Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Book Review: Rosehips on a Kitchen Table

My latest book review is aimed squarely at foragers and foodies alike.

Rosehips on a Kitchen Table is as attractive on the inside as it is on the cover and serves up 56 recipes using fresh produce which have either been gleaned from the wild or pulled from the plot.

It's divided into four main sections (after an introductory section called Rich Pickings), covering over 20 different kinds of produce:
  1. Gleaning - wild garlic, nettles, elderflowers or berries, blackberries, rosehips and sloes. 
  2. Grow Your Own - recipes for rhubarb, sorrel, rocket, chillies, Jerusalem artichokes and chard.
  3. Gluts - a section to turn to when your harvest runneth over with broad beans, tomatoes, strawberries, runner beans, courgettes or root vegetables. 
  4. What on Earth do I do with This? - designed for those more mysterious items delivered in veg box schemes and includes celeriac, gooseberries, beetroot, quince, Brussels sprouts and kale. (I would have put Jerusalem (f)artichokes here as well, but that's a minor quibble).
Carolyn and Chris Caldicott owned the World Food Cafe in London and the recipes have a stripped down simplicity and marriage of flavours born from this experience. The photos show off each dish at its best and the more scene setting ones help the reader to make the link between harvest and plate.

I'm particularly intrigued by the marriage of lime and chilli in an ice cream and I'm definitely going to add cardamom the next time I make some rhubarb and ginger jam. Parsnip gnocchi and beetroot barley risotto also appeal. I wish I had some quince left because I want to make the spiced chicken casserole with quince right now.  

Meat or fish eaters should note that most of the recipes are vegetarian - there are 3 dishes for carnivores and just one with fish (chilli and cider mussels).

My only criticism is it's a little on the short side for a recipe book aimed at both foraged and grown ingredients - for me it would have been better if it had just focused on just one of these, particularly foraging as my cookbook shelves are lacking in this area. However, I see other reviewers are happy the book covers both aspects.

Here are the other reviews I've found so far:
Would you like you own copy? Then here's a tempting offer for you...

To order Rosehips on a Kitchen Table at the discounted price of £7.99 including p&p* (RRP: £9.99), telephone 01903 828503 or email and quote the offer code APG97

Alternatively, send a cheque made payable to:
LBS Mail Order Department, Littlehampton Book Services, PO Box 4264, Worthing, West Sussex, BN13 3RB.

Please quote the offer code APG97 and include your name and address details.

* = UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

Book: Rosehips on a Kitchen Table
Author: Carolyn Caldicott
Photographer: Chris Caldicott
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
ISBN: 978-0-7112-3388-1
Publication Date: 6th March 2014
Cover: Hardback, 128 pages
RRP: £9.99

Disclosure: I received a review copy and special offer from the publisher.


  1. I've read a few reviews of this book, definitely one for my wish list!

    1. I think I saw your comment over at Jo's? Good luck in her giveaway :)

  2. I like cardamon a lot. I'd be interested to read how to cope with rose-hips, their stones are so big. And to know if there's anything people can do with sloes if they don't drink gin.
    Wondering if you'd be interested in joining with Loose and Leafy Tree Following this year. There are quite a few of us - and the more there are, the more interesting it will be. The ready-steady-go date is March 7th. You can find out more about it here and on the latest blog post

    1. This book has a couple of non-alcoholic sloe ideas - sloe and apple jam, plus making a sloe puree (if the dash of gin is omitted!) with honey to mix into e.g. trifles, crumbles and cakes.

      Yes, I noticed your tree following and I've been following one since December after the ash tree fell into our garden. I've been taking a photo of the tree's remains on the same day of the month as when the tree fell down. I also remembered yesterday that I have some (very poor) video footge of the same tree. I'm not sure if I have enough to make a regular monthly post, but I'll certainly be joining you on the 7th and intend to dip in from time to time.

    2. There's no obligation to post monthly - just an intention to keep track of the tree over the year. If you are 'dipping in and out' . . .are the 'dips' likely to be enough to include you on the tree following page? Whether or no - 'see' you on the 7th!

    3. Hi Lucy - I'd made a mental note to take a monthly picture of this tree anyway, so I'm glad you've reminded me of your tree following project. I'm unsure how many times I'll be posting - it really depends if there's anything interesting to say. I'm anticipating posting something for each of the seasons as a minimum. It's great to see you have so many bloggers joining in, both familiar and new faces :)

  3. It sounds very interesting. I've not done much foraging, but it always sounds like such a good idea. I'll be interested to hear what you think of the recipes you try.

    1. Some of the recipes I've tried already CJ in other times, so I know they work well. These are crispy seaweed (using kale), Eton mess, elderflower cordial, gooseberry sauce, quince cheese, wild garlic pesto and passata. I've even blogged some of them :)

  4. Oh this looks lovely! I didn't think rhubarb and ginger jam could get any better but cardamom ... mmm :)

    1. Hi Joanna - yes, I'm looking forward to trying that twist on one of my favourite jams :)


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