Dorie Greenspan – Around My French Table

Book Reviews

Book review of Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table cookbook.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.


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

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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Dorie Greenspan on Martha Stewart's TV show, demonstrating the stuffed pumpkin recipe from her book (click on the "watch video" link in the photo to see the video)

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise


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  1. 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.


  2. 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).

  3. 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!!

  4. 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!

  5. 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 :)

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Dorie Greenspan – Around My French Table