Monday, January 4, 2016

Cookbook Review: The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson

"My hope is that this book will find a nice balance between your coffee table and your kitchen counter and that you will be inspired to cook, eat, share and enjoy colourful healthy food together" --Erin Gleeson
Cookbook author Erin Gleeson seems a jack of all trades. With a natural talent and eye for photography, food styling and watercolour painting, she was able to create a stunning book full of delectable vegetarian dishes. What first drew me to The Forest Feast was, indeed, its impeccable presentation. From front to back, this publication is the very definition of a 'visual feast'; but don't be fooled into thinking that it's just a pretty face.

The Forest Feast is a compilation of Gleeson's favourite go-to dishes that make vegetarian entertaining stress free and will satisfy even the most devote carnivores. As a regular hostess of dinner parties, which take place on the balcony of her stunning forest cabin, Gleeson knows all the tricks when it comes to presenting a jar dropping feast without the fuss.

I have been meaning to review this cookbook for ages as it has become such a staple in my household, even more so now that mum has taken a particular liking to it. Each recipe only uses a couple of ingredients and, even better, require little effort to put together with only 2-4 steps involved. Lately, our household has been feasting on cinnamon cauliflower (yes, it initially struck me as a strange combination too, but its a winning combo), accordion zucchini and fiery red roasted carrots. These and many other of her sides are proof of how much depth of flavour can be achieved with just a few spices. For a heartier main, the veggie roasted gnocchi has become a firm favourite as an easy weekday meal. Even my meat loving father approves.

Alongside sides and mains, The Forest Feast also contains recipes for cocktails, starters and desert. What I love about each and every recipe is the way Gleeson sets them out; on the left side, she pictures her ingredients and her handwritten recipe. On the right, she has a big, beautiful picture of the finished product. These and other added touches, such as her use of watercolors, make the cookbook a delight to read and the recipes achievable. It's not one of those cookbooks where there's plenty of room for error. I never feel disheartened with my end product in comparison to Gleeson's. All these meals can be whipped up no time and never fail to impress. It's the complete package.

Value for money: ****
Recipes: ****
Presentation: *****
Diet adaptability: *****
The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson by stewart tabori & chang. For more recipes and photography envy, visit The Forest Feast.

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