Cookbook Review – Under The Walnut Tree And A Giveaway

by | May 7, 2012 | 40 comments

Cookbook Review - Under The Walnut Tree
A few weeks ago I received my copy of Under The Walnut Tree by Anna and Fanny Bergenstrom.  The cookbook’s byline was Great Recipes From Our Kitchen and it was a labour of love by the authors sharing the food from their Scandinavian heritage as well as all around the world. Prior to receiving the cookbook, I had it on my wish list for several months. The muted almost poetic cover of a table set with exotic looking food had captured my fancy. I soon set out to explore the 430 page glossy hardback journey of the culinary adventures of mother and daughter.
Cookbook Review - Under The Walnut Tree
Everything about the book was simple. The photography was crisp and no frills. The writing easy to grasp and recipes extremely approachable. The content of the books were categorized in chapters made up of ingredients. Starting off with avocados, the cookbook weaved its way through leafy greens, horseradish, citrus, nuts, cardamom, mango, tea and finally winded down with chocolate with a few extras in the middle. The cookbook also featured a handy menu system towards the end, grouping recipes from the book to easily plan family meals and gatherings.
Cookbook Review - Under The Walnut Tree
The book is based on some of the author’s favourite ingredients and was created in their summer country home. An old walnut tree outside their kitchen was where they swapped ideas and photographed the recipes. Hence the name. The recipes are a joy to explore for any home cook and span a wide variety of cultures and destinations including India, Sweden, France and Chile. There are 400 recipes and 16 chapters in the book. Each chapter sheds some light on the history of the ingredient it is named after followed by a selection of recipes. 
Cookbook Review - Under The Walnut Tree
The book starts out on a high note with a Green Goddess recipe that you want to whip up instantly because it feels light, fresh, beautiful and incredibly easy. This ode to avocado continues with various salads, sandwiches, dips and soups. The focus on healthy vegetarian fare meant to be shared is pretty evident in Savoury Tomato Bread, Crispy Feta Cheese Patries, Chard Pie, Sesame Cream Cheese, Cardamom Cake, Pickled Mangoes, Raspberry Soup, Harissa Paste and Rocket Frittata. And then there is plenty to satisfy the carnivores amongst us.The book is full of infused oils, amazing dressings, flavoured butters, pickles, pastes, rubs, syrups and a zillion other pantry gems that you could cook to stock up your own or give away as edible gifts.
Cookbook Review - Under The Walnut Tree
I have enjoyed my time exploring and cooking from this amazing resource and adapted some of the recipes in the cookbook. I have written about them in depth – Coconut And Lime Cake With Rum Frosting, Kachumber And Salad Bruschetta, Vanilla Rice Pudding With Wine Poached Plums.
Win A Copy!
Today, I have a copy of Under The Walnut Tree to give away to one lucky reader of the blog, courtesy of Hardie Grant. To be eligible for the giveaway,
 1. You MUST have an Australian postal address.
 2. You MUST leave a comment to this post and tell me "If you had to submit a recipe of your own to publish in a cookbook collection, what would it be and why?"
The giveaway runs until May 21, 2012. A winner will be picked by me based on the originality and creativity of the answer. The winner will be announced on the blog on May 24, 2012.
Good Luck everyone!!
Note: A review copy of Under The Walnut Tree was sent to Cook Republic by Hardie Grant.
—————————— ******——————————
Wow!! So many lovely ideas and creative replies!! You are all awesome!!
It was very hard for me to pick just ONE winner and Hardie Grant kindly agreed to giveaway TWO.
So …
Teague for Moroccan Chickpea Burgers
Racheal for Wholemeal Spelt Earl Grey & Date Loaf
have won themselves each a copy of Under The Walnut Tree!!
I will be in touch with you shortly

—————————— ******——————————


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I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!


