Monday, April 19, 2010

Favorite Cookbooks: Spring 2010

The word around the Midwest streets is that things are about a month ahead garden-wise and so I found myself sitting in the sun with a pile of cookbooks next to me thinking about all the things I want to grow, cook, can and bake in the next few months. I narrowed down my stack of books to five favorites to share with all of you.
  • Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka: I acquired this book last summer and it is the perfect thing to get one in the gardening and spring cooking mood. It's a giant book, filled with recipes for every vegetable you can think of. Many recipes are unusual, particularly all of her vegetable ice creams like avocado and sweet pea. The book also has a great vegetable guide at the end detailing the best way to store, wash, and prepare veggies along with yields and equivalents. Last year I made her Szechwan Green Beans and Carrot Salad with Currants and Almonds. On my list for this season is Green Seafood Stew with Peas and Spinach, Zucchini Custard, and the intriguing-sounding Morels with Rhubarb and Asparagus.

  • Cafe Boulud Cookbook by Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan: A long-neglected book that I have made merely one recipe out of even though every single thing in it sounds amazing. What I did make, Cervelle de Canut, was very, very good. It is ricotta spiffed up with lots of herbs, shallots and a little oil and vinegar. One day I will also make Artichokes a la Grecque, Socca Stuffed with Peppery Greens, White Gazpacho, Goat Cheese Flans with Garlic Herb Croutons and Lemon Lime Risotto with Asparagus.

  • The Art of the Tart by Tamasin day-Lewis: Guestblogger Alita got this for me ages ago and I absolutely love it but don't make nearly enough out of it. My go-to recipes from this book are the perfectly simple and correct (no cheese) Quiche Lorraine and the popular L'Aligot Tart which sports a decadent mashed potato and cheese filling. On the tart agenda for me is a beautiful Rhubarb Meringue Pie, a Fennel, Taleggio and Cardamom Tart and a Sorrel Tart.

  • The Splendid Grain by Rebecca Wood: Winner of the James Beard Award for Excellence as well as the winner of The Julia Child Cookbook Awards, there was no way I couldn't have this book. It provides such good information about grains of all varieties including simple methods of storing, cooking and purchasing them. I've got Quinoa Tarts with Kiwi Sauce, Baked Blinis with Strawberry Sauce, Lemon Coconut Rice Salad and Yellow and Purple Bean Tabbouleh on my list of recipes to make.

  • Flavors by Donna Hay: Fresh from my Australian adventure, I had to include one of my most beloved cookbooks by the prolific Aussie domestic maven, Donna Hay. This is one of those books that is so beautiful to look at, it's not necessary to make anything out of it...just stare at the pretty pictures. The book is all about Ms. Hay's favorite flavors and luckily for me, I love every one of them which include: vanilla, lemon/lime, ginger, chilli, garlic/onion, chocolate, salt/pepper, basil/mint and cinnamon/spice. I've made quite a bit out of this book but currently am interested in making Vanilla Milk Gelato, Lemon-Seared Squid, Chilli-Crusted Lamb with Cucumber Yogurt and Seared Tuna with a Lime Crust.

Got any great springtime cookbooks? Do tell.

1 comment:

Hilary said...

I like Art of the Tart, too. I discovered it at my local library a few months back.

I have a Donna Hay book and I am a bit like you say - it's gorgeous to look at, but I never make a darn thing from it!