Review by

Very Fond of Food - a year in recipes
(Ten Speed Press) ISBN 978-1607741787 1607741784

Cooking dinner, lunch and breakfast with seasonal fruit and vegetables is the focus of this Sophie Dahl cookbook. Illustrated with tempting food photos, by Jan Baldwin, her 100 meal recipes are designed to use produce available during the winter, spring, summer and fall.

Although the author is British, her seasonal cooking is influenced by the cuisines of Italy, Spain, Greece, India, Japan and Latin America.

Sophie Dahl organizes recipes by meal and season, and intersperses them with memories about food and growing up. For example, after reminiscing about family members, she provides her grandmother's chicken recipe.

Breakfast recipes

Breakfast dishes include spicy eggplant and tomato with poached eggs, fennel frittata and strawberry pancakes. Some of her international dishes are based on her travels. Her Indian breakfast recipes for dosa and aloo gobi are re-creations of meals she enjoyed in Mumbai, where she danced in a Bollywood film.

Ingredients are specified using both Imperial and metric measurements. Recipes include substitutes for unusual ingredients, such as using honey for agave nectar in her rhubarb rice pudding recipe and substituting almond oil for Argan oil in an almond and honey smoothie. (She also provides the Wild Wood Groves website to buy Argan oil.)

Cooking lunch

Recipes for lunch include hot smoked salmon tacos and baked pumpkin with lemon, sauteed greens and toasted cumin dressing.

Many of her simple seasonal recipes have only a few ingredients and a sentence or two of instruction (e.g., sheep's cheese with flaming ouzo, radishes with truffle salt, mint and olive oil and raw golden beets with cayenne and lime). These easy recipes are perfect for home cooks who want impressive dishes that they can prepare quickly.

Supper dishes

Dinner recipes include baked eggplant smothered in smoked scamorza, an Italian cow's milk cheese. (You can substitute mozzarella for scamorza.)

Some of Sophie Dahl's recipes are vegetarian (tofu lasagna, chickpea-mushroom burgers with tahini sauce and lentil pie).

Seasonal desserts

One chapter of Very Fond of Food is devoted to desserts made with seasonal fruits and herbs, such as marbled rose petal ice cream, Earl Grey and lavender ice cream and chocolate soufflés with brandied cherries.

In the recipe introductions, home cooks will find serving suggestions, ways to use leftovers and ingredient information (e.g., another name for the sustainable fish, pollack, is colin, the French word for hake).

Some of her childhood recipes feature updated ingredients, such as making French toast with spelt bread, for health and taste. She serves it with crushed blueberries and blackberries.

Photos of Sophie Dahl cooking and gathering seasonal produce supplement the mouth-watering images of breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes in the 276-page cookbook.

Very Fond of Food by Sophie Dahl


Cook's note
Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer
  • Breakfasts
  • Lunches
  • Suppers


Sophie Dahl, a BBC cooking show host, is the author of Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights.

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