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June 17, 2012

At Elizabeth David’s Table – her very best everyday recipes

by Val Reynolds
Most recent edition

Most recent edition

A copy of French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David was on my shelf for years and years, and when it disappeared I didn’t notice for a long time! Enough to say I had used it so frequently it was falling to bits, her philosophy and recipes the basis of my own cooking, with adaptations of course, and gradually I didn’t have need to refer to it very often.

What a joy it was to get a copy of Elizabeth David’s Table – her very best everyday recipes compiled by Jill Norman. Reading it I got that comfortable feeling of meeting up with an old friend and read it cover to cover. The inclusion of some down to earth features she wrote for various papers and publications over the years placed at the beginning of the various sections of the book made it a joy to read. Her distinctive, no nonsense way of describing a recipe and how to make it remains in my memory.

I loved her description of the market town of Cavaillon and history of the surrounding area. Full of imagery, her writing is inspirational.

I immediately started adding PostIt notes to mark recipes, Coriander Mushrooms, Aubergine Chutney, Chicken Liver Pate, Pork and Liver Pate – this recipewas one I used at a party many years ago, although I never got to eat any, it went so fast! Rillettes, Green Gnocchi, Broad Beans with bacon, egg and lemon, so many recipes I had forgotten. Those broad bean recipes in particular stimulated my purchase of some “”>Aquadulce Longpod seeds; well adapted for winter sowing and early spring eating.

I love this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in tasty, no fuss cooking, and wanting to experiment without making a hash of things!

Published by Penguin in hardback and softback editions

Lizbeth Canvey, Contributing author and professional cook

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