Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cookbook watch - Mediterranean cookbooks

As always, Swedes are completely obsessed with mediterranean food and the market for more cookbooks about this style of cooking seems never-ending. The latest batch...


Medelhavsbufféer ("Mediterranean buffets) by Tomas Tengby and Marco Baudone (Tengby is a journlist and talks about the food traditions, while Baudone is the chef.) should be a clear winner, since it deals with two popular subjects at once! Swedes often serve buffets at any sort of celebration with more than six guests, rather than having a three-course meal. (Not that I'm complaining, mind you - I don't really like to cook plated food for more than 4-6 myself.) It's divided by country - starting with France, Italy, Spain and Greece, but also including Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon. The latter make the book much more interesting, and the recipes look lovely. It helps that the photos are absolutely beautiful, shot by Roland Persson.


Mina smaker från Provence ("My flavors from Provence") is written by Danyel Couyet, who runs several restaurants in Stockholm together with Melker Andersson. His most famous one is French, Le Rouge in Old Town. I haven't been, but I hear it's really good. When I first started looking through this book, I wasn't that thrilled. That eventually changed - I found tons of things that I want to try. The recipes are classic French, but usually with a unique twist. I can't wait to try his beef stew, or the apricot-almond tarte!

These two books have an unusual format - it's a spiral-bound pad, that is sturdy enough to stand on its own so you can have the recipe easily available as you cook. It's unusual, but pretty nifty. Photos are by one of my favorite food photographers, David Loftus. (He usually shoots Jamie Oliver´s books.)


Mitt goda Toscana ("My tasty Tuscany") by Stefano Catennachi is all about gourmet Italian, but with a Swedish perspective. Or well, say a Stockholm perspective. Tuscan food seems to be more about high quality ingredients than much actual preparation, and when I was reading through the book it seemed that every other recipe said "oh, you can easily find this at a well-stocked food hall". Well, convenient if you're in a big city, but if you're not, you're pretty much out of luck. That said, there are recipes here that I'd love to make - first on my list is a luscious-looking risotto with ricotta and salsiccia...


Pene said...

Have you seen this cookbook from Ikea?

Anne said...

Pene - yes, I have it. It's... well, interesting - really fun photos but different. I haven't tried the recipes, but they're all from "Hembakningsrådet", the Baking Council, so I'm sure they're dependable.