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Recipes from an Italian Summer Hardcover – April 7, 2010
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"Most cuisines have delicious ways of using summer's bounty, but Italian food, as the editors of this pretty and expansive recipe collection assert, is ideally eaten in the warmest season. The authors of the bestselling compendium of Italian cookery The Silver Spoon have returned with a collection of warm weather dishes that emphasize simple flavors and minimal ingredients. In addition to recipes, the book covers the vacation regions of Italy, the hundreds of food festivals held every summer around the country, and a calendar of seasonal ingredients. Chapters reflect the way people tend to eat in summer: Picnics; Salads; Barbecues; Light Lunches; and Suppers. The provisions are both appealing and richly varied: rustic vegetable pies or potatoes in aluminum foil with assorted fillings are certain to dress up anyone's summer repertoire. Dishes like mozzarella caprese and peaches with zabaglione will seem familiar to readers while others, such as casatiello, a bread ring stuffed with salami and cheese, or lettuce with skate and walnuts, have a hint of the exotic. As with its predecessor, the editors keep the directions short and sweet, and a certain degree of kitchen familiarity is assumed. Interspersed throughout are beautifully evocative photos that might tempt some readers to put down the spoon and head for the airport."―Publisher's Weekly
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Top customer reviews
Just as you don't begin to appreciate the aromas and flavors of wines within a day, those without an Italian culinary frame of reference or a culinary education will be left with a "so what" response. Even knowing the benefits of some of the ingredients and techniques presented in this book, I'm still hard pressed to put in the dedication that many of these recipes call for... so it's really just relegated to the special nostalgic moments for my days in San Gimignano.
I'd definitely pull out this book if my Italian side of the family were coming over... unfortunately, I don't have an Italian side of the family.
It doesn't have clear directions and, instead of showing at least the result product of the cooking, the book contains set of pictures with views of Italy and the picture of a half naked fat sweaty dude on the bike (I do not wish to see any of it in my cooking book!).
It is for somebody who is chef in cooking.
Would be nice to have pictures and 1,2,3.. steps with exact proportions.
In the book's favor, it is laid out well and is understandably a reduced version of Silver Spoon and thus easier to handle in the kitchen. Most of the recipes are written fairly well, but certainly not all. It is very common for the ingredients to be vague: tomatoes, potatoes, olives, apples, etc. are listed but what kind and weight you may ask? "Two zucchini" makes me want to know variety AND size.
I think that an inexperienced cook may be baffled by the vague directions and the often unclear ingredients list. On the other hand, if you are comfortable with Elizabeth David's also vague recipes you will not have a problem with these. David's books are at the very top of my most used and valued cookbooks and her Summer Cooking and Italian should be considered if you are tempted by this book.