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Real Fast Food: 350 Recipes Ready-to-Eat in 30 Minutes

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,348 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Nigel Slater is one of the world's most accomplished food writers. Winner of six Glenfiddich Awards for his food writing and shortlisted for the prestigious Andre Simon prize for this book, he has had an enduring effect on cooking and helped bring to prominence a new generation of British chefs, including the Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver, and Nigella Lawson. His down-to-earth ...more
Paperback, 318 pages
Published July 29th 2003 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 1992)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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Lee Broderick
Jul 27, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
I confess, I'm not a fan of Nigel Slater. There, I've said it. The ultimate taboo of the 21st century British food lover. In truth, I've never managed to watch more than about five minutes of his television programs; I find his persona smug and, predictably for someone who expends so much energy in extolling the virtues of 'unpretentious' food, pretentious.

Coincidentally, one of those five minutes was just the other day. In this show he was interviewing Richard Briers, an actor that I, like many
Manik Sukoco
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
It is an amazing book. The recipes focus on fresh ingredients and meals that can be made (mostly) in half an hour or less. I borrowed Real Fast Food from a friend and found myself entranced by the straightforward writing of a man who enjoys food and knows that simple, speedy cooking is a boon to many households. I particularly like the fact that his recipes are often for 1 or 2 people (ingredients can of course be multiplied for more eaters). I have often cooked just for myself and recipes usual ...more
Nov 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, especially students and vegetarians
I would recommend this cookbook to anyone! The meal ideas are really really quick and simple, with lots of variations on certain themes... unlike Jamie's 30 Minute Meals, which need to be planned for and raced through to take place in 30 mins, it is very do-able in Real Fast Food- I'm not a quick cook but Nigel's simple instructions meant I could have tasty food ready in about 20-30 minutes.

This is a book for everyone but I especially recommend it to students, as I am- I enjoy cooking but doing
Martha Love
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have an old edition of this book (1993) and have had it and used it for some years. I love Nigel's superior use of herbs in cooking throughout his recipes in this book. Using his book is an excellent way to learn about herbs for taste in dishes. Also, I enjoyed making and adding to my family's diet the Grilled Peppers with Balsamic Vinegar and Basil! It took me a couple of tries to get them to look nice, but I finally got down the Eggs Baked in Tomatoes and it is delicious!

Martha Love
author o
Feb 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, cookbooks
A British friend sent this to me a couple of years ago and it has been an absolute lifesaver. I use it all the time, at least once a week if not three or four! Although I enjoy the act of cooking, it's not something I feel particularly adept in or secure with yet (having only really started, in a big way, this past year). This is a great book for making practical meals, regularly, without a whole lot of experience under your belt.

Slater's book has a variety of really tasty, easy-to-understand re
Aug 11, 2015 rated it liked it
I am a great fan of Nigel Slater, but I'm not sure this book will appeal to his apparent target reader.
Someone who is prepared to spend only 30 minutes preparing and cooking a meal, and I've done it frequently and eaten well, is unlikely in my opinion to read through 350 recipes from which to choose.
When one of my sons was part time college, part time job and living in a shared house, I used to take him shopping in a vast supermarket nearby. Although the large town centre had many good food shop
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culinary
So, it must be said that Nigel Slater seems like a relatively pretentious dick, and I don't much like him. If you are looking for someone who cooks simple meals with great flavor and ingredients, but who also has loads of general expertise when it comes to food, cooking and life, I'd stick with Nigella Lawson, who is by far the more intelligent, engaging and likable of the two.

That said, I loved many of the recipes in this book and, yes, I did read it cover-to-cover, as one might a novel. If you
Feb 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookery
So much more than just recipes .. a collection of ideas that cover any occasion. A small book that has travelled everywhere with me on family holidays and has fed us well.
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The format of the cookbook was novel like so I read it as so! It's made my favourite cookbook shelf next to my oven so It's a safe bet I liked it - used it twice already. ...more
Jennifer Krueger
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kirsty McCracken
I adore Nigel Slater. I get excited when his show is on TV so I jumped at the chance to pick up this book. And it's as full of glorious recipes as I'd hoped it would be. As well as glorious commentaries too. 5⭐️ even though I once again haven't tried any of the dishes in here, I'd be happy to say they'll be great. ...more
Heather Lomas
May 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Does anyone else read cookery books like novels? If I lived on my own I'd cook from this book all the time, but I don't think that some of the recipes would seem like a meal to my OH. Have to commend this book for teaching me how to make a risotto and taking away the fear. ...more
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book for an easy dinner/lunch. The recipe's are easy to follow and there is variety in what you can cook. The instructions are concise and easy to understand. A good book to have ...more
Nick Colley
It's a cook book, nothing special ...more
Apr 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Found this chill cookbook really soothing.
Peter SC
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Simple but enjoyable recipes, teaching you along the way the principles and techniques which will help you make your own.
Mary-ann Owens
May 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
It has comfort food recipes that are pretty good, some aren't that healthy for you. Lots of oil. Having said that I found a number of keeper recipes. ...more
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a total fast food gem. Slater was ahead of his time with pushing fresh ingredients simply prepared - there are hundreds of recipes in here. And he really explains the food, why things work together, and what to look for when shopping.

