Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cookbook notes: The Art of Simple Food

“The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution,” by Alice Waters, $35

This cookbook isn’t vegan. It isn’t even vegetarian. But it’s a must-have for any plant-eater’s kitchen.

Written by Alice Waters, the rock star among locavores and owner of Chez Panisse in Berkley, CA, the book comes packed with years of practical whole foods advice. I found much to love. Both in its organization and its breath, this cookbook offers non-fussy ways of preparing and thinking about food.

For instance, her grilled ratatouille is wonderfully easy, involves few preparation techniques and tastes great. And everywhere the book's filled with useful tips. Like her salting advice that has kicked my homemade vinaigrette into overdrive.

With its lesson plan style in the first half, it would make a great gift for a newbie cook. While the encyclopedia of staple recipes at the back makes it a valuable reference for the seasoned chef. Check it out. You’re sure to find something to love.

And as Ms. Waters says, “Remember food is precious.”

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