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Olives and Oranges: Recipes and Flavor Secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus, and Beyond Hardcover – September 8, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.)
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Review

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. (Publishers Weekly ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; F First Edition edition (September 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061867764X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618677641
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this cookbook. From the 30+ recipe books on my kitchen shelf, this has become my # 1 creative source for preparing a delicious meal. The recipes for red onions in orange sauce, warm escarole with hot anchovy dressing, sweet pea and squash blossom risotto are just a few of the inventive, simple, healthy and delicious meals I've prepared.I've given several copies as gifts to other of my foodie friends and bathed in the extraordinary appreciation I've gotten from all them. Thank you Sara and Mindy for this jewel of a cookbook. It rivals some of the great classics.
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Format: Hardcover
The pictures in Sara Jenkins's wonderful new book will make you want to cook everything, and you won't be disappointed in anything. The dishes are great, and the recipes work like a charm. Sara Jenkins is one of the few professional chefs who really gets what it means to cook at home day in and day out. The food here is the classic food of the Mediterranean--primarily Italian but with forays into Spain and as far east as Syria (Sara likes Aleppo pepper!). Some of the recipes are traditional; others are truly innovative, but always based on sound, traditional principles. This is the food you can find, if you're really lucky, in small mom and pop trattorias where the traveler eats with the locals; more important, it's the food that people cook at home: honest, seasonal ingredients prepared in just the right ways and in just the right combinations. Throughout the book Sara is with you, with flavor tips, suggestions about how to vary a recipe for a new season, advice about how to use the best of what's available at any time. With her at your side you'll soon get what it means to go to the market, find the best of the season, and turn it into a joy for your table. This beautiful book should be on every serious cook's shelf, and should be given to anyone just starting out.
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Format: Hardcover
When I lived in New York, Sara Jenkins, who was then working at Il Buco and later at Patio, was one of the city's few chefs who made going out for a fine meal worthwhile for a vegetarian. There's pasta, and then there's pasta. And her magic ways with olives, oranges, and all the best of the green market came across in every dish.
I've tried over the years to mimic her Pasta with Many Cheeses, her wonderful soups and creative salads without ever quite getting it right.

It's been great cooking from her new book! She's managed to translate the subtlety of her best restaurant dishes to the page. Vegetarians will find plenty of not-too-obvious new ideas here.
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Format: Hardcover
Olives and Oranges is a simple, elegant and precise guide to flavor and culinary improvisation through easy-to-execute recipes and a detailed guide to building a pantry.

The authors, not content to merely provide recipes, instruct the reader on harnessing flavor and using intuition to create their own original dishes. The goal of Olives and Oranges is to not just share the authors' many years of experience and knowledge, but to actually teach the reader how to cook. Within a few weeks of owning and cooking from this book, anyone with the inclination, motivation and confidence can be improvising like a pro.

I love this cookbook. I read every word of introduction and pantry chapters. It is practical, helpful and chock full of great recipes.

A perfect gift book for the advanced or beginning cook!
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Format: Hardcover
I received Olives and Oranges as a holiday gift. (The hinting paid off!). I always like to read cookbooks from the library first and then decide whether it belongs on my shelf. This book sits in a very prominent spot in my home! I enjoy Ms. Jenkins' and Ms Fox's writing styles and being true to the traditions of the regions. I must comment on two recipes in particular. I make roast chicken at least once a week. I now have a new standard which will be repeated again and again. The chicken with sage, garlic and lemon peel is quite possibly the best roast chicken I've ever made. So tasty and moist. Secondly, being of Italian heritage myself, I love the authenticity of the Classic Central Italian Meat Ragu. My only regret is my dad is no longer here to taste something I'm sure his mom must have made for his family again and again. Buy this book. You will be happy that you did.
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Format: Hardcover
I love this book! As an admitted cookbook junkie, I inflicted a self-imposed moratorium on buying any new ones a couple of years ago, but I couldn't resist Olives & Oranges. It's the kind of cookbook that isn't just beautiful to look at and read, but one that's been constantly open on my kitchen counter since I got it (and has the messy cooking stains to prove it!). Sara Jenkins' stories of growing up in Italy, et al, really let you to travel through her eyes and experiences, and the dishes make it all the more visceral. The recipes are the kind that an experienced cook like myself can dive into with gusto, but have such clear, good instruction (and, not for nothing, ingredients that you don't need a map and a compass to find; and even if you're local shop isn't stocked so well, there's a really good section in the back on where to get everything from pasta to spices), that I think someone just dipping a toe into the world of cooking would have a lot of fun and ease getting into it. I'm buying this book for my sisters for Christmas -- really excited about passing it on! I couldn't recommend it more highly.
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