Nigella Lawson returns to our screens with Simply Nigella. Based on the idea that it is impossible to live well without eating well, the first episode explores recipes which are both quick and enjoyable to make.
Throughout the show there is a theme of green and pink; creating food that looks as delicious as it no doubt tastes. Nigella opens by showing us her favourite breakfast: avocado on toast, made more succulent by a dash of ginger and dill, then crowned with breakfast radishes. This colour coordination continues in her feta salad. Large chunks of salty feta are covered in avocado strips and pomegranate seeds, and then Nigella finishes off with loosened strips of onion, to create something “so prettily pink and green”.
In order to personalise the show, Nigella shows us pictures from her trip to Thailand which inspired her mouth-watering stir-fry. Whilst usually stir-fries are predictable, this time Nigella’s cinnamon and prawn noodle dish is bursting with different flavours making it “comforting and unfamiliar”.
Nigella constantly takes the audience into her confidence. Her family meal of lamb ribs, doused in cumin and nigella seeds, not only looks delicious but is shared in such a homely atmosphere – on a wooden table surrounded by fairy lights – that you cannot help but be enticed. The mouth-watering feta salad served alongside the lamb was even inspired by her sister, whom we see settling down to join Nigella in digging into the home cooked meal.
Throughout the show there is an air of calmness, fuelled by the domesticated pan-shots of the kitchen and the relaxed aura of Nigella as she sits on her staircase or in her armchair. With assurance she takes us through the process of creating her apricot and almond cake and with Stevie Wonder playing softly in the background, manages to create an air of serenity. As simple as the cake appears – all mixed in a blender – the pan-shots leave the audience drooling. Nigella ends with her warm spiced cauliflower and chickpea salad to finish the episode. Once again a simple recipe, made easily accessible for the audience, this salad seems the perfect thing for a relaxed evening.
After the domestic but exciting meals from this week’s short and accessible episode, one can only wait to see what other delicious meals Nigella has in store for us.
Image: The Hamster Factory