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Summer Cooking

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  198 ratings  ·  9 reviews
For the great English food writer Elizabeth David, summer fare means neither tepid nor timid. Her stress is always on fresh, seasonal food-- recipes that can be quickly prepared and slowly savored, from Gnocchi alla Genovese ("simply an excuse for eating pesto") to La Poule au Pot to Gooseberry Fool. Divided into such sections as Soup, Poultry and Game, Vegetables, and Des ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published April 28th 2002 by NYRB Classics (first published 1955)
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May 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: culinary
Think the obsession with fresh, local ingredients is recent phenomenon?
Elizabeth David was urging a populace obsessed with newly-improved freezing techniques to return to simple, seasonal foods. Some sections of the book, such as her explanations of the uses of now-common herbs, are quite dated; others, such as her instruction that salads should be made from fresh greens, washed and dried, and lightly dressed, seem obvious at first -- but then I think of how many limp leaves soaked in dressing
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this. Written in 1955, really interesting to see what was available then. The chapter on herbs, for instance, is very good as a summary of what goes with what, but I don't think much of this had become common practice in Britain at the time. She is very generous with ingredients such as olive oil, cream and butter in a way I don't remember most cooking being for quite a long time after the 1950s, and I'm sure many things which she could get in Soho just weren't to be had elsewhere. There ...more
Apr 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Reading this in winter brings in hope for the summer. I love her style of writing, as sublime as the food she writes about. Light reading with substance. I can keep this on my bookshelf for a while to simply dip into to fill my quest for nourishing inspiration.
Oct 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Melody by: Laurie
Now THIS is what a cookbook should be. Nothing precise, no quarter-teaspoon of anything, just a bit of butter or a sprinkle of oregano. A cookbook for the confident, a lovely excursion for those unwilling to dive in. David had as sure a hand with prose as she did with food. My copy came from Laurie and has been languishing in the TBR pile for far too long.

Maybe it's because I'm no longer very into cookbooks, but I remember enjoying her others much more than I did this book, which I so looked forward to since the edition is from NYRB. ...more
Jun 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
butter and herbs, you can't go wrong. eggs, too. and just plain good reading. her other classics will be added to my to-read pile. ...more
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
It was fascinating to read a cookbook intended for English audiences some sixty to seventy years ago. The quantity of cream and butter called for in most of the dishes was impressive.
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
azure and white
Jul 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: FOODIES
Shelves: food-writing
she's a ball to spend even an hour with. If you think at all about food, you should get to know Elizabeth David. ...more
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NYRB Classics: Summer Cooking, by Elizabeth David 1 7 Oct 30, 2013 07:40PM  

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Born Elizabeth Gwynne, she was of mixed English and Irish ancestry, and came from a rather grand background, growing up in the 17th-century Sussex manor house, Wootton Manor. Her parents were Rupert Gwynne, Conservative MP for Eastbourne, and the Hon. Stella Ridley, who came from a distinguished Northumberland family. They had three other daughters.

She studied Literature and History at the Sorbonn

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