Very simply, I wanted to review this book. I bought it, and the only compensation I am getting is letting all of my dear readers know about an amazing book and an even more amazing blogger. At times, that is compensation enough.
Anyone who knows anything about me knows these two things: I don’t follow recipes, and I don’t follow trends. I like cookbooks for inspiration – I look at them for new techniques to try, new flavor combinations to explore. The last time I bought a cookbook (until this one) was when I bought the Flavor Bible and Provence the Beautiful Cookbook. However, I’m not entirely certain they are cookbooks in the truest sense. The first is a book that primarily discusses flavor pairings and combinations, the other is a coffee-table book that talks about the geography and history of the various areas of Provence with fantastic pictures and that happens to have recipes.
If someone tells me ” Ooh, Sarah, you HAVE to get this – it’s so ( fill in the blank with whatever must have item/trend and your favorite over the top adjective here), ” I usually take a look, and promptly forget about it for a minimum of three to six months. Why? Very simply, I don’t buy into the belief that an object or a style will make my life suddenly better than it was before. Trends and styles come and go, and that’s fine with me. If I see something and still want it later, then it’s worth considering. I think they call people like me classic minimalists. Give me one of something, of excellent quality that I can use for the next 5, 10 or even 50 years and then I am happy. I’ve found that if it’s new, if it’s hip – it’s usually not for me.
Having said that, I will be the first to admit that when I heard that Clotilde Dusoulier (http://chocolateandzucchini.com/) was coming out with a new cookbook, I not only bought it, I pre-ordered it. I never, ever pre-order anything. I am usually the one who is excited about something, thinking it to be new and wonderful only to have my friends kindly inform me that it’s old hat, been there done that.
What do I like about this book? To start, the recipes are organized by seasons, starting with spring. Each section starts with a little bit about life in Paris and ends with a list of seasonal produce that I found to be quite extensive. The recipes are simple, titled both in English and French, and most are accompanied with a photograph. It’s a book filled with no-fuss dishes that charm with their simple elegance. Using seasonal produce with ingredients that highlight the main ingredient of the recipe, Clotilde makes dishes that speak for themselves. There’s even a section in the back called Essentials that are basic, all-year round recipes – the foundations in a country kitchen such as vegetable stock, tart and pasta doughs, and recipes for various vinaigrettes. This is a book that could be considered a staple to anyone’s kitchen, and that I could see getting frequent use in my own kitchen.
I found myself truly enjoying this cookbook. As a cook who focuses mainly on rustic French and Italian cuisines, I found myself humming in agreement as I studied the recipes, smiling as I recognized some of my favorites, and even intrigued by some that I had never seen before.
Recipes that I could see myself making? Poor Man’s Bouillabaisse (Spring – pg 29) Green Bean, Red Rice and Almond Salad (Summer – pg 66) Couscous with Vegetables (Autumn – pg 124) and Assorted Savory Puffs (Winter- pg 153)
The French Market Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes from my Parisian Kitchen is a cookbook that not only I am happy I purchased, it is also one I would recommend to anyone.
For more of Clotilde’s fantastic recipes, visit her blog: http://chocolateandzucchini.com/
To order her cookbooks or to find out more about her, visit her Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Clotilde-Dusoulier/e/B0034PURNI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1