Good Things

by Jane Grigson

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Recommended by

Debora Robertson

Food writer and editor

This is possibly the first cookbook I read from start to finish like a novel, entranced by Jane Grigson's authority, good sense and humour. So many of the ideas in this book have been woven into my everyday cooking for so many years, I almost forget I read them here first, ideas such as seasoning a grated carrot salad, leaving it to chill for an hour or so and then draining it of excess liquid. And the lovely writing... 'Cooking something delicious is really much more satisfactory than painting pictures or throwing pots. At least for most of us. Food has the tact to disappear, leaving room and opportunity for masterpieces to come. The mistakes don't hang on the walls or stand on the shelves to reproach you forever.'

Cheryl Cohen

Farmer's market organizer

One of the greatest luxuries you can have in Britain today is simple food of the best quality ' I love Jane Grigson, and out of her many books I'm choosing Good Things. Scholarly, wise, timeless recipes, larded with history. I will never grow out of Jane Grigson and I love her recipes. It's possible to hear her behind you as you read, slightly bullying, chivvying you along but always jolly and helpful. There's a quote from Jane that never leaves my head; 'We have enough masterpieces, what we need is a better standard of ordinariness.'

Allan Jenkins

Editor, Observer Food Monthly,

This was the most difficult to choose. There had to be a Grigson. But which? English food? Fish Cookery. The fruit or vegetable Books? In the end, I chose the one that gives me the most joy (and maybe her): Good Things. Even the title make me relax, breathe easy. I am in good hands. A book to treasure until it falls apart. Which reminds me ­ I need a new old one.

Neil Buttery

Author, historian and chef

Jane make you think about certain ingredients that you've never considered before such as celery, and renews enthusiasm about forgotten ones like sweetbreads and rabbits as well as the more obvious chapters on strawberries. Just shows how ANY ingredient can be versatile

Laura Mason

Author and food historian

Jane Grigson is a soothing voice. I warm to her idea that certain ingredients – asparagus, lemons, quinces - are worthy of careful and considered treatment, and I still use the book, 35 years on.

Bee Wilson

Food writer and historian

From walnuts to parsley to kippers, this is a book of passions, written with Grigson's inimitable mixture of scholarship and wit.

Anna Koska


The back stories to each recipe,so evocative... that the cooking of the meal becomes even more of a pleasure.

Shirley Spear

Chef and food enthusiast

His whole set of paperbacks made great reading and learning for me.

Betty Fussell


A master of earthy economy, simplicity, clarity and grace.

Kit Chapman


Henrietta Green

Food Writer & Consultant

Xanthe Clay

Food writer and Daily Telegraph columnist

Ed Mottershaw

Head Chef, The Eagle Farringdon

Darina Allen

Owner and Founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School

Harry Lester

Cook and restaurateur

Nick Lander

Food writer and restaurant consultant

Janet Floyd

Professor of American Literature & Culture

Caz Hildebrand

Creative Partner at Here Design

Andrew McConnell

Executive Chef and Owner

Donald Sloan

Head of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management and Founder of Oxford Gastronomica

Christine McFadden

Food writer, cookbook author and cookery teacher

Alison Swan Parente

Co-founder of School of Artisan Food

Anne Dolamore

Publisher, Grub Street

Thane Prince

Author and writer