around to owning your own copy, I at least urge you to go into your nearest bookshop and read the introduction from Nigel Slater, I think it’s so important we learn from his stance on food. Otherwise, there are plenty of his recipes on the Guardian website to get you started.