While many cooks and cookbooks find inspiration in the Mediterranean's culinary traditions, this appealing, beautifully photographed tome by Jenkins (chef of New York City's Il Buco and Mangia, and the recently opened Porchetta) and Fox (editor of La Cucina Italiana) uniquely synthesizes a diversity of regional styles while adding some fresh ideas to the mix. Having grown up as the daughter of a foreign correspondent and absorbing the culinary vernacular of the countries in which her family resided (Italy, Spain, Cyprus and France), Jenkins uses the Mediterranean pantry as her foundation. She instructs how to select appropriate oils and vinegars; make the most of briny olives, anchovies and bottarga; and select cured meats and cheeses. The recipes that follow are organized almost like a restaurant menu, from a small plate of Sweet Corn Sformato to mains like Slow-Braised Pork Loin with Prunes. Jenkins acknowledges the classics in dishes such as the Tuscan peasant soup Ribollita or the chestnut meringue dessert Montebianco, but she also makes room for her own mashup interpretations, tossing spaghettini with ground lamb, yogurt and mint, and melding jasmine tea and dark chocolate in an intriguing panna cotta. Labeled as "slow-cook" or "quick-cook," recipes are designed for ease without compromising their rich, timeless flavors. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Olives and Oranges: Recipes and Flavor Secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus, and Beyondby Sara Jenkins, Mindy Fox, Alan Richardson
By the time she was a teenager, Sara Jenkins had lived all over the Mediterranean, from Italy and France to Spain, Lebanon, and Cyprus, in cosmopolitan cities and in rural hamlets. The family eventually put down roots in a ramshackle farmhouse in a small Tuscan village, where she learned how to make ragu and handmade pasta at the elbow of her Italian
By the time she was a teenager, Sara Jenkins had lived all over the Mediterranean, from Italy and France to Spain, Lebanon, and Cyprus, in cosmopolitan cities and in rural hamlets. The family eventually put down roots in a ramshackle farmhouse in a small Tuscan village, where she learned how to make ragu and handmade pasta at the elbow of her Italian “grandmother” on the nearby farm. Meals came from the garden and the surrounding pastures, not the supermarket, and Jenkins grew up schooled in the tradition of cooking from what was on hand.
In Olives & Oranges, Jenkins shares the simple, striking dishes she learned at the source. Many, like Peppery Braised Short Ribs and Classic Tuscan Eggplant Parmesan, are favorites from childhood. Others, like Short Pasta with Mushrooms and Mint and Spicy Lemon–Chocolate Ganache Tart, have a contemporary sensibility. Jenkins shows how understanding the Mediterranean “language of flavor” can help you follow your instincts and make your own great meals based on what you have, too. You’ll see how salt and lemon juice bring out the natural sugar in Carrot Salad with Lemon, Sea Salt, Parsley, and Olive Oil, and how to use the same technique with lime, salt, and a Moroccan condiment called harissa for a completely different effect in Tunisian Raw Turnip Salad.
The opening chapter introduces “small plates”— easy, versatile dishes that can preface a dinner or be grouped together for a small feast, from Roasted Red Peppers with Garlic and Celery Leaves to Chicken Liver Crostini. Soups are spontaneous and flexible, whether they are cooling purées like White Almond Gazpacho or sturdy full bowls like Rich Chicken Soup with Greens. The incomparable pastas encompass fast every-night selections (Spaghettini with Burst Cherry Tomatoes) to complex celebration affairs like Braised Rabbit Ragu and Homemade Lasagna.
Fish, poultry, and meat chapters feature rustic preparations: roasted scallops capped with a pale green butter seasoned with parsley and garlic; an impressively big-flavored chicken smeared with a mixture of bacon and herbs and baked in a salt crust; and a spectacular staple of Roman trattorias, veal cutlets wrapped in prosciutto and sage and crisp-fried. Desserts range from fresh Strawberries with Prosecco to a sumptuous Coffee Cardamom Crcme Caramel to the rich but light Lemon Olive Oil Cake.
Each of the recipes in the book is identified as “Quick-Cook” or “Slow-Cook” so you can choose which fit best into your schedule. “Flavor Tips” throughout the book suggest ways to modify the dishes so you can use what’s freshest and most available.
The daughter of the noted food authority Nancy Harmon Jenkins, SARA JENKINS has earned raves at all the New York restaurants where she has been the chef, including 50 Carmine, Il Buco, I Coppi, and Patio. Her newest venture, Porchetta, is located in New York City’s East Village. This is her first book.
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What People are saying about this
Olives & Oranges establishes Sara Jenkins as a leading light in the post-food-revolution generation, the children who grew up with arugula, free-range chicken, and extra-virgin olive oil. This is a generation that understands the value of eating well and has the confidence to prepare the simplest food with vivid grace and panache. More, please. --Molly O’Neill
Chef Sara Jenkins has produced a wonderful and charming book filled with Mediterranean recipes that will inspire you to cook. She cares greatly about ingredients and shares great tips. And every recipe she gives is a gem. This is a keeper. --Paula Wolfert
Sara Jenkins has a view of food rooted in a broad experience of many worlds. In this book, she focuses that experience on specific delicious dishes from the Mediterranean tradition, in a way that reminds us of how much thought and tradition can be present on a single unpretentious plate. --Adam Gopnik
Meet the Author
SARA JENKINS, the daughter of a Newsweek foreign correspondent and the noted food authority and author Nancy Harmon Jenkins, has received raves for her food at all the New York restaurants where she has been the chef, including 50 Carmine, Patio, Il Buco, and I Coppi.
MINDY FOX is a freelance food editor, writer, food stylist, and former
editor at Saveur. She has written for many magazines, including
Saveur, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and Prevention, and collaborated
on a number of cookbooks. She is the food editor of Cucina Italiana.
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My new go to book in the kitchen.
This is the real thing when it comes to cooking with a tasty Italian flair. The recipes are shown in mouth watering photographs and taste as good as they look. I love the flavorful, chicken dishes, soups, and short ribs. The chicken stock recipe makes superb risotto or soup. The olive oil cake was everyone's favorite for breakfast and dessert. You can plan a week's worth of delicious dinners,not all with meat, that are healthy and easy to make and not expensive.
I also recommend Pure Flavor (recipes from the Pacific Northwest) by Kurt Beecher Dammeier
This is a wonderful cookbook! Many of the recipes had my mouth watering before I even finished reading them. Looking forward to many delicious meals from this one!