A grand oddesy of seasonal eating, What To Eat Now offers more than 100 autumn and winter dishes which includes favourites from the accompanying BBC TV series. Valentine Warner, aptly described as cook, forager, fisherman and culinary adventurer presents witty sketches and prose to accompany his vibrant, mouthwatering recipes. Raised on a farm in Dorset, where he learned to fish, shoot and cook; good food always being a central force in his life. Interestingly, Valentine had decided on a different career path, studying an art foundation course in Bath followed by a sojourn to London to study as a portrait painter at the Byam Shaw School of Art. Though a successful artist, the call of the kitchen was irresistible and the ensuing years saw him working alongside chefs such as Rose Carrarini (Rose Bakery in Paris) and the legendary Alistair Little.





What To Eat Now is Valentine Warners first book but, its seasonal sequal, What To Eat Now More Please!, the best of spring and summer eating is now also available - both are fantastic!





Indulge and enjoy the exciting bounty of these colder months. Meats and fish recipes are accompanied by an abundance of vegetables, baking and drinks. There are quick dishes, frugal dishes and those which are slowly cooked, allowing the flavours to mingle and develop; but the common theme is that they are all simple to prepare. The difficulty is to decide where to begin cooking.




Jauntily titled, the book is divided into logical, easy to use chapters: Four Legs, Plump Birds, Fish Dishes, Cheese & Eggs, Root, Stem & Leaf, Sweet Things & Bread, Six Drinks & Basics with his own Potted History finale. In the few weeks that I have been cooking from this book I already have new favourites: Roast Shoulder of Lamb with Bitter Herbs and Honey is a cinch to prepare (the oven does all the work), resulting in aromatic, meltingly tender meat which I served at the table, allowing everyone to help themselves. Together with Potatoes au Gratin, not a morsel remained. Equally, the Sweet and Smoky Barbecued Pork with Roast Beetroot and Coleslaw was a hit. There is something quite romantic about firing up a barbecue on a chilly evening and the flavour, of course, is awesome.



Recipes are wide ranging to include game and seasonal British and international flavours: Ham with Autumn Vegetables in Parsley Sauce, Rabbit with Petits pois, Cider and Lettuce, Venison Pie and Duck Confit - I have a glistening batch sat in my fridge, ready to be devoured at leisure. This is the convenience food of France, often sold canned, but absolutely nothing beats the home made version. Crisp, tasty roast potatoes using the duck fat, a crisp green salad and duck meat which literally flakes onto the plate...




Fish dishes include several mackerel ideas – a twist on tradition with Mackerel in Oats with Watercress, whilst the Japanese influence rides high in Mackerel with Grated Turnips and Ginger or for a comforting supper, how about Mackerel on Toast with Salted Cucumber and Horseradish? Additionally, find ideas for mullet, cockles, gurnard, sole, slamon, crayfish, mussels, oysters, crab, squid and eel.




There are many cookery books on the market and it is often difficult to decide which are worth the hard earned pennies to own. I whole heartedly recommend What To Eat Now by Valentine Warner as a book worthy of its place in any kitchen – it is simply full of scrummy food that you will simply want to make time and time again. But, courtesy of Mitchell Beazley, try out a selection of recipes yourself. These have been specially selected for Recipes2Share and come with my very own seal of mmmmmm-factor approval! Enjoy!





What To Eat Now by Valentine Warner
Published by Mitchell Beazley, price GBP 20
photography by Howard Sooley



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