Recipe book review: LEON: Family & Friends

I love recipe books and am always looking for new additions to my collection. So I’ve decided I should share any new discoveries that have inspired me. And this is a lovely one.

It comes from one of the co-founders of LEON which is a chain of wholesome, fast food restaurant/cafes in London. LEON’s menu is unlike any other “fast food” place and the first branch in Carnaby Street in Soho caused a lot of excitement. I was working in Soho at the time and remember the queues, the amazingly different salads (of which I’ve eaten many) and the lovely fruit and vegetable juices.


The book (their fourth) has over 200 recipes, covering a wide range of dishes. And there are lots of easy ideas (like Things with spuds and Things on toast) as well as useful information about nutrition. It’s beautifully designed with great photographs, is a good read as well as a useful source of recipes and it’s one of those books that just feels lovely in your hands. A real bedside table book for entertainment and inspiration.

So far I’ve tried two recipes which both turned out amazingly (see the pictures below). And I’ve no doubt there will be plenty more to come.

First off, the chicken and tarragon casserole. It took a bit of time to prepare but could pretty much all be done way ahead so you could chill out while it’s cooking. Or go for a walk in the park, which is what the section it comes from is called.

Colourful vegetables and fresh tarragon
Juicy browned chicken thighs
Juicy browned chicken thighs
The final tarragon chicken dish served with new potatoes
Fresh ingredients make the base of the minestrone

I also tried Kay’s Minestrone Maltese. There’s plenty of chopping involved (which I find very therapeutic) but after that you just let everything cook together.┬áPacked with fresh vegetables, this dish feels like health in a bowl and makes a tasty, substantial meal.

A wholesome, tasty soup, absolutely yum!

You can buy the LEON cookbooks on Amazon. I haven’t tried any of the previous ones, but certainly this one makes a very welcome addition to my collection.


  1. Hi there,

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    We’d love to interview you for our site, would you be interested? Let me know at!

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