  1. Therese

    This looks like a beautiful addition to the vege/ whole food loving part of my bookshelf.
    (Not to dislodge Heide of course)
    Something that would definitely make an appearance in any cookbook of mine is the easiest, quickest, have a drink while you are making it-est serve many or a few dishes of all time. Thats why its would be there – books should have things people might actually make!
    Even your man can do it (once he’s poured your drink that is).
    A simple salsa to serve over moist bbq-d chicken, salmon – or any fish – present the bbq-d pieces over a platter, top with this salsa – receive the praise while it rests centre of the shared table (as you quickly bbq some asparagus as a side, or wam the ratatouille on cold day).
    Combine equal parts (or to taste) of finally chopped flat leaf parsley, kalamata olives and preserved lemon. Add some slugs of EVO, pepper to taste. Thats the basics. Riff it from there you will once you have a go at it. The juices combine with the bbqd meat/fish juices whilst resting. Amazing flavours develop as you eat. Riffs – pomegranate seeds, chilli flakes; mint; tomato, less lemon, more olives etc etc.

  2. Angela

    I would love to win a copy of Under the Walnut Tree. If I was submitting a recipe to be published, it would have to be my Hazelnut Gateau. A beautiful 2 layer meringue made with crushed hazelnuts, filled and topped with brandy flavoured cream, carefully placed heart shaped strawberry halves and piped with lashings of decadent dark chocolate. Loved by all, but men especially like this cake as it not overly sweet. As they say, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach! Warning: there is always a fight for the last piece.

  3. Phuoc'n Delicious

    Looks like a lovely book, too bad I have run out of room to hold anymore. Just wanted to say that I love the new blog header. I’m excited for autumn baking as a touch of cinnamon seems to make its way into everything I make. Hope you’ve been well 🙂

  4. barbara

    I love the title of this book. I can picture myself sitting under a walnut tree. The recipe I would submit is my spiced apple cake. I served it as a morning or afternoon tea with a cup of tea, but it is also ideal as an end to a meal with a dallop of whipped cream.

  5. Rosa

    A lovely book! It sounds and looks so interesting.

    A pity I don’t live in Australia… ;-P



  6. teague

    I love to cook and i’m always looking for and new book to inspire me to create beautiful things. If I was to submit one recipe to a cookbook it would probably be my moroccan chickpea burgers. Chickpeas, garlic, dried cumin and coriander, lemon zest, wholemeal breadcrumbs, egg and lots of fresh herbs and processed up. I even sometimes throw in some grated vegetables to bulk it up. I like to serve them warm with a paprika yoghurt sauce and plenty of fresh burger toppings (avocado, tomato, red onion, and butter lettuce leaves).

  7. elflyn

    Such a beautiful book!
    Whole foods and vegetarian meals are exactly where my passions are falling at the moment. I am always searching for new ideas and recipes.
    If I were to put forward a recipe, it would have to be my Zucchini and Garlic Fettucine. Simple, quick but very flavoursome, and everyone loves it!
    Thank you for offering such a lovely giveaway, if I don’t win I think I might just have to buy my own copy.

  8. Willow

    Wow, the book looks gorgeous! What a wonderful review. I find myself sorely wishing I lived in Australia, right about now – haha!

  9. Melanie

    What a lovely review! Definitely makes me want to spend an afternoon under a walnut tree reading recipes. Well, maybe not at the moment with the cold weather!

    If I was to submit a recipe of mine at the moment it would be potato gnocchi with creamy, cheesy mushroom and asparagus sauce.

  10. Mable Tan

    Two reasons to why I love this book already. I love food and traveling, plus, was lucky to live in Linkoping, Sweden for six months.

    I will have to share my mother’s old Malaysian recipe for a recipe book. One of my favorites is stewed roast pork and yam in spiced dark soy sauce. So very glorious on a cold Melbourne day!

    Many old Malaysian recipes are being forgotten, so I must share it with everyone before it is completely gone!

  11. Caroline

    Chicken, Vegetable, and Noodle soup – economical, easily and quickly made, light, healthy, and delicious.