While there are newer takes on this idea by other chefs and writers, Slater's thoroughness and attention to detail, and creativity really stand out. I love the cheese suppers section, but will probably use the fish and shellfish sections most. I'd love
Shane C
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
this is a very good book that cooking!!
Mar 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks, re-reading
Spending six months cooking along with Nigel Slater for a weekly food blog event (I Heart Cooking Clubs), I had to go back and add a review to this book after rating it back in 2010 because I have spent so much time with it lately. For me, the only thing that stops it from being a 5 star is the lack of pictures but this small paperback (mine is old, picked up from a used book store several years ago) is an essential part of my cookbook collection. I grab it whenever I need inspiration for a quic ...more
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbook, 2015
This is a practical cookbook. It assumes you're likely to be home after a long day and trying to figure out what to do with a can of tuna, two eggs, and half a package of spaghetti. This unassuming book will help.

Mr. Slater says this cookbook came from an unlikely place: a decade or so of collecting tasty, fast dishes plus people who were willing to provide both guidance and encouragement in turning that collection into a book. The resulting book (his first) tends to be story driven, and as a r
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food, 2015
I confess I haven't finished this or tried any of the not-quite-recipes, but I'm giving it 4 stars because it fits in so well with my philosophy of cooking (nothing like preaching to the choir to earn a good review).

I say "not-quite-recipes", but he does actually write out recipes with quantities--but he's quite open about them really only being suggestions, which I think is how most people cook anyway.

This reminded me a little of M.F.K. Fisher, if she set out strictly to write out cooking instr
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]It's been a real inspiration to me this holiday; the concept is a very straightforward one, cooking really tasty meals reasonably quickly. I can't say that it always took me less than half an hour to do the recipes, but the results were worth it. Slater encourages experimenting, and this evening's meal was my substition of stewed leek instead of fennel in his pork and lemon dish. All very yummy. ...more
I bought this book shortly after adding it to my "to read" list and it's one of those I use on an almost weekly basis. The recipes are simple -- a few good-quality ingredients that are easily thrown together to make extraordinary meals. I love this book. I seek it like it's an oracle and it has never steered me wrong. Nigel is a culinary genius. As you can see, I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. ...more
Aug 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my very favorite cookbooks. I picked this up in England when I was looking for something to read and loved it. I really like Nigel's philosophy towards food. Down to earth real meals you would actually be able to make from things that are kicking around in your cupboards. His passion for food comes through in every sentence. A great book for ideas of what to put with what. ...more
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a cookery book which I will use a lot. Simple recipes, not too many ingredients and a narrative which inspires you to base your cooking on the food that you already have in the fridge or larder. Slater continually tweaks his recipes according to what he has available - it makes you, the reader, feel confident to follow his example. A good buy.
Jan 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food, non-fiction
I have given away perhaps ten copies of this book to friends and family. It's my favourite cookbook, hands down. Whatever you have in your cupboard, Slater will help you turn it into something awesome - and fast. ...more
May 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
I didn't like this book primarily due to the format. While the recipes were good, it was difficult to look through and cook with. I prefer larger cookbooks that can be easily used while cooking, which this one just wasn't. ...more
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice writing, and the recipes can probably actually be done after work in the evenings and not have us eating at 10pm. Some of the ingredients would be quite hard to find, so I won't plan on making those, but that's not surprising given that I'm American and this is a very 'British cookbook'. ...more
Mary-Ellen Lynn
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-cookbooks
There is nothing groundbreaking here - and the whole collection is just a little too 60s/70s like for my tastes. Perhaps the book is best suited to students or to people who have little practice and experience in the kitchen...
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Nigel Slater is a British food writer, journalist and broadcaster. He has written a column for The Observer Magazine for seventeen years and is the principal writer for the Observer Food Monthly supplement. Prior to this, Slater was food writer for Marie Claire for five years. He also serves as art director for his books.

Although best known for uncomplicated, comfort food recipes presented in earl

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