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Once Upon a Tart...: Soups, Salads, Muffins, and More Hardcover – April 22, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (April 22, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375413162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375413162
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Once Upon a Tart offers 225 recipes from the eponymous Manhattan shop, which, in addition to sweet and savory tarts, prepares delicious soups, salads, and muffins. Both book and shop are the work of business partners Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau, whose Soho store has flourished for almost a decade, providing notable quality while expanding tart-consciousness. Among the tart recipes, particularly winning are the Zucchini Tart with Curried Custard and Dried Currants; Roasted Ratatouille Tart with Herbes de Provence; Chocolate Pear Tart; and Jerome's Mother's Famous Almond Tart, a melt-in-your mouth confection. Equally good are the recipes for sandwiches, such as pork loin with frisée and rosemary-garlic aïoli; soups, including black-bean-and-pumpkin with cinnamon and ginger; scones, like honey caramel; and quick breads and cookies, such as Apple-Cranberry Muffins and Rosie's Peanut Butter Cookies.

What makes the book especially worthy is its instructive approach. The recipes themselves contain useful technical guideposts (the authors zero-in on desirable unbaked dough texture--"just past crumbly, but still holding together"), and there are many illuminative asides, both personal and to-the-point ("'Each variation on an ingredient changes the taste and texture of the cookie,' says Frank--this kind of thing excites him," is one). With its attention to the personal, the book is also something of an autobiography à deux, and readers will enjoy getting to know the authors, one very French, one solidly American. Illustrated with color photos, and with useful notes on equipment and fundamental processes, such as How to Deal with Eggplant, the book should please bakers at all skill levels. --Arthur Boehm

From Publishers Weekly

Once Upon a Tart, a charming cafe in New York's SoHo, was founded by two refugees from hotel management intent on a dream. Audureau, who ran a tarterie in Avignon, France, his home town, saw that New York had not discovered this French lunch delight the savory tart, with its accoutrements of salads and the finish of a sweet. Jersey-born Mentesana learned to cook from his Italian grandmother. The cafe chefs add unusual twists to traditional recipes for example Zucchini Tart with Curried Custard and Dried Currants and Chickpea-Tomato Soup with Fresh Rosemary. Zestful loving touches, such as Tomato Chutney with Golden Raisins as a spread for sandwiches, are what make this book and the cafE a standout. In chatty, accessible style, Audureau and Mentesana explain everything from blanching vegetables to how to cool tart crust and how to make apricot glaze for sweet tarts. The cafE's regulars will be ecstatic to have this generous offering of recipes for their favorite tarts, scones, tea breads, and cookies, such as My Mother's Are Better Ginger Cookies and the Chocolate-Pecan French-Style Macaroons. Each section, from salads to condiments, is carefully presented and full of ideas and hints. The lunchbox-size book (9 x 7) and lovely photos make for a cozy, lighthearted presentation.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I've given many copies of this book as gifts.
Peggy Hill
I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves food, even if they do not bake, as the book is fun to read.
melissa
Great recipes, very nice layout and beautiful photos.
Client d'Amazon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Don't miss out on reading the Intro. Here is an inspirational story of the beginnings of two people who fall in love with what they do--tarts.
Here are their tried and true recipes, for which they've made them over and over again. The results are yours for the baking. To do this there are great sections on equipment, technique.
Not only for tarts, but salds, soups and muffins, brownies, cookies, etc.
I'm particularly impressed with "Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Tart with Basil" "Chocolate-Banana Tart" "Black Plum and Honey Tart".
The Summer Berry Scones are knock outs and The Crunchy Dried Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Cookies are killers also.
This will be a fun book for the home gourmet to mess around with and discover new cook with your hands baked goods to eat with the fingers food!
Well done with great reading thorughout, especially with the fun side bars scattered throughout.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By melissa on June 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a gift a few weeks ago and I cannot stop baking!! It is filled with wonderful receipes, photos and information. The receipes are very easy to follow, even for a novice baker like myself, and the results are just outstanding. My friends, family and colleagues are now clamoring for "my tarts" and "my scones". The orange scones with chocolate chips, on page 254 are my favorite. But I am sure I will find others. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves food, even if they do not bake, as the book is fun to read.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
For someone who has minimal baking/cooking skills, I found the book user friendly, with beautiful, lush photographs. As well, Mr. Audureau's humor is very charming and disarming allowing you to feel confident in executing these yummy treats. By the end of the book, you too will feel you can open you own little tart shop in the south of France. Enjoyable read!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I am an an obsessive cookbook collector, yet I won't purchase any cookbook that doesn't have recipes that I wouldn't prepare and serve to my friends.I acquired ONCE UPON A TART several weeks ago and have been exceedingly happy with the recipes and the results.
Specifically, I have tried the "Provencal Tart with Gruyere and Herbes de Provence", a recipe for which I have searched for years. It is quite delicious. Another recipe that I have made is the "Tomato Chutney with Golden Raisins" which is absolutely wonderful!
I have about 10 other recipes marked to try, and I am certain that they will all be as delicious and as well received as the first two!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Katz on November 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is, hands-down, one of my favorite cookbooks. And it is so very much more than tarts. I recommend it to people often.

When I bought this book, it was quite by accident, because I recieved it through a book club and forgot to send my reply card back. It sat unused on my shelf for a few months, until the day I started flipping through it. Wow!

This cookbook is wonderful. The instructions are excellent and detailed, and tell you exactly what things should look like. Their recipe (and instructions) for making a tart crust garnered praise when I did it... and it was only the second time I'd ever made a crust. (The first time, years before, was a flop.) It came out perfectly. Plus, when you read the recipes, you can tell they're good. There's an emphasis on quality ingredients, and it shows through in how the food tastes.

I haven't had a single miss yet, and everything is quite easy. Try especially the orange and chocolate chip scones, and the fresh fruit tart with vanilla cream. When I made that one it received rave reviews.

Definitely try it, for the tarts, the scones, the sandwiches, the cookies, the breads and all the rest. You won't regret it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Sharon N. Hansen on April 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I don't know how anyone can give this book less than 5 stars unless it's just a mean spirited jealous person. I'm picky about cook books. I want a cook book that gives me new ideas, gives me things I can change if I please and still have it taste good, give me recipes with ingredients that aren't hard to find out "in the sticks" where I live and I want a cook book that has more than one good recipe in it. I have barely put this down since I got it. I have since ordered 3 more for gifts. I'll probably order more. This is different so is a safe buy for someone that you don't know what cook books they have. I really liked the roasted vegetable tart. I made it for my husband who swears he'd never eat egg plant. He not only ate it, he liked it! (Shhhh! Our secret! He still doesn't know he ate egg plant.) Now my egg plant didn't sweat as well as it should have so it was a bit too salty for me, but was still edible, but then I'm a light salt user so many things taste too salty to me. I think most people would think it was just fine. I went to make the carrot muffins, and then found out I was out of carrots! I substituted zucchini and yellow squash and it was marvelous! Can't wait to make it with carrots! I want to call the authors to tell them what a splendid job I think they did. If I ever get to New York this is where I'd want to have lunch.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By jessbcuz VINE VOICE on January 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Not only does this cookbook have great recipes spanning from salads and sandwiches, to tarts, cookies (best ginger cookies i've ever had), scones, quickbreads, etc etc; but it is a feast for the eyes as well. The full color pictures make you hungry, and the simple straightforward writing and recipes make everything seem doable. I tried madelines for xmas presents (one of those wanted to try but never had recipes) and they came out just like the picture and tasted heavenly! Everything I've made has been delish and I keep finding more in there I want to try. Now if I could just find enough time to try it all!
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