  12. Racheal Paton

    Ohhh this book looks so delightful!! Hard to choose but I think I publish my wholemeal spelt Earl grey and date loaf.. soo tasty.. warmed with a big of butter. oh and a pretty healthy afternoon tea snack with cups of tea, a big blanket on the grass and good company x

  13. nigel

    nice read there sneh. i need all the help i can get in the kitchen so the book would no doubt come in handy. i’m getting there and i am sure my wife would appreciate an accelerated learning opportunity. i would offer a pancake/crepe [depending on what your parents called it growing up] recipe that has been handed down to me via my mother. i twisted it a little. i think it is a staple that obviously works well with savoury and sweet thus pleasing most folk. i like to do the simple banana pancake with cream of the traditional lemon and sugar. can’t go wrong.

  14. Jenny Watson

    My Gluten-Free Apple Cake. Made with brown rice flour, it’s beautiful and crumbly. I serve it to everyone, even my non gluten-free friends, and they all love it. It’s very rare to find a Gluten-Free cake that is as good as a normal cake, this is one of them.

  15. Eha

    Oh Sneh, the very look of this book takes me back to my roots. Alright, Estonia is not quite Scandinavia, tho’ we oft pretend it is: Viking folk though we all are, but . . . We share simplicity in form and presentation and I have developed a similar fusion style to the recipes in the ‘Walnut Tree’. What to present as a recipe suggestion? Well, the moment I read your post I knew that I would nominate one of the great favourites of my chidhood days so loved in Northern Europe: a cabbage and hardboiled egg open pie baked in a large, low oblong dish to be cut into moreish squares one of which was never enough. Espeacially lovely with a cup of double consomme as first course . . . dreaming . . .

  16. Effie Bakkalis

    Thanks for the great giveaway!
    My submitted recipe would be traditional Greek moussaka. Living in multicultural Australia, I think it’s vital that we learn about and appreciate other cultures’ foods, and pass this on to our children. Moussaka is a warm comfort-food oven-baked dish that has the main ingredients of mince, eggplants and potatoes. Simple to make, and delicious to eat!

  17. kaz reiman

    I do a brilliant Vindallo Beef and Cous Cous Stir Fry – yeah, I know, shouldn’t work, but it really does. It’s filled with loads of fresh vegetables too. Served with natural yoghurt and loads of corriander, it is a spicy winner! A perfect winter dish.
    Trust me, this is a winner xxx

  18. Karina W

    BBQ pork ribs for dummies. There is an easy, idiot proof way to make juicy juicy fall-of-the-bone pork ribs!

  19. Katie

    My Sausage rolls. Who doesn’t love them? ( not meat eaters I guess) they are good for lunch, dinner, afternoon snacks, morning tea and parties. They are both hearty and delicate, have a good whack of veggies and a secret ingredient to make them extra special.

  20. Di

    My flourless, steamed chocolate cake with Tia Maria fudge sauce. It’s decadently delicious, and not that difficult to make. And the picture in the cookbook would have readers drooling!

  21. DIANA

    Cajun style Pecan’s. They’re a delicious snack for any time, great at a party or to put out when unexpected friends turn up. They’re moreish and ridiculously addictive.

  22. Ernie

    Ernie cup cakes!! Melt in the mouth butter cupcakes, each one decorated to look like Ernie from Sesame Street! I made them years ago as a joke, to take into work on my Birthday & everyone loved them so have been pleasing friends and family alike with them for years now. They’d be great in a cookbook.

  23. Alphonsa Mary

    It would be my mum’s andhra fish pulusu ( pulusu means tamarind sauce) , made with freshwater or seawater fish. It’s made with minimum ingredients and can whip it up in 30 mins if you have fish cleaned and cut into pieces.

  24. billyjean

    Ooh, I love the look and feel of this beautiful book, the mother/daughter collaboration and the stories behind the recipes make them so much more meaningful! I would just adore this, it’s right up my alley! And, I would love to create my own version of a family based recipe book one day, and would use this as inspiration and motivation alike…

    My recipe would be my Sweet potato and Chickpea curry, SO good.

    Think ground cumin and coriander with turmeric and chilli, black mustard seeds and cumin seeds, all in a pan with olive oil. When aromatic, add onion to brown. Then add diced sweet potato, milk, chickpeas (and any other vegies you like). Add snow peas just before serving with rice and pappadums. Garnish with fresh coriander. Delicious!

