“The best cookbook no one’s ever heard of.”
—Mark Bittman, former New York Times food columnist
“One of the great cookbooks of all time.”
—The Mail on Sunday
A rediscovered classic cookbook on the essentials of authentic, back-to-basics European cuisine, with over 300 recipes from 25 countries across France, Spain, Greece, and more
Award-winning food writer Elisabeth Luard joyously salutes the foundations of modern Western cooking with recipes collected during more than twenty-five years of travel and research, many of them spent living in rural France, Spain, Greece, Ireland, and Italy. This definitive collection of over three hundred time-tested recipes from twenty-five European countries is an indispensable guide to the simple, delicious, and surprisingly exotic dishes of peasant Europe.
Exploring the culinary heritage of some 25 European countries, Luard offers 300 recipes that display a generous assortment of styles and flavors, organized here by basic ingredients. Italian risotto, French oatmeal soup and Spanish bean stew are characterized as "corner cupboard dishes.'' Dough-based fare includes Italian fusilli with chili, Bulgarian milk noodles and British steak-and-kidney pudding. Meat recipes range from small game like rabbit with beer and prunes (Belgium) to roast pork and apple sauce (England), shepherd's stew (Rumania), cottage pie (England), spit-roasted lamb (Greece) and even reindeer stew (Lapland). Seafood is also offered in a number of forms from simple grilled prawns (Spain) to bouillabaisse with sweet-pepper sauce (France). Breads, vegetable and sweet dishes round out the offerings. Cooks will note some recipes not known these days for peasant associations, as, for example, hollandaise sauce. Other recipes, like the potato-laden and entirely authentic Irish stew, may seem more curious than useful to some readers. A professionally trained cook, Luard resides in London and is a columnist of the Field. Illustrations not seen by PW.