Cookbook review: Tibits At Home
Tibits At Home: Stylish Vegetarian Cuisine
IN A NUTSHELL
Louisa Emery finds the pretty pages of this book translate well to the plate, meaning it won't be getting dusty on the shelves.
With glossy recipe books from celebrity chefs as well as high street and high end restaurants dominating the shelves of bookshops and supermarkets it's easy to build a collection to gather dust on your kitchen worktop.
Guilty as charged. I tend to use mine more as a decorative device than a practical tool.
Could Tibits At Home, the book inspired by the London vegetarian buffet where plates are priced by weight, motivate me?
Flicking through the book a number of obstacles struck me - including the wide range of ingredients needed for the dishes.
Rapeseed oil, rice mayonnaise and white balsamic vinegar? How many people have these?
Undaunted, I decided to make the spinach and feta lasagne, attracted by the restaurant's twist on the traditional - a theme of the book.
The recipe was fiddly and vague in parts and assumed my level of domestic competence was high.
Instead of a thick Bolognese sauce the recipe insisted on sliced fresh tomatoes and a white sauce made from soya milk, vegetable stock and chilli oil.
Despite following the instructions to the letter, my sauce failed to thicken leaving me on tenterhooks about the overall success of my meal.
Fortunately the beautiful flavours won through and, if you squinted at the plate and quaffed a couple of reds, you could pretend it resembled the accompanying image.
It was much lighter and healthier tasting than lasagne tends to be and I would choose to take on this dish again.
A complicated coleslaw featuring rice mayo, white balsamic, yoghurt and peach and passion fruit syrup made an excellent accompaniment.
Unable to locate the syrup, I substituted pineapple juice, which worked well.
To finish I went for coconut and pineapple tiramisu.
Putting the pud together couldn't have been simpler and took less time than the designated 20 minutes.
Unlike the traditional version of the dessert, the lady finger biscuits required no soaking in coffee, instead being covered with coconut milk.
After four hours chilling the dessert hadn't set and even after a spell in the fridge overnight failed to hold its shape.
That aside, the dish was delicious and the addition of a layer of pineapple gave it an edge.
The book itself is attractive. My dishes scarcely resembled the illustrations but Tibts can hardly shoulder the blame for my inadequacies.
To replicate the Tibits experience at home would be impossible but the dishes I tested will be added to my repertoire and it might just be that this book avoids the dust-trap fate.
Tibits At Home: Stylish Vegetarian Cuisine is published by AT Verlag, priced £25. Go to tibits.co.uk.
WHARF TIP: Visit the restaurant in Heddon Street to buy it for £20