Chatto & Windus, €25
It has to be said 'Feast' really is a most fabulous book. While Nigella Lawson's last cookbook, 'Forever Summer', had the flavour of something thrown together in a hurry to accompany a TV programme, 'Feast' is a far more satisfying prospect, a tome with all the depth and heft of her first book, 'How To Eat'.
Opening, appropriately to the season of release, with Christmas and - in due deference to her New York relocation - Thanksgiving recipes, Lawson blends the old (Traditional Turkey) and the new (Gingerbread Stuffing) with recipes from both sides of the Atlantic (Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows, Bread Sauce). It's not just American and English traditions that she plunders, as there are also chapters on a Curry Banquet for the Muslim feast of Eid, A Georgian Feast (Hachapuri and Georgian Stuffed Chicken) and food for the Festival of Lights (Latkes aplenty).
Despite disliking her TV persona, I thoroughly enjoy Lawson's books. Her prose is strong, clear and evocative while the recipes are completely approachable. The fact that she's also a woman who looks like she eats what she cooks and thoroughly enjoys both the eating and the cooking doesn't do her any harm either. Like Nigel Slater, she's not shy to expose her sheer greed and, as she frequently mentions, she never knowingly under-caters.
James Merrell's photos of the food at all stages avoids over-styling in favour of a rough and ready but still delicious-looking and attainable approach. For true Nigella addicts (who are more in love with the persona than the cook) there are also plenty pictures of the lady in action.
As it hits nearly 500 pages, you're not going to get through 'Feast' in a hurry. Like 'How To Eat', it's a book to pick up night after winter night and leaf leisurely through as you mark recipe after recipe that you want to use. 'Feast' - more a promise than a title.