Cookbook Review: My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

I know, I know. Another review of a David Lebovitz cookbook. I really wanted to write about this book before I got lost in a bunch of other new cookbooks, so here I am. This book happened to catch my eye at the public library, and as a fellow lover of Paris, I knew I had to cook from it.

I've waxed rhapsodic about Lebovitz's writing before, but it's especially prominent in this book. If you like charming stories about Paris, interspersed with seemingly random recipes, this is your book. If you have a short attention span like me, you will probably find yourself skipping through some of the text to get to the recipes within, which cover some French classics with a twist and a surprising amount of Middle Eastern recipes. Some are basic (like hummus), some (like the desserts) can be pretty involved. Besides the text, my other major complaint is probably with the recipe selection, which I wished had been more diverse. I like to bookmark the recipes I want to make on my first pass through a cookbook, and there honestly weren't as many as I expected to bookmark in this one.

I did end up cooking some recipes from this, and they were all pretty successful for someone who doesn't actually cook French food very often. My fiance and I both enjoyed the Butternut Squash Crumble, which tasted like a cross between roasted butternut squash and a Thanksgiving stuffing. It makes a satisfying side, and I think this would actually go great on the Thanksgiving table. We were more split on the Leeks with Mustard-Bacon Vinaigrette, which I swooned over, but my fiance didn't care for. I also loved the recipe for Chicken Lady Chicken, which produced a moist, flavorful chicken that was different than the typical roast chicken recipe. I paired the chicken with his Roasted Root Vegetables, which were basic but satisfying.

The cookbook itself is beautiful and full of pictures of food and France. The layout was a little confusing on first glance, since it is organized in a loose, vignette style, and I would have found a way to tighten that aspect. Overall, this is a beautiful, thoughtful cookbook with some great recipes, but may be better suited for a certain type of cookbook reader, one that prefers stories to recipes.

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

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