I requested this amazing cookbook for review. I choose cookbooks very carefully. Since we’ve visited Tuscany and enjoyed the food immensely, I figured this book would be a good fit for me. I sure was right!
Gabriel Corcos and Debi Mazar are a married couple with two daughters living in NYC and the hills of Fiesole just above Florence, Italy. Gabriele grew up in Italy. Debi in America. Their story is romantic and fun to read about. But, it’s really all about the food. EXTRA VIRGIN is a compilation of authentic Tuscan recipes that are both easy and doable to make. The gorgeous photos leap and hop off the pages and propel you to the nearest market.
Written with keen insight, EXTRA VIRGIN will transport you to another country, another world, where you can experience the beauty and flavors of Tuscany from the comfort of your own home.
From sumptuous appetizers like Heirloom Tomato And Burrata Caprese to rustic pastas and sauces made from scratch like Lasagna Bolognese. And I can’t forget to mention the aromatic but simple soups and the fresh savory salads topped with their own simply made dressings. And, of course, the drinks and desserts!There truly is something for everyone.
The blurbs on the inside of this wonderful book are glowing. From Madonna to Anthony Bourdain, and Bobby Flay to Cat Cora. The spirit of Tuscany comes vividly to life with each page. Speaking of pages, the photography in this cookbook is second to none. I love pictures in cookbooks. But it’s the actual recipes that win the cooks over.
My favorite recipe is for the Heirloom Tomato And Burrata Caprese. This is the photo on the cover. It’s what makes most people pick this book up. Since I am a huge fan of a really good mozzarella and tomato salad, this appealed to me. I needed to know what the white substance in the center of the salad actually was. At first glance, I thought it might be a poached egg. But, alas, it is the mozzarella combined with cream that is called burrata. It is creamy and perfect for me. In fact, this salad is a complete meal when a hunk of rustic Italian bread is provided!
I also love the grilled peaches. Right now, here in Florida, we have peaches in season. They are ripe, juicy, and luscious. Grill them up with a little olive oil drizzled over them, and add some sea salt and ricotta cheese. Oh my!
Then there’s the fried artichokes. Which brings to mind my trip to Tuscany, again. I loved seeing artichokes growing wild in the fields surrounding one of the great hill towns: San Gimignano. We visited in May a few years ago and stumbled upon them growing wild.
This fabulous cookbook is already getting dog-eared and flagged to death. So many recipes I want to make. My husband is also into cooking, and he’s quite excited about this one.
At this very moment, Gabriele and Debi are having a blast in Fiesole, filming the fifth season of their wildly popular cooking show, “EXTRA VIRGIN.”
I could go on and on. But, do yourself a favor: buy this cookbook for your collection. I guarantee you that you will want to keep EXTRA VIRGIN on your countertop to use on a daily basis.
I received this book from BLOGGING FOR BOOKS in exchange for an honest review. I send out a big thanks to Clarkson Potter, the publisher, as well! Thanks so much.