I have a new love in my life, and her name is Dorie Greenspan. Legions of bakers are well familiar with Dorie, through her numerous baking cookbooks, including the masterful Baking: From My Home to Yours. There’s even somewhat of a cult of Dorie lovers who weekly cook through her recipes and blog about it. But I, not being much of a baker, have mostly been admiring her work from afar.
One cannot live on strawberry tarts alone. With her latest cookbook Around My French Table Dorie has shifted her attention away from baking and directed it instead to the full menu of every day foods that she enjoys cooking in her Paris kitchen. Let me tell you, this book is stunning. Hefty. Substantial. Beautifully photographed. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever encountered a cookbook as gorgeous, and as well put together as this one. I want to cook every recipe in it. The recipes are accessible, easily do-able for the home cook, and interesting; you know just from reading the ingredients that the dishes will turn out brilliantly. Each recipe is described with Dorie’s characteristic flair for detail and useful tips. She also includes “bonne ideas”, ideas for variations.
The first recipe to catch my eye was the chestnut and pear soup. It was sublime. Truly. I like to share my food. Not this soup. Nope. It didn’t go home with mom and dad. They had to come here to eat it, and then I hoarded the leftovers.
The cauliflower gratin with bacon, cream, and Gruyure was wonderful, and inspired my broccoli and cheddar casserole.
And then there were the sardine rillettes. I’ve made and devoured them three times and am looking forward to trying Dorie’s tuna rillettes and salmon rillettes as well.
I think I already said I want to make every recipe in this book, didn’t I? Anyway, there have been plenty of terrific reviews written about it, just check out the comments at Amazon.com. If you are a friend of mine who is accustomed to receiving Christmas presents from me, please do not buy this book. You are likely already getting it from me this year.
By the way, this fall I had the great pleasure of meeting Dorie in person. Charming, witty, and embracing life this woman is. My dad met her too, and flirted with her shamelessly. It was so cute, “you look so familiar” my dad said. “Dad, Dorie’s picture is on your baking book. You know, the one that says BAKING.” Now we have another book in which to enjoy seeing Dorie’s smiling face.