Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book

by Jane Grigson

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Recommended by

Sophie Tyrrell

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.

Jenny Linford

Food writer

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.

Angela Clutton

Food writer

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.

Lucy Malouf

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.

Catherine Phipps

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.

Susan Campbell

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.

Tom Norrington-Davies


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.

Fiona Beckett

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.

John Birdsall

Food Writer

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.

Xanthe Clay

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.

Caroline Hennessy

Food writer

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.

Josceline Dimbleby

Food writer

This and her Fruit Book are wonderful reference books to give ideas for cooking any vegetables and fruit you may have, with excellent recipes.

Felicity Cloake

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.

Valeria Necchio

Cookbook author

For its compelling prose and the breadth of knowledge it distills. A pleasure to read, and an extremely useful resource on vegetables.

Rachel Roddy

Food writer and blogger

By far my most used and referred to cookbook. Beautifully written, illuminating and extremely practical.

Tom Jaine

Food writer

We cook from her at least twice a week and this is her greatest.

Celia Brooks

Founder, Gastrotours

My veg encyclopaedia with timeless recipes.

Jeremy Cherfas

Producer and host of Eat This Podcast

Readable and practical.

Hayley Anderton

Blogger at Desperate Reader

Jon Croft

Cookbook publisher

Tim Hunt


Vanessa Kimbell

Sourdough baker, writer & food activist

Pam Corbin

Food writer and jam specialist

John Wilkins

Emeritus Professor

Franco Taruschio

Chef/proprietor and cookbook author

Lucas Hollweg

Food writer

Shuko Oda

Koya Bar Head Chef

Yotam Ottolenghi

Chef and author

Mark Diacono

Food Writer

Jake Tilson

Artist, graphic designer and author

Jill Norman

Author and editor

Bob Granleese

Food Editor, Guardian Weekend

Bridget Henisch

Medieval food historian

Lindsey Bareham

Author and writer

James Murphy

Food photographer

Chantal Coady

Founder of Rococo Chocolates