May 24, 2007

Book Review: Chocolate & Zucchini by Clotilde Dusoulier

I've loved reading Clotilde Dusoulier's Chocolate & Zucchini food blog ever since I discovered it a couple of years ago. I tend very much to read for content rather than style, but there's something about the way Clotilde writes that I truly enjoy. So I was excited and happy for her when she announced that she was writing a book, which was released last week - two days too late for Mother's Day.

I own very few cookbooks and in fact, I deliberately keep my library to a bare minimum. I treat my cookbooks as reference books more than recipe books, since I get the vast majority of my new recipes from issues of Cooking Light. But I knew I had to have the book version of Chocolate & Zucchini as soon as it came out - not for the recipes but to just read.

The book is a lovely paperback - heavy paper and full of pictures but not bulky. It's Clotilde's style through and through - chatty, passionate about food, and extremely practical. I love that each recipe come with variation and substitution suggestions, a wine recommendation, time estimates, and an idea of how long the dish will keep. In my perfect world, such information would come standard with every recipe, especially the latter two bits of data.

I haven't had a chance to make anything in the book yet, though several recipes have caught my eye. When I first got the book, I read the opening pages - the introduction, notes about her cooking style, a list of her pantry items. I've now taken to picking up the book when I have a few minutes, randomly opening it to a recipe, and reading for pleasure. Each recipe comes with a story, so I get the full "Clotilde effect," as it were. Last night I read about Walnut, Pear and Roquefort Madeleines, as well as Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Marbles. Yum!

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