We may pride ourselves on being one of the foremost resources for professional cooks, but we love a great home cookbook here at KAL. We fell for Nigella Lawson back in 1998 when we began importing her first book How to Eat, a liberatingly opinionated collection of recipes in which she urged cooks to adapt her ideas as they pleased. (Somehow, astonishingly, it is out of print in the US. We should import it again!)
At My Table keeps to that kind of satisfying, somewhat adventurous cooking. "A recipe is the way I share my enthusiasms. I repeat certain ingredients unashamedly. The home cook has to, and happily. If I buy a jar of preserved lemons, say, for a particular recipe, or require you to, it wouldn't occur to me to leave that opened jar in the fridge with nothing else to do with it. And, indeed, it is finding ways to use up such a jar that is in itself inspiring."
Lawson's culinary ideas show that kind of resourcefulness throughout the book: dishes that have the improvised feel of being tossed off by a comfortable cook who is most interested in flavor over rigorous authenticity. It's noteworthy to us how many of the ideas here beg to be riffed upon further: spelt spaghetti with spicy sesame mushrooms; gemelli pasta with anchovies, tomatoes, and mascarpone; salt and vinegar potatoes. There's a chocolate and olive oil mousse, a bourbon salted-caramel ice cream that doesn't require churning, and even a grapefruit margarita for unwinding.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.