David Lebovitz, one of our favorite food bloggers, cookbook writers and general lovers of food, shared a recipe with us from his latest book, My Paris Kitchen. Filled with the most incredible photography, this sweet and witty cookbook-meets-memoir looks at French home cooking from a modern perspective. In it, he writes:
When I started my website back in 1999, I never intended to focus on recipes. It was meant to complement my cookbooks by providing additional information, stories, and a way to be in touch with readers. But then I moved to Paris. And as I shopped and hit the markets, I got so excited to share all the great things I was tasting and learning about that I couldn’t resist posting those recipes right after I made them. However, I soon realized that I had to respond to an onslaught of recipe requests if I posted a snapshot of a basket of croissants or a gilded gateau Saint-Honore I had admired in a bakery.
(Unfortunately, recipes for fancy Parisian pastries cannot be condensed into 140 characters, nor am I very good at tapping out instructions for rolling puff pastry while riding home on the metro using those itty bitty keys on my smartphone.)
I also realized that no matter what I wrote about on my blog, the ingredients that were available in Birmingham weren’t necessarily available in Brisbane or Bangkok, and every recipe I posted would be followed by a number of requests for substitutions. I had to learn to cover every conceivable base when writing recipes for a global audience because something common in France or America, like olives or canned artichokes, might not be available in Fiji or Argentina. Not to mention folks have various food preferences, allergies, and likes and dislikes, such as my fear of squid, which scare the bejeezus out of me (so I understand them 100 percent).
Fortunately I am pretty sure that anyone just about anywhere can make this recipe and there’s certainly nothing scary about it. Olives are hardy souls and are available jarred or canned. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a country where almonds aren’t available. (But if you can’t get almonds, pistachios make a great substitute.) And basil is grown in greenhouses in places where the climate doesn’t welcome outdoor cultivation. So I think I covered everything and there’s no excuse not to make this—unless, of course, you don’t like olives, are allegic to nuts, or have an aversion to garlic. Then I can’t help you.
Like what you’ve read? Check out our interview with David!
Reprinted with permission from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.