Like many of the chefs who appear on TV and who own some of our best restaurants, Jamie Oliver is an evangelist. In his last book he urged readers to go back to basics. In his new book, Jamie At Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life (Hyperion, $37.50), he provides information on everything, from types of cabbages to how he grows onions. Of course there are many recipes that feature foods of the season, so this guru of the freshest possible ingredients whets your appetite with summer tomato pasta or hot smoked salmon with amazing chili salsa.

Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9781401322427
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Hachette Books - September 16th, 2008

The first thing you need to know about A Platter Of Figs (Artisan, $35) is that David Tanis cooks six months each year at Chez Panisse and lives the other six months in Europe. He has written a relaxed, personal book about his life and cooking. I used the cookbook extensively for the Jewish High Holidays. My favorite recipes were the Green Lasagna with greens (admittedly, I did not make the pasta from scratch, as Mr. Tanis does) and Braised Beef (pot roast), both of which were big hits. The lasagna takes several steps but will feed eight people. The braised beef is a cinch to make, as are the Baked Apples. I plan to make the Chicken Tangine when our English cousins come; you can ask me how it turned out.

A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes Cover Image
By David Tanis, Alice Waters (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781579653460
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Artisan - October 1st, 2008

After 50 years of cooking for family and friends, I am not often tempted to try something new.  Olives And Oranges (Houghton Mifflin, $35) has roused me from my torpor.  It’s full of Mediterranean flavors from Spain, Italy, and Cyprus, and sensibly the recipes are labeled “quick-cook” and “slow-cook” so they will accommodate any schedule. Short Pasