The Edible City

John Rensten

08 September 2016
240 pages


"The foodie book of the year" The Spectator

''An inspiring book for city dwellers who pine for the bounty of a countryside hedgerow' Sunday Times

'The forager's magic trick; To conjure a meal out of seemingly nothing and ensure you never look the same way at a neglected green space again' Daily Telegraph

'I love the idea that I could pick up dinner from a local park rather than from a shop on the way home. A book about urban forging could so easily have been worthy, but it's an entertaining read with recipes: get ready for nettle tempura...' Delicious magazine

'A man after my own heart.' Mark Hix

'That is the final act of the forager's magic trick. To conjure a meal out of seemingly nothing, and ensure you never look the same way at a neglected green space again' The Telegraph

Once you start foraging, you'll never look at the city around you in the same way again.

As we walk through the city with our headphones in or our eyes glued to screens, it's easy to forget that we are surrounded by wonderful things to eat. Our parks, pathways, gardens and wild spaces are crammed full of delicious, nutrient-rich plants; all we need to know is how to find them.

From dandelions to winter cress, wild garlic to chickweed and ground ivy to water mint, this book takes us through a year of delicious, foraged food. Each entry is illustrated in colour to help you identify the plant and followed by a recipe using these remarkable ingredients.

In The Edible City, urban forager John Rensten gives us the tools to identify, source and cook delicious food from the year-long bounty around us, whether that's nettle and three-cornered leek gnocchi, winter purslane pesto, or stinging nettle tempura.

This account of a year of urban foraging is perfect for any nature lover or home cook looking for exciting new ingredients to experiment with.

An inspiring book for city dwellers who pine for the bounty of a countryside hedgerow. The year-round urban foraging guide encourages readers to open their eyes to the treasures growing in our city centres, with accompanying recipes such as stinging nettle tempura and hawthorn relish
The book is an ode, not just to the joys of meadowsweet and porcini mushrooms, but to getting out into nature, wherever you can find it in a concrete and glass city. Foraging instead of mindfulness. Plum-scrumping as an anti-depressant...lyrically written, beautifully illustrated by Gwen Burns, and has made me look at parks and heaths and garden squares with newly curious, and hungry, eyes.
Comprising a year-long diary, recipe book and identification guide, this beautifully illustrated volume neatly sidesteps tie-dyed worthiness by dint of it being honest, fascinating and downright useful. Each of the 12 sections that make up the bulk of the book describes the author’s food-finding forays throughout the year, notes on where to go and what to look out for, the odd handy drawing to help identify plants and a few recipes to put those new-found ingredients to use. It doesn’t sound too complicated and, the more you read, the more you realise it isn’t...As well as guiding me through the seasons and the bounty each brings – and opening up a whole world of greenery I can happily pick and eat for free – this charming book has given me bags of ideas and helped make me look at our capital city and myself in a different light. As the author states in the introduction: “If foraging teaches us anything, it’s to enjoy and celebrate what is available, not to hanker after what is not.” A worthy pursuit indeed.