A comprehensive, deeply personal, and visually stunning guide to growing and cooking vegetables from Britain’s foremost food author, with more than 400 recipes and extensive gardening notes.
In the tradition of Roast Chicken and Other Stories comes Tender, a passionate guide to savoring the most productive the garden has to offer. An instant classic when it was once first published in the United Kingdom, Tender is a cookbook, a primer on produce, and above all, a beloved creator’s homage to his favorite vegetables. Slater’s inspired and inspiring writing makes this a book to take a seat with and savor as much as one to prop open in the kitchen. The chapters explore 29 vegetables and offer enticing, comforting recipes such as Potato Cakes with Chard and Taleggio, a Tart of asparagus and Tarragon, and Grilled Lamb with Eggplant and Za’atar. With wit, enthusiasm, and a charming lack of pretension, Slater champions vegetables—through hands-on nurturing in the garden and straightforward preparations in the kitchen—with this actually essential book for every kitchen library.
Guest Reviewer: Alice Waters on Tender
Alice Waters is the visionary chef and owner of Chez Panisse and the creator of ten cookbooks, including The Art of Simple Food and In the Green Kitchen.
This lovely book is a celebration of the senses: Nigel Slater describes a carrot with such attention, tenderness, and humor that it feels like he is introducing a dear friend to his readers. He understands the perfection of a runner bean in midsummer, and explores its flavor in a way that may be pure, honest, and delicious. His prose is a pleasure to read–full of life and enjoyment of the table–and the photography makes it a lush and beautiful book.
Even as he delivers a collection of elegant, simply constructed recipes, Slater also taps into the reasons we engage with food–reasons both sensory and philosophical. “The idea of planting a seed, watching it grow, then eating the result instantly does away with much of the baggage that goes hand in hand with our modern food supply,” he writes. In Tender, we have the rare insight of a cook who knows not only the kitchen, but also the garden. Slater is passionate about every moment in the process of growing, cooking, and consuming food, and he starts with the essential notion of “reading” a plate–which is to say, pondering the where and why of the food we prepare. He weaves this notion effortlessly into his chapters, whether he is discussing his favorite varieties of eggplant (which he grows in deep clay pots against his warmest wall) or sharing his love of walking around the garden on a summer night when peas are in season: “To burst a pod of peas and eat them at nighttime is a sweet joy.” Tender is filled with small but irresistible observations like this.
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