The latest entry in this Williams-Sonoma series provides a wide-ranging, if unsurprising, look at Gallic cuisine. Brennan (The Food and Flavors of Haute Provence) divides the recipes into appetizers, entr es, vegetables and desserts, and each dish is derived from a specific region: Pissaladi re from Provence, Gratin ed Mussels on the Half Shell from Languedoc and Fondue from Franche-Comt and the Alps. Meat entr es tend to be grilled (Grilled Lamb chops with Fresh Thyme, Grilled Eel) or roasted (Duck with Lavender Honey, Roasted Veal with Whole Garlic). Some of the most appealing fare can be found in the chapter on vegetable dishes, many of which, such as Saut ed Asparagus and Artichokes with Black Olives and Parmesan and Stuffed Turnips filled with sausage, hazelnuts and currants, could be served as main courses. Desserts, such as Cherry Custard Cake, are generally fruit-based. The glossary is admirably thorough, the photography is lovely throughout and Brennan's sidebars (on topics such as foraging for mushrooms) are certainly competent, but the large format and full-color presentation may make this a cookbook destined for the coffee table rather than the kitchen counter. (Jan.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
With Michele Scicolone as the author of Savoring Italy (LJ 8/99) and Brennan on France, this new series already has some great names to its credit. Brennan, who has lived in Provence for much of the last several decades (the delightful Food and Flavors of Haute Provence is one of her earlier titles), writes with wit and intelligence, whether about le potager (the kitchen garden) or the importance of aperitifs; her recipes include both classic and contemporary dishes. There are full-page color photos of many of the dishes, but the "scenic photography" is particularly beautiful. For most collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\