From the Publisher
"Through her eloquent writing and delicious recipes, Elizabeth Luard is able to bring us back in touch with the sources of real nourishment. This is a wonderful, inspiring and important book." —ALICE WATERS, founder and owner of Chez Panisse and the author of The Art of Simple Food
"The best at describing 'the cuisine of the necessary' in European peasant life. Filled with ... gems."
—MARK BITTMAN, author of How to Cook Everything
"This book is fascinating. I believe all cooking originates from family or peasant roots and this is a testimony to that belief." —JACQUES PEPIN, author of The Art of Cooking
"Puts other outpourings in the shade, such is its range, passion, erudition and downright deliciousness." —The Guardian
"One of the great cook books of all time." —The Mail on Sunday
"An awesome collection of recipes... Luard writes with authoritative enthusiasm." —New Statesman
Stands the test of time . . . . Filled with hard-to-find gems.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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. (October 1)
Luard writes about the cultural and geographic influences upon European peasant cooking, and illustrates her text with appropriate recipes. Peasants usually structured their meals around ``a single dominant ingredient at a single moment.'' The author is clearly knowledgeable about the 25 countries represented, and wants to tell all she knows. ``Corner Cupboard Dishes'' and ``Shepherd's Meats'' are particularly interesting. Instructions are conversational and over-detailed and often digress. For limited purchase. SP