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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

From the Oven to the Table by Diana Henry

Whether you’re time poor or prefer a simple approach, Diana Henry’s latest cookbook has plenty of recipes that let the oven do most of the work.

Award winning food writer, Diana’s favourite way to cook is to throw ingredients into a roasting dish, slide them in the oven and let them transform into meals.

“Closing the oven door and swinging a tea towel over my shoulder is one of the most satisfying movement I make in the kitchen,” she says.

The dish that inspired Diana’s laid back oven-loving approach was an Antonio Carluccio recipe for chicken thighs cooked with baby potatoes, red onion wedges, garlic, rosemary and olive oil. The ingredients are placed in a roasting tin, seasoned and cooked for 45 minutes. Twenty years later, its still the meal that she cooks the most, she says.

This simple hands-off, oven-to-table approach has led to a repertoire of dishes, collated in her latest book. Most of the recipes are cooked in one dish and include simple suppers – like sausages, chops and fish. Not surprisingly, an entire chapter is dedicated to chicken thighs! I particularly enjoyed browsing the chapters on seasonal vegetables and can’t wait to try the cumin roast green beans with tomatoes. The baked capsicums stuffed with goat’s cheese, ricotta and basil are mouth watering and the Moroccan roast vegetables look set to be a family favourite at our place.

In Endless Embellishments, Diana has collected delicious recipes for dressings, salsas and relishes to serve with roasted foods. I’ve already book marked the artichoke and basil mayo, smoky chimichurri and a Thai dressing.

For special meals, there is an excellent selection of modern meat and fish dishes. This is followed by a chapter on desserts, mainly cakes and puddings.

Diana grew up in Northern Ireland in a family of keen cooks. One of her earliest memories is of sitting on the kitchen counter top, aged three, eating freshly baked bread with home made raspberry jam. At six years of age she was making coconut ice and fairy cakes. By 16, she was hosting her first dinner party! Diana left Northern Ireland to attend Oxford University. There she was surprised to find her love of cooking was misinterpreted by some, as a sign that she was not a liberated woman! However, after university, Diana found like-minded foodies in London, living in a flat surrounded by Middle Eastern cafes. She is the author of 10 books. Follow Diana Henry online and sample some of her seasonal recipes.

Reviewer: Andrea Molloy

Hachette, RRP $44.99


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