A Book of Mediterranean Food

Dispatches on 1/08/2024

Long acknowledged as the inspiration for such modern masters as Julia Child and Claudia Roden, A Book of Mediterranean Food is Elizabeth David's passionate mixture of recipes, culinary lore, and frank talk. First published in 1950, the book has been unavailable in a hardback edition in its original format since the 1960s, so Grub Street is delighted to restore it to print in a facsimile edition to sit alongside all the other Elizabeth David hardbacks on the list.

The book is based on a collection of recipes made by Elizabeth David when she lived in France, Italy, the Greek Islands and Egypt, doing her own cooking and obtaining information at first hand. The pages contain recipes, and practical ones, evoking all the color and fun of the Mediterranean, dishes as soupe au pistou, pebronata from Corsica, or the skordalia of the Greeks; some are sumptuous, many are simple, most are sublime. The ingredients for these dishes are all readily available today: indeed, many of them are made with our most familiar vegetables, fish and herbs, but treated in unfamiliar ways. All good cookery books should be enjoyable to read as well as to cook from, and David has included interesting sidelights to the eating habits of other countries, as well as extracts from some famous authors, descriptions of memorable meals and disquisitions on the art of cookery and eating. The illustrations by John Minton are a delightful embellishment of the text.