    • billyjean

      Oops, and the reason for this recipe is the evolution it has undergone through my life. I have been making this for about 15 years in one guise or another, adjusting and adapting the ingredients according to availability and desire. It has travelled the world with me and evokes many treasured memories whenever it is recreated.

  25. Martyna@WholesomeCook

    What a wonderful book and giveaway Sneh! If I was to submit a recipe for a cookbook, it would have to be something from my Polish heritage. Mainly because there are very few Polish cookbooks available in the English language and the food is simple, comforting and very satisfying.
    My pick would probably be some kind of pierogi – dumplings. Perhaps a sweet version this time, filled with honey ricotta and blueberries, served with some brown sugar and cinnamon bread crumbs and fresh cream.

  26. Jasmine1485

    I’d submit my recipe for Asian Pork Meatballs with hoisin dipping sauce, they’re everything I like in a dish – tasty, economical, (can be made) gluten free, popular with my family and easy to make on a work/uni day. They’ve also won me a recipe competition, so I consider it a bit of a ‘good luck recipe’. It was one of the first recipes I made up when I started experimenting with food and I still make them occasionally now.

    kate1485 at

  27. Linda Tan

    If I were to submit a recipe, I’d submit my chocolate fudge brownie made from mostly almond meal. It’s less sugar, less butter and tastes oh so good crumbling in your mouth.

  28. Shelly

    Gorgeous book!

    I would submit my triple chocolate cupcake. Everyone asks me for them all the time 🙂

  29. Bea

    I have been making my own sourdough bread for a few months now. It’s a lovely rich and heavy germanstyle rye full of seeds and grains. But it is revolutionary simple and the world deserves to know about it. I think too many people, including myself until recently, think breadmaking is too difficult but there are some wonderful hardly-any-kneading-to-do versions. So yummy!! And healthy too!!

  30. Mick

    One our family has been preparing for generations. Home Baked Spaghetti with eggs and bacon. A great dish for any occassion and loves by all

  31. Nikki G

    I’d have to submit my Moroccan stew, it’s a slow cooker recipe so it’s just about as easy as a recipe could be, it’s filled with beautiful veggies, served with cous cous, sultanas and toasted almonds it’s the perfect comfort food and the perfect winter warmer.

  32. Melissa Wilkes

    My Kalamata olive stuffing, onion, home made bread, bread crumbs. (the rest is secret). Perfect for nearly any meat or vegetable you would like to stuff (capsicum) people who don’t like olives love this stuffing (if I don’t tell them what’s in it).

  33. Linda S

    My ‘magic’ fruitcake. The kids have NO idea it’s full of grated vegetables along with the orange and sultanas. Fruity AND sneaky! 🙂

  34. Maria

    Everyone loves my lasagne. I add boiled eggs, ham and eggplant and use two different cheeses. It’s so much nicer than just pasta, mince and sauce.

  35. Tara P

    I would submit my recipe for the best herb bread in the world using my home grown herbs and garlic and freshly baked bread…mmm.

  36. Lani Kennedy

    Im a big fan of my “Strawberry Crepe Gateau”. It turns heads and has them groaning with pleasure….Make a stack of crepes and sandwich togethereach layer with marscapone. Add Kirsch soaked strawbs in every second layer, and almond praline in the other second layer. Cut wedges like a cake and watch em go crazy !!

  37. Belinda

    What an amazing site and a lovely book! Having Asian extended family, I love exploring the diversity of dishes with unique flavours and produce combinations. My cookbook would feature Ma Po Tofu, because it is so quick and easy to whip up and combines the best of Asian flavours with an irresistible, mouthwatering heat. It is one of those Asian dishes that don’t typically get a mention, but if you go to any authentic Chinese restaurant they will serve it up in flash!

  38. Margaret

    My party marble cake… easy to whip up and its taste takes the cake!

  39. Vija

    I love ways of using vegetables creativity, allowing for more variety in daily meals. I would include a broccoli souffle recipe. I am not a fan of broccoli, but this recipe makes me want it eat it.