This new cookbook from good friends Rosie French and Ellie Grace is a written celebration of their supper club Salad and Co and their Brixton Village restaurant. It’s a lovely looking book, everything is presented on oak tables with vintage bottles and cotton linens. It’s a real labour of love, all the recipes have been tried and tested at their restaurant, supper club or informal dinners at home with friends. In the introduction the girls make their plea for kitchen table cooking, they want the readers to use the cookery book for relaxed suppers and lazy lunches. The recipes are all designed to be easy to follow, and are suited for each season – as they write “we like to ‘cook’ in the cold months and ‘assemble’ when it’s hot,” makes sense to us!
Originally the girls created a blog for sharing recipes and then a month later they started their supper club “Salad Club” in Ellie’s flat above the buzzing market on Electric Avenue in Brixton, soon this grew in its frequency and size – it became a weekly event and they were having to combine running the supper club with their full time jobs. Much of the ingredients were sourced from downstairs in the market – in the book there are several homages to Middle Eastern and Caribbean cooking. Then last Summer they converted a butcher’s shop in Brixton Village into a 20-seater kitchen-restaurant, called French & Grace, and sought to keep intact the friendly, colourful approach to cooking and hosting that was so popular at the Salad Club.
Mascarpone cheesecake with nutmeg and maple syrup caramel
The recipes are delicious, beautifully photographed and easy to make. The book is divided into the four seasons, with many recipes created around fresh seasonal ingredients. Think Gin and Juniper Pork with Leek and Parmesan-Stuffed Squash for winter; Oeufs en Cocotte in Spring; Grilled Lamb Chops and Salad Club Mezze for Summer, Warm Barley, Almond and Pomegranate Tabbouleh and a Flourless Chocolate, Prune and Brandy Cake for an Autumn birthday.
Proscuitto, Melon and Spinach Salad
The book wonderfully captures the improvisational and friendly nature of the salad club and restaurant in its pages – there’s no pretension here. Everything is flavoursome and uses fresh ingredients, the photographs are beautiful records of the dishes. A great book for the foodie’s Christmas stocking.
All photography by Laura Edwards