Head chef, 69 Highbury Hill
Absolutely indespensable. How to prepare and cook every vegetable you've ever heard of and many you haven't. A wonderful informative read too. Recent recipes I've cooked include Sorrel Soup and Sauce (I grew a lot of sorrel this year and didn't know what to do with it), Braised Lettuce, Caremes Red Cabbage and Apple, Stuffed Aubergines. I've also got Jane Grigsons Fruit Book but I use the veg one more.
Jane Grigson's food writing - knowledgeable, characterful, eminently practical - inspired me to become a food writer. This book, with its simple and effective alphabetical classification - ie Potatoes are under P - and wide-ranging mix of history, personal reminiscences, experience-based advice, recipes - is both genuinely useful and an engaging read in which her voice speaks through loud and clear.
I could really have chosen any of the Jane Grigson books but have settled on this one for its in-depth approach to the subject. She covers vegetables in alphabetical order, with history and flavour notes for those ones which readers might be unfamiliar with (or her late 1970’s readers might have been, anyway). Many recipes with an international focus give this a modern feel, too.
Food writer and editor
Grigson is one of the great English food writers and any one of her books could be in my top ten – but I picked this as I particularly love vegetables. It is scholarly on the history and recipes for every vegetable you can think of and it’s written in Grigson’s inimitable style that perfectly blends knowledge, personal preference – if not prejudice! – and enthusiasm.
Food writer and author
Without doubt the book I refer to most. Useful and practical, but also immensely distracting because Jane Grigson's writing around her subject is poetry. Her breadth of knowledge and warmth of tone means I never mind how (occasionally) sniffy she can be about ingredients I happen to love.
Writer and lllustrator
With over a dozen recipes for courgettes, and almost as many for broad beans, this book makes a regular godsend for anyone with a glut-filled larder from their kitchen garden. As the majority of the recipes are from France, they usefully broaden the scope for English cooks.
Jane Grigson is my favourite cookery writer of all time, I can just sit and read her prose for hours. Its a toss up between this and English Food. I'm listing this one because I think Ive cooked more recipes from it.
Food and wine writer
Almost impossible to pick just one Grigson but The Vegetable Book is always my first port of call if I’m looking for inspiration as to what to do with a veg glut or over-enthusiastic veg purchase.
Grigson draws on history, literature, and horticulture to deliver on the central mission of the cookbook: to suggest what to do with that bag of spinach in the fridge.
Food writer and Daily Telegraph columnist
Scholarly, beautifully written, pragmatic and gloriously opinionated. And the recipes are perfect. My desert island cook book, in fact my desert island book.
I love Jane's erudite writing and this is, hands down, the most useful veg-centric book to have in the kitchen when you're dealing with garden gluts.
This and her Fruit Book are wonderful reference books to give ideas for cooking any vegetables and fruit you may have, with excellent recipes.
Food writer and author
Despite her puzzling antipathy to the now modish kale, this almost 40-year-old book is still the first place I turn for vegetal inspiration.
For its compelling prose and the breadth of knowledge it distills. A pleasure to read, and an extremely useful resource on vegetables.
Food writer and blogger
By far my most used and referred to cookbook. Beautifully written, illuminating and extremely practical.
We cook from her at least twice a week and this is her greatest.
My veg encyclopaedia with timeless recipes.
Producer and host of Eat This Podcast
Readable and practical.
Food writer and jam specialist
Koya Bar Head Chef
Chef and author
Artist, graphic designer and author
Chef/proprietor and cookbook author
Medieval food historian
Food Editor, Guardian Weekend
Author and editor
Founder of Rococo Chocolates
Sourdough baker, writer & food activist
Blogger at Desperate Reader
Author and writer