However, I was pleasantly surprised. The show was the River Cottage Veg Everyday and it featured an appealing foppish gardening nerd enthusing about vegetables and his produce and cooking in an old-fashioned stove. It was really appealing! So, after eating Chinese takeaway (which was average, of course), I ordered the book that accompanies the TV series from the library and went to bed.
My dodgy photo non-withstanding, this book is really good! Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is not a vegetarian but thinks we eat too much meat. For him, meat should be a garnish or a side dish rather than the main event. He states:
Call me power-crazed, but I'm trying to change your life here. The object of the exercise is to persuade you to eat more vegetables. Many more vegetables. And I hope to do so not by shouting from a soapbox, but through sheer temptation.
And the recipes are tempting. There's a huge range of dishes here including salads, comfort foods, tapas dishes and storecupboard suppers. I was even inspired to buy asparagus, which is not something I would normally do. I made the veggie stock and am trying the asparagus risotto with chili oil tomorrow.
My favourite item from the book so far is this:
The topping is the refried beans, which is fine - cheap and easy and pretty tasty with the addition of fresh coriander and ground cumin. The flat breads, though, were a complete revelation. They were delicious! The dough uses this recipe but, instead of being made into a pizza, is rolled as thin as you can get it and then cooked in a very hot dry pan for about two minutes a side. Sam didn't witness me make them and thought I'd bought them, which is a huge compliment given that my bread is usually a distant second to good store-bought bread. I can see the flatbread becoming a regular part of my everyday dinner rotation.
I give this book four stars and is one of the few books that I simply must buy for myself after borrowing the library.