Tartine Bread

September 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Surpirse! I know I said there wouldn’t be any posts on Thursday, but I was too inspired by this video I found not to share it. It came to me by way of The Kitchn – It’s a story about the owner of Tartine Bakery and the cookbook he wrote. A cookbook that is now on my Amazon wish list.

A review of Chez Panisse Vegetables

September 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

Sadly, I do not own Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters, this copy is from the Boston Public Library. My friend Anne turned me on to Alice’s cookbooks when she showed me her wonderful cookbook, The Art of Simple Food (Sidenote: If you happen to be one of the six people who took out one of the only six copies of The Art of Simple Food from the BPL, return it! Please!).

Alice Waters

I am a huge fan of Alice’s. She’s all about local, organic food, and making delicious recipes from those ingredients. The Art of Simple Food is like a great encyclopedia of simple recipes. So when I read about Chez Panisse Vegetables in GQ (the feature that had the cookbook isn’t online, otherwise I would link to it) I knew I had to check it out. Well, it’s great, and I like it for a number of reasons.

1. Just like The Art of Simple Food, this cookbook isn’t just a book of recipes, it’s a compendium of dishes to make with pretty much any vegetable you have on hand. It’s organized by vegetable, so all you have to do is look up what you’ve got. And the recipes couldn’t better. She’s got traditional recipes, and some that don’t give any measurements or cooking times, a la Mark Bittman.

2. The introduction is fascinating. It talks about how Alice’s restaurant, Chez Panisse,  began and the importance of selecting the freshest local produce. My favorite line: “Look for vegetables that look right back at you!”

3. The illustrations. They’re made to look like old-fashioned, stamped images, and they’re really well done. Take a look:

4. The typeface of the book title is reminiscent of the Harry Potter Lumos typeface, except I think this book came first, so perhaps it’s safe to say that J.K. Rowling is an Alice Waters fan?

Usually I like a cookbook with pictures, but I like that this one doesn’t have any. Like the introduction says, you should learn to trust your intuition when you cook, and pictures would make the cook too dependent on the cookbook.

Chez Panisse Vegetables is, in my opinion, indispensable. I can’t wait to cook a recipe from it!

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