'You could cook from it over a whole lifetime, and still be learning' Nigella Lawson 'A rigorous, nuts-and-bolts bible of a book' Jay Rayner, Observer 'Lateral Cooking...uncovers the very syntax of cookery' Yotam Ottolenghi 'Astonishing and totally addictive' Brian Eno The groundbreaking book that reveals the principles underpinning all recipe creation, from the author of the bestselling The Flavour Thesaurus Do you feel you that you follow recipes slavishly without understanding how they actually work? Would you like to feel freer to adapt, to experiment, to play with flavours? Niki Segnit, author of the landmark book The Flavour Thesaurus, gives you the tools to do just that. Lateral Cooking is organised into 77 'starting-point' recipes, including plenty of tips for substituting ingredients and reducing the phenomenal variety of world cuisine down to its bare essentials - and then building it back up again. So, under 'Bread', we learn that flatbreads, oatcakes, buckwheat noodles, chapattis and tortillas are all variations on one theme. A few simple tweaks and you can make soda bread, scones or cobbler. And so on, through breads and batters, broths, stews and dals, one dish leading to another. Lateral Cooking is as inspirational and entertaining a read as it is a practical guide. Once you have the hang of each starting point, a wealth of new flavour combinations awaits, each related in Niki's signature combination of culinary science, history, chefs' wisdom and personal anecdote. You will realise that recipes that you had thought were outside of your experience are reassuringly similar to things you've made a dozen times before. It will give you the confidence to experiment with flavour, and the variations that follow are a springboard of inspiration to the contents of your fridge and kitchen cupboards. You will, in short, learn to cook 'by heart'- and that's where the fun really begins.
It is hard to convey just what a staggering achievement Lateral Cooking is. Segnit is truly a one-woman Larousse. Only the scope is so much wider and deeper: this book covers continents! . I can lose myself in it any time, from any page, and you could cook from it over a whole lifetime, and still be learning Nigella Lawson
Niki Segnit's first book, The Flavour Thesaurus, won the Andr‚ Simon Award for best food book, the Guild of Food Writers Award for best first book, and was shortlisted for the Galaxy National Book Awards. It has been translated into thirteen languages. On BBC Radio 4, she has contributed to The Food Programme, Woman's Hour and Word of Mouth, and her columns, features and reviews have appeared in the Guardian, theObserver, The Times, The Times Literary Supplement, The Sunday Times and Prospect magazine. She lives in London with her husband and two children.