cover image How to Eat a Peach: Menus, Stories and Places

How to Eat a Peach: Menus, Stories and Places

Diana Henry, photos by Laura Edwards. Mitchell Beazley, $34.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-784-72411-5

Henry (A Bird in Hand), a British food journalist and James Beard Award winner, wonderfully evokes relaxing meals of simply prepared seasonal ingredients. Inspired by the memory of Moscato-infused sliced peaches she ate during her first visit to Italy, Henry has assembled 24 seasonal menus featuring 100 recipes. Using menu planning “rules” (eat seasonally, avoid repeating ingredients, utilize small plates, etc.), she offers menus of three to five courses for stress-free entertaining; dishes primarily utilize French, Italian, or Mediterranean cooking techniques. A menu for the warm months includes zucchini ricotta fritters, nasturtium-festooned raw sea bass salad, lemony roast chicken, and apricot tart. Come autumn, scallops in brown butter, slow-roasted duck legs in plum sauce, and a pear-blackberry-hazelnut cake offer cold weather comfort. Along with navigating some British culinary terminology, American cooks may have difficulty finding such ingredients as pandan leaves, ox cheek, and Indonesian soy sauce, though online sources are listed; recipes provide both international measurements and American equivalents by weight. For Henry, cooking is “about revisiting places.” Her stories of unforgettable meals along with sophisticated-yet-simple menus will encourage cooks to create their own food memories. (May)