It's a rare reference work that manages to be as inspiring as it is informative, but any book than can make cabbages, rutabagas, and spinach look as good as Cuisiner la Terre does is worth consideration.
Gaël Orieux worked for an impressive series of chefs (Paul Bocuse, Alain Senederens, Yannick Alleno...) before opening his own restaurant Auguste, a homage to Escoffier. Here he offers more than 200 pages of reference information on 110 different products before displaying an inventive yet respectful hand in employing them in 80 recipes. Beautiful photographs accompany entries on the likes of sweet potatoes, dandelions, cardoons, and artichokes, as well as cherries, Corsican pomelos, quinces, and pine nuts. The chef discusses peak seasons, qualities to look for when purchasing, and an array of ways to use all these in cooking.
In the second half of the book, Orieux offers his own thoughtful approaches to cooking the produce. His recipes are fresh and unfamiliar but make intriguing sense: ravioli filled with finely shredded kohlrabi and parmesan cheese; yellow wax beans with cherries and elderberry flowers; walnut gougères; tandoor-braised lettuce; roast apples with ham and gruyère.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout. In French.