Dorie Greenspan – Around My French Table

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.

Until now.

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.

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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.

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The cauliflower gratin with bacon, cream, and Gruyure was wonderful, and inspired my broccoli and cheddar casserole.

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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.

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39 Comments

  1. Jayme J.

    This definately sounds like one I would get. I actually tried your broccoli and cheese variation. I halved the recipe but kept same amount of bacon and cheese. It turned out terrific. My sons already like broccoli but I had to keep my oldest from trying to devour the whole dish. Thank you for this recommendation!

  2. Debbie

    I love this cookbook! So much I got another one to give as a Christmas gift to a friend that also cooks. Have only tried 4 recipes so far but they are easy and amazingly good. The apple cake was so good I made it three times in a week and half. Gifted one of the cakes.

  3. Ann

    This DOES look like a wonderful book, I’ve seen a lot of the recipes and glowing comments around the web. Looking forward to snagging this book this christmas if my family has picked up on my endless hints!

  4. Caroline

    I may have to look at this book – my husband swears that he’d starve if we ever traveled to France because he thinks he doesn’t like French food. A few recipes out of this book may change his mind!

  5. Cea

    Pear and Chestnut soup. I’m heading out now to get pears…Oh, first I need to go get the book. Arghhhh. Well, I’ll have it in time for Solstice Supper.
    Thanks for the review. I love Dorie Greenspan’s work.

  6. Mary Hamel

    Funny, I was just looking at some of her books on Amazon.com the other day — must get back over there and pick a book or two! Around My French Table may be my next Christmas present (to me!!).

  7. Lynn

    I ordered this book the other day and can’t wait for it to get here, especially if I’ll want to make everything in it. Yay! I’m excited.

  8. Katrina

    WOW! You are so lucky to have met her. I still haven’t purchased this book yet, but plan to soon. Nice post!

  9. Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

    This is a wonderful book as is her baking book. I love the trend toward French home cooking. Now that is for me!

  10. Michelle

    I have to have this book, everyone is raving about it. It might just have to be my present to myself…..

  11. Susan

    I want this book, too. I love Dorie’s books from what I’ve seen of them, and have made a couple of her recipes. They are flawless! From French Table, I’ve made her Marie Helene’s Apple Cake, which was fabulous. I adore her Sable cookies from the other book. In interviews for this book, she looks like such a tiny little pixie, so full of joy and energy, you just want to be in her kitchen and cook with her! Your close friends are going to enjoy their gift this holiday, Elise!

  12. Connie

    I got this book as soon as it came out and it has quickly catapulted to the top of my favorites list. Everything has been fantastic- and the book is absolutely beautiful to boot.

  13. Steve-Anna

    Love this post! This was on my Christmas list, but no worries if it doesn’t turn up under the tree. I’ll get it myself as a New Year’s gift. Can’t wait to see any cook book rated this highly by Elise ; )

  14. laura @ a little barefoot

    This is on my wish list for sure. If no one gets it for me for Christmas I will be buying it asap!

  15. Jenn

    I am a member of French Fridays with Dorie and have made several things from it. The book is awesome. Elise, do try the “cheating on winter pea soup” (I think that’s the name). I don’t think I ever found an easier soup, and it is so good!

  16. MARYBETH

    I have been baking my way through her big baking book this past year and LOVE it. The coconut blondies are worth getting up in the middle of an ice cold winter night for :)

  17. pascal

    I just bought this book for myself for xmas! I am beyond thrilled!

  18. Sarah

    I’m head over heels for this book, too! And got another copy to give to my BCF (bestest cooking friend) for Christmas. So far, I’ve made the stuffed pumpkin (amazing) and the pumpkin-gorgonzola flan (delicious). Next up are duck breasts, I think. Then everything else.

  19. Janice

    Since Dorie’s “Baking..” book was responsible for getting me over my fear of baking, so I got “Around my French Table” as soon as it came out. She is such a delight and I would love to meet her one day, too, so I can tell her how she has inspired me.

  20. Summer

    My family and I received some early Christmas presents one of the presents was a cookbook I already had..so my husband suggested I give that cookbook to my SIL and get myself a different. I immediately went on to Amazon and ordered this cookbook. The detailed recipes and sidenotes are making this one of my favorite cookbooks I have received this year. I can’t wait to start experimenting in the kitchen with her recipes.

  21. dorie

    See that smile that I’ve got in the picture we took together? The picture I’ve got pinned to my wall and look at all the time? That’s the smile I’m sporting now after reading your post. Thank you! I’m thrilled beyond measure that you’re enjoying the book — it means the world to me.

  22. chocolatechic

    Being one of the legion, I heart Dorie too.

    I highly recommend page 18.

  23. Matthew

    I know, right! I’m not much of a baker, either, but am a committed francophile and cook. I’d never heard of her until Amazon suggested the book to me. I bought it after opening one page, seeing the Cheez-It style crackers and thought, “This woman knows what she’s doing. This book is going to be my new best friend.”

    Her cookbook ROCKS in a way that is almost impossible to describe—the recipes are so simple, friendly and delicious. It’s not the French food that Americans think about, it’s the French food that my French friends know, love, cherish and share. It’s one of the best English-language French cookbooks every written and really taps into the joie de vivre and soul of French cooking. A few months and 20 recipes later, it hasn’t disappointed.

  24. Lea Ann

    I’ve had this cookbook for about a month and am l-o-v-e loving it. That soup recipe caught my eye too and look forward to making it. And the cauliflower gratin is on my list for Christmas eve.

  25. Lauren

    How wonderful that you were able to meet her! Thanks for sharing the delicious photos. I want that cauliflower gratin with the works. It sounds divine.

  26. Sally

    I’m going to have to get this one. I think it’s on just about every “Top Ten Cookbook of the Year” list — and it sounds like the recipes are divine.

  27. Sally

    I can’t decide whether to make your broccoli cheddar casserole or Dorie’s cauliflower bacon gratin for Christmas. They both sound great!

  28. brandi

    That book is amazing! I love it! My family loves loves loves the vegetable soup in there, I can’t remember the name but I have made it about 6 times.

  29. Judy B.

    Heading over to Amazon right now and ordering myself a present – I’ve been a good girl!

  30. Elaine

    I am so glad that you enjoy Dorie’s cookbook as much as I do. So envious that you got to meet her in person! That is a great photo of the two of you. I have not tried her pear and chestnut soup yet, but it sounds wonderful as do the cauliflower gratin and rillettes.

  31. sharon

    Do you know the phenomenon where you hear of something and the viola, it is everywhere? Well, I stumbledupon a cooking blog where one of the entries was a Tuesdays with Dorie entry. I immediately wanted to know more and was extremely vexed that there weren’t any recipes. Drat. And now your review of the book. I don’t have to be hit over the head a third time, I’m finding the book now. Thanks for the review.

  32. Serge Lescouarnec

    Elise

    How are you?

    I just published my interview with Dorie French Guy Sits Down at Dorie Greenspan’s French Table, Dorie Speaks this morning.

    I also shared her Cauliflower Bacon Gratin Recipe prior to that.

    Happy holidays

    Serge
    ‘The French Guy from New Jersey’

  33. Aaron

    I clicked “Purchase” about 20 seconds after reading these comments. The book arrived this morning and I’ve been devouring it ever since. Thank you for this rec, this has made an awesome xmas gift to myself :)

  34. Julie

    My mom gave me this book for Christmas. After reading your review she knew I would love it, funny thing is I almost bought it for her! This book is absolutely stunning, I can’t wait to start cooking from it! Only problem is I can’t decide where to start! I love how Dorie uses the word “garlicky” in the title of some of the recipes, just makes my mouth water instantly! Happy holidays to you and yours Elise!

  35. Victoria

    That is so cool you got to meet Dorie Greenspan! I got this book for Christmas and I haven’t tried anything in it yet! Your pictures look so good!!

  36. Arcey

    Got the book after seeing your review, and then one in the SF Chronicle, and looking at it online. Last thing I need is another cookbook of any kind (!), but got it I did. :)

    I made the apple cake the other day, and it was simple and good. I’d like to recommend a few pinches of cinnamon (or maybe something else?) added in to the recipe. It’s a little bland, and could use just a tad of livening up, flavor-wise, IMHO. I sprinkled a bit of cinnamon on top of the cake the next day, and that was even okay. It just needed a little something. Maybe some lemon zest?

    Anyway, thanks for the recommendation. I’m sure I’ll make more of the recipes soon. Thanks so much for your fun, lovely blog, Elise. Happy New Year to you and your family, and your guest posters (and your readers too).

  37. nanne

    I checked this book out from the library to give it a test run before I bought it.

    It is wonderful!

    I made her provencal vegetable soup and cheddar chive bread last night….the best veggie soup I’ve ever had, the bread was tasty and best of all (for a bake-a-phobic) easy peasy to make.

    This is on my must buy list.

    Nanne

  38. Aimee

    Sounds fabulous! I spent my study abroad in France, and that is where I learned to love food. (much to the chagrin of my expanding waistline, I quickly had to learn to love running when I returned to the US) I will most definitely be adding this to my Amazon wish-list. :) Thanks for the recommendation (and, I adore the photo of you and Dorie and her fabulously chic french haircut.)

  39. Dee S

    Dorie Greenspan was on Martha Stewart last week! She made two recipes from her book, pumpkin stuffed with everything good and semolina cake…they both looked DELICIOUS! That is so cool that you got to meet her! I would have been so nervous!

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