Jamie’s getting us to cook ‘Together’ again

Monday:Jamie Oliver: Together: (Channel 4, 8pm)

Sunday, 12th September 2021, 5:00 pm

It was recently reported that Jamie Oliver’s business empire has suffered a 20 per slump in revenues throughout the pandemic.

Thankfully, the chef and TV presenter has a fairly decent sideline in writing and the impact of Covid and other business factors was partly offset by the publication by his smash-hit cookbook 7 Ways, which shifted nearly half a million copies.

In fact, Jamie is actually the top-selling non-fiction author in UK history – a pretty astounding feat in itself, but especially when you take into account that Oliver is actually dyslexic.

Jamie Oliver

He has churned out an amazing 24 cookbooks over the past 22 years, and since his first cookbook The Naked Chef in 1999, he’s taught us how to cook in 15 and 30 minutes, given us recipes for comfort food and vegetarian food, taught us lessons in Italian and American, given us tips on dining on a budget, and guided us through the stress of Christmas cooking.

And now, for his 25th book, Oliver has chosen a word for the title that we haven’t been using much over the past 18 months: Together.

With most people now vaccinated and social restrictions lifted, Jamie is betting people will be eager to host dinner parties, brunches and holiday gatherings.

His book Together: Memorable Meals, Made Easy, shows readers how to throw a big party in true Oliver fashion – without too much fuss, so the cook can have fun, too.

The emphasis is on sharing delicious meals together rather than spending all your time stressed in the kitchen and it is packed full of tasty, comforting dishes that require minimum preparation.

Jamie says: “Together is a real homage to the great home feast, something I have really missed sharing with friends and family over the past year.

“So many people find real joy in a shared meal, have rediscovered a love of cooking or perhaps even given it a go for the first time.

“I wanted the recipes to feel like a culinary light at the end of the tunnel, where food can be enjoyed and savoured. This is about giving you an excuse to get the people you love around the table again.”

As is always the case nowadays, the cookbook is tied to a new television series.

In each episode of Channel 4’s Jamie Oliver: Together, the chef will take us through the recipes step by step, making them for his family and friends, so we can make them for ours. Whether it’s hosting a beautiful curry night, summery feast, or a celebration meal, Jamie’s got you covered.

Like many of us, Jamie hasn’t been able to celebrate certain family milestones, so he’s kicking off by making a special meal for his friends and family. He showcases a slow-roasted, rolled shoulder of lamb with a fennel, sage and spicy sausage stuffing, drizzled with a herby green sauce made with pistachio, mint and parsley.

On the side, Jamie pairs it with crispy lemon roast potatoes, garlicky dressed French beans and a thyme and apricot sauce.

He also creates a delicious starter of rainbow tomato crostini topped with crumbly cheese, and gets the party going with some cheeky mango caipirinha cocktails.

The meal is finished off with an elegant dessert of individual yoghurt panna cottas with elderflower strawberries and a crushed biscuit crumb.

Sounds like the perfect menu to bring people Together.

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