Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cookbooks: Recipes from an Italian Summer

I've been following ReadyMadeTweets on Twitter for awhile now. ReadyMade has the most useful posts - great recipes, crafty ideas, design news - and the articles always strike a creative nerve with me. I'll read some article about making furniture out of packing materials, and inevitably I'll get really inspired by it and end up resolving to quit my day job and make shipping crate furniture to sell on Etsy. (Clearly, these are very productive ideas.)

Yesterday, however, I read an extremely useful post; even more so than a how-to on making flower vases out of paintbrushes (yes, that was a real article, and yes, I could totally make a living selling paintbrush vases on Etsy)... they had a contest to win a cookbook. And guess who won? I'm now eagerly awaiting my copy of Recipes from an Italian Summer!
While I'm waiting for my book to arrive, I thought I'd take a peek at what I can expect from this new trove of recipes. The publisher's blurb says it's "perfect for getting the best out of summer produce such as tomatoes, fresh herbs, peas and beans, fresh fruit and berries." With summer at its start and the excellent Des Moines farmer's market up and running, it sounds like exactly the right time for this book.
(By the way, I learned in my online research that Anthropologie carries this book. As I am addicted to all things Anthropologie, it only seems logical - of course I would win this book.)

From what I've seen online, the recipes all look like things I'd love to try, and it seems like the book is all about using seasonal, high-quality ingredients. I'm very excited to see that these aren't dishes I'm going to find in any of my other umpteen cookbooks (no offense, Mark Bittman, but How to Cook Everything - in most other respects, my food "bible" - doesn't have anything remotely close to the beautiful strawberry risotto from this book).

Check out some of the gorgeous food photography:

Wow. Here's a closer look at the Fisherman's Pizza recipe pictured above:

Now, I doubt I will find 11 ounces of baby octopuses the next time I'm at the farmer's market, but all the same, this recipe looks incredible.

Why yes, that is a recipe for swordfish carpaccio. I seriously doubt I already have a recipe for swordfish carpaccio. Take that, Mark Bittman.

Now it's decision time... what am I going to make first? Milanese Minestrone, Strawberry Risotto, Stuffed Zucchini Flowers? Potato Pizza? Blueberry rice pudding? With 400 recipes to choose from, this could be a difficult choice.
I can't wait to get the book and start cooking!

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