Review: On The Side by Ed Smith

June 9, 2017 | On The Side is published by Bloomsbury and is available now. RRP$39.99


At the risk of sounding strange – have you ever been out and ordered your main plus sides and when your meal arrives, you wish your side dish was your main meal? If the answer is yes, or if you have ever had a truly epic side dish that ran out too soon, then this book is for you.

This book, ON THE SIDE, is packed with dishes full of flavour and inventiveness that are robust enough to be a main meal, or to be combined into a truly epic side dish banquet. Examples include roasted cauliflower with chickpeas and lemon tahini (Delish), chopped edamame, miso and sweet chilli (so good), wilted spinach with ginger and pink peppercorns (yum).

There are dishes including meat and fish, but a good portion of the book has vegetarian recipes, which makes it a good one for introducing more balance into your diet if you need it, or to get ideas if you’re already on board. In fact, there are over 140 recipes in this book aimed at bringing the humble side dish into the limelight!

Recommended by Yotam Ottolenghi (currently appearing on Masterchef Australia). This book is fabulous!


Ed Smith is a former lawyer who left his job in 2012 in pursuit of a career in food. He retrained as a chef and is now a freelance food writer, and Creative Director of British cured meat wholesalers and retailers, Cannon & Cannon, based at London’s Borough Market. The author of the website, a food journal regularly updated with restaurant reviews, recipes, news round-ups and short films, Ed has featured as a resident chef for The Guardian’s Cook supplement, and guest cookery writer at The Independent on Sunday.

At the Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards 2015, he won the award for Best Online Restaurant Writer and was shortlisted alongside Diana Henry and Yotam Ottolenghi for Best Cookery Writer. On the Side was shortlisted for the inaugural Jane Grigson Trust Award, presented to a first-time writer of a book on food to be published in 2017. – See more at:

© 2015 Melissa Sargent