Published on the centenary year of her birth, Elizabeth David on Vegetables is a celebration of the beloved writer and a compendium of her vegetable-centric recipes and essays. Both inspiring and practical, it's a lovely book to curl up with as well as take into the kitchen.
• Who wrote it: Elizabeth David; Compiled by Jill Norman
• Who published it: Viking Studio
• Number of recipes: 130
• Recipes for right now: Tuscan bean soup, Topinambours en daube (Braised Jerusalem artichokes), Spiced rice salad, Gnocchi verdi (Green gnocchi), Pumpkin and tomato gratin, Tarte aux pommes normande (Open apple tart)
• Other highlights: Elizabeth David on Vegetables contains selections from all of the author's books including Mediterranean Food (1950), Italian Food (1954), French Provincial Cooking (1960), and An Omelette and a Glass of Wine (1984). From soups and salads to pasta, rice, beans, and main dishes, the simple and elegant recipes are presented in the style in which they were written, many in narrative format. Though not quite vegetable-driven, chapters on breads and desserts round out the selection. New color photographs accompany many of the recipes.
David's style is both charming and authoritative, and the book also includes several of her wonderful essays. These touch on a variety of topics, from garlic presses ("utterly useless") to wild hop-shoots, potatoes as aphrodisiacs, and the French Catalan tradition of el pa y all, a simple morning meal of fresh bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil.
• Who would enjoy this book? vegetarians and anyone who wants to learn ways to cook vegetables and classic Mediterranean, French, and Italian dishes
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Elizabeth David on Vegetables by Elizabeth David
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(Image credits: Emily Ho)