The Mediterranean Table

It might be getting colder and the winter nights starting to close-in, but that's no excuse for turning to comfort food to keep the weather at bay. The Mediterranean Table is a book for all-year-round cooking. While the strap line promises ' vibrant, delicious and naturally healthy food for warm days beside the sea', there is no harm in basking in the delights of summer to get you through the winter blues.

Packed with beautiful pictures of Mediterranean cities, beaches and countryside, the 170 pages provide stimulating recipes that echo all the best in the food of Italy and it's nearest neighbours. Divided into sections that range from 'small bites' to 'sunshine lunches' and 'al fresco feasts', there is a recipe for every taste and every season, not just the summer months. A 'Caramelized Red Onion and Salami Pizza' is just as tasty in November as in July! While 'Stuffed Aubergines' can be as tasty on a winter evening as in a heatwave. So don't be put off by the title of this book, as there are plenty of dishes to prepare throughout the year.

I particularly loved the soups on offer, with 'Papa al Pomodoro' a particular favouite - I have had it so many times in Italy that I do not tire of its succulent tastes. Likewise, the 'Tuscan Bean Soup' has lots of comfort ingredients in its content. There are so many delights in this cookbook that the beautiful photographs jump out of the page onto your table before your eyes. This is a new book you must get - it will give you the enthusiasm to try something a little different if you are planning a special meal. The grill section has loads of easy meat, fish and vegetable dishes from the Middle East (below), and you don't have to barbecue. If you are struggling for ideas for a dessert, then the sweet section has some scrummy choices like ' Honey Parfait'. And if it's drinks with a difference you are after, then look no further than the 'Prosecco Cocktails' or the 'Negroni'.

The Mediterranean Table is published by Ryland Peters & Small (2017) and is priced at £19.99 or $24.95 (ISBN 978-1-84975-813-0).


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