Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book!
This book is very close to my heart. It's about no-nonsense, simple cooking with great flavours all year round. When I began writing it, I didn't really know what recipes I would come up with, but something began to inspire me very quickly. . . my vegetable patch!
I came to realize last year that it's not always about looking out at the wider world for inspiration. Being at home, feeling relaxed and open, can also offer this. I love to spend time at home in the village where I grew up, working with the boss, Mother Nature, in my garden and seeing all my beautiful veggies coming out of the ground.
Inside you will find over 100 new recipes, plus some basic planting information and tips if you fancy having a go at getting your hands dirty as well!
I adore this book! The photography is BEAUTFIUL. The book is inspiring in so many ways... This is my favourite of all the Jamie books.
Blue Mountains NSW
Jamie At Home
Discover the art of cooking simply and naturally with Jamie Oliver's bestselling Jamie at Home * from publisher's description * There is only one Jamie Oliver. Great to watch. Great to cook * Delia Smith * Simply brilliant cooking, and Jamie's recipes are a joy * Nigel Slater *
Look, I thought this would be a good opportunity to get you all up to speed, because it will come out in the press eventually anyway, so I'm going to tell you straight: basically, my wife has accused me of having an affair. She'll tell anyone she meets that I've been nipping out of the house for an hour here, an hour there, and coming back looking refreshed, rosy-cheeked and guilty, with grass stains on my knees. Now you might be thinking that a cookbook is not the right place at all to be talking about my personal life, but before you jump to conclusions, let me explain ...
All I've done is fallen in love with my garden, and with my veg patch in particular! Yes, I have kissed a few of my more beautiful, prized vegetables. I might have hugged a couple of trees and on hot days put my ear to the ground to listen to things growing – I'm just going through what many men go through at this point in their lives, when they become one with Mother Nature. And if you think I'm guilty, then lock me up and throw away the key! I can promise you. I've not been having an affair. I just like spending time with my veg. And I'll tell you something, this has been the best cooking year of my life. I've had brilliant fun coming up with the recipes because I've been so inspired by everything that's come out of my garden over the past year.
I spent my childhood growing up in a village in Essex and I moved back there three or four years ago with my wife and kids. Like most people these days, with a busy family life and a hectic working schedule, I began to struggle with finding a balance between the two. I seem to have evened things up a bit now, and it's all thanks to my veg garden, believe it or not. I love spending the odd hour out there, as it really relaxes me. You might think I sound like a complete hippy now, but growing my own veg for these past few years has filled me with such pride, pleasure and passion. Witnessing changes in the garden through the year, having successes and failures, realizing that certain types of fruit or veg can have certain personalities and you have to work with them in different ways, it's all just fascinating to me!
The garden has also made me think about food in a different way: about how it grows and what it stands for. To me, growing food at home means eating outside in the summer, at family get-togethers and occasions, or cosying up next to a fire tucking into an amazing, comforting stew or soup made with stuff from the garden which you've had to go outside and pull up in the pouring rain! It might seem odd, but during the last sixteen years of training and working as a chef. I never thought I would ever grow stuff properly. I'd always made an effort to buy local, seasonal and really fresh produce but for some reason never thought I could do it myself. It just never occurred to me that it might be as easy as taking some seeds out of a packet and popping them into the ground. But it is!
To begin with, and without knowing what on earth I was doing, I simply ordered a few Italian seeds off the Internet. I couldn't understand the instructions for how to plant them because they were in Italian, so I just chucked them into the ground and hoped for the best. Give or take things growing too close together, or pulling up stuff I wasn't supposed to, the first year was just incredible. Complete havoc, but incredible! I grew so much, and I also experimented with using tomato bags, pots, buckets, troughs, any containers I could get hold of really – even old welly boots! It just puts a smile on my face to see things happening in the garden and to know that I've got loads of lovely food ready to be picked all through the year. I've also been incredibly inspired to come up with cracking new recipes for this book – not based on different celebrations and themes, but simply on whatever ingredients have been popping up in the garden.
I grew up watching that T V programme The Good Life, about Barbara and Tom, the couple who didn't have much but grew everything themselves. They lived next to the posh couple called Margo and Jerry, who had everything but weren't all that happy. Thinking back, which one of the couples did we all aspire to be? And would it, be the same Couple these days? My view is that we're all pretty spoilt now, as far as luxuries are concerned, but I reckon that the best luxury in life comes from experience ('luxuriance' as a mate of mine recently called it!) and knowledge, and I think food and cooking are among the most important things out there for us to learn about.
This book has been such a pleasure to write. It is essentially a cookbook divided into the four seasons, to give you an idea of when each kind of garden produce is ready. Each season contains a whole load of mini chapters based on different ingredients, giving you a mixture of really quick, light and tasty recipes. I've also included some little bits of growing information at the end of each chapter, which I hope will encourage you to have a go at growing some of the same fruit and veg I've had in my garden for the past year or so. Even if you live on the twentieth floor of a block of flats you can still use a windowsill. Or you can turn the flat roof of your garage into a roof garden, or put some pots around your back yard – wherever you live, you can have a go. Just growing a little selection of fruit and veg will give you massive inspiration.
If, like I did, you start off growing just five or six kinds that are well behaved and don't give any trouble, you can't go wrong. A brilliant thing to try at first is mixed salad leaves. I used to sprinkle the seeds into a tomato bag that I kept outside on my flat roof in London, and this gave me interesting salad leaves for four months of the year, without ever having to buy any! New potatoes are absolute heaven when cooked and eaten straight out of the ground. You can grow them in buckets or bags, or plant them straight into the soil. Try a nice selection of herbs – things like thyme, rosemary, sage and bay are pretty reliable all year round and add such dimension to your cooking. And have a go at planting some lovely little strawberry varieties in your hanging baskets this year, instead of flowers (more about that in the strawberries chapter!).
You'll find a section at the end of the book which lists the exact seed and plant varieties I've been using in my garden that I've had real success with, so whether you're interested in growing salad leaves or courgettes, heirloom tomatoes or good old potatoes, have a flick to the back and try some of them out. You'll also find a list of companies that offer a mail order service for great seeds and kit.
Whether you do have a go at growing your own, or whether you never will, nearly all the ingredients I've used in the recipes can be bought from a local farmers' market or good supermarkets. But if you do have a go at doing it yourself, or you feel inspired to do so once you've had a look at the book, I'll feel like I've done my job. I'm really proud of the recipes in this book. As far as the growing information is concerned, I have tried to make each bit read like a recipe to keep it simple. If you want to go further into the whole thing, there are some great gardening books around. So get stuck in!
ISBN: 9780718152437 ISBN-10: 0718152433 Audience:
Number Of Pages: 408 Published: October 2007 Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd Country of Publication: GB Dimensions (cm): 25.3 x 19.5
Weight (kg): 1.4
Edition Number: 1
About the Author
Jamie Oliver started cooking at his parent's pub, The Cricketers, in Clavering, Essex, at the age of eight and has since worked with some of the world's top chefs. He is now running Fifteen - one of the best restaurants in London and the subject of the television series Jamie's Kitchen.
Jamie has written for The Times, as well as for GQ and Marie Claire magazines. He currently writes for Delicious magazine in the UK and Australia.
He also started, and continues to be involved with the Fifteen Foundation, which provides training and mentoring for disadvantaged young people - allowing them to follow their dreams and become chefs.
Jamie lives in London with his wife, Jools, and their four children.