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 Dessert, her 1955 classic includes an overview of herbs as well as chapters on impromptu cooking for holidays and picnics. Chockablock with both invaluable instructions and tart rejoinders to the pallid and the overblown, Summer Cooking is a witty, precise companion for feasting in the warmer months.
Decorated with a portrait of twin cherries, yellow runner beans, and the sweet, petite wild strawberries known as frais de bois, to urban eyes starved of July’s sensual delights, the sunny cover of Summer Cooking seems to promise a storybook world…Summer Cooking is a wonderfully subversive volume — every bit as unexpected and enchanting to read today as it must have been 50 years ago…But the purest thrill of Summer Cooking, as in all of David’s volumes, is the nearly pugilistic punch of pleasure her food delivers, and the graceful way her bright, well-mannered prose captures the artist’s fleeting delight…Whether read in bed in a baking tenement or at the breezy desk of a lolling barge, her words still ring like hypnotic prayers.
A complete newcomer to the kitchen could produce something delicious by following one of her recipes to the letter.
— Paul Bailey, The Daily Telegraph
For Elizabeth David, summer cooking implies a sense of immediacy, the ability to capture the essence of a fleeting moment, and her dishes bring the savour of garden, field and sea into the dining room.
When you read Elizabeth David, you get perfect pitch. There is an understanding and evocation of flavours, colours, scents and places that lights up the page.
— Guardian Weekend
Savor her book in a comfortable chair, with a glass of sherry.
— Bon Appetit