Amol Rajan is Assistant Editor on the Comment desk at The Independent. He was previously a news reporter and Sports News Correspondent, and writes columns for The Liberal and The Salisbury Review.
I can't believe there are so many television critics who still don't get Nigella, who still think it's a highly serious matter watching her whisk her frittata into shape.
The point, surely, is that her brand is satire, and the joke's on us. We know, as soon we think about it, that a woman of her intelligence isn't really all that into flipping pancakes, or mixing grenadine into her OJ.
But watching her last night, I realised that, just for a brief, shimmering interlude, these critics might have been onto something, as her show went, momentarily, beyond satire. For about five minutes, it all got really, really serious.
Nigella was making a breakfast smoothie. Nothing wrong with that.
Except for the recipe, that is. Her smoothie, dear reader, was composed of utter tripe.
Chopped frozen bananas, a spoonful of instant coffee, milk, honey, oats... what?!
This was a disgrace on many levels.
First, there's the obvious absurdity of her saying she added the coffee because the smoothie needed a bit of a kick and "I don't have time to make tea or coffee". That's the satire bit, my friends: she doesn't have time to boil a kettle and put a tea bag into her mug, but she does have time to blend up her smoothie.
But it got worse. As any fule kno, a breakfast smoothie must have berries in it. By definition, dammit, it must. Last time I checked, Sainsbury's were doing three packs of frozen berries for a £5, which is terrific.
And, as any fule really, really ought to kno, it's yoghurt rather than milk that gives you the requisite texture - that is, a smooth one.
Here's how to do it for two.
Blend one banana and half a standard pack of yoghurt together. That's your base. Now add a generous handful of the frozen berries (summer fruits is my favourite). There's no need for ice, as Nigella accepts, if you use frozen fruit. Blend that together, watching the whole beast turn deliciously purple. Add a splash of milk if you fancy, though I'm hardcore so don't bother. Then add two tablespoons of porridge oats. Good for the gut, keeps you regular, etc. Pour the smoothie into a glass and finally add a swirl of honey on top (rather than putting it into the blend, as Nigella did).
I submit that this concoction is healthier, more delicious, and smoother than Nigella's smoothie, as constructed last night.
Now, who wants to give me a prime time slot? Anyone?