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What to Read This Month

River Cottage Veg By Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Ten Speed Press, $35; 416 pages

There's something about Brits in the kitchen right now: They seem to have a spring in their collective step; their cookbooks take a lively approach to language and food (think Oliver, think Ottolenghi). The recipes in River Cottage Veg are casual, easy, and inventive. I loved Crudités with Tarator Sauce, a thick, nutty dip that was delicious with crunchy beets and fennel. The simple Chickpea Ketchup Curry uses ketchup and curry powder and had, as the author promises, "a delicate, mango chutney--like sweetness." Oven Fries feature a deeply aromatic merguez spice mix of cumin, fennel, and smoked paprika; you dip them in garlicky yogurt. I can't wait to try Charred Baby Leeks with Romesco—echoes of a Catalan dish I love.

Photo by Randy Mayor