There are cookbooks that I glance through, marking recipes to try. Then there are the cookbooks, that sit on my bedside table, ready to read like a novel. My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz falls in the later category. This is a book you want to curl up with, with a cup of tea or a glass of wine. It is a lush beautiful cookbook. It’s a good size, with 340 pages, and filled with lovely photographs.
The book begins with an introduction, with David talking about his move to Paris and setting up his Paris kitchen. He then goes on to cover ingredients – in depth – garlic alone takes a whole page, and ingredients. The book is then divided into 6 sections: Appetizers, First Courses, Main Courses, Sides, Desserts, and Pantry.
I really want to make every single thing in the book (well, except for the eggplant recipes – but that’s me – not the recipes). I’ve marked several to be first tries.
Appetizers: salted olive crisps, Indian cheese bread, green olive basil and almond tapenade, hummus, spice meatballs with sriracha sauce.
First Courses: vegetable soup with basil puree, raw vegetable slaw with creamy garlic dressing, frisee salad with bacon eggs, and garlic toast, cherry tomato crostini with homemade herbed goat cheese, and of course, French onion soup.
Main Courses: fresh herb omelet, fried ham and cheese sandwich, baked eggs with kale and smoked salmon, chicken with mustard, steak with mustard butter and French fries.
Sides: Butternut squash crumble, baked provencal vegetables, herbed fresh pasta, French lentil salad with goat cheese and walnuts.
Desserts: coffee creme brûlée, salted butter caramel chocolate mousse, almond cakes with browned butter, madeleines, chocolate dulce de leche torte, buttermilk ice cream with olive oil and fleur de salt, tangerine champagne sorbet.
Pantry: Creme fraiche, harissa, salted butter caramel sauce.
Really, I could have marked every single recipe. They all sound wonderful and very doable. Scattered through the book are small essays, usually a page or two. To give you an idea, here are a few of the titles: Cheese to (Almost) Die For, A Passage to India – Via Paris, Man vs. Machine, La Stresse du Supermarche, and The Battle of the Beurres (butters).
A wonderful cookbook! One that you will not only cook from, but will also read and enjoy when not in the kitchen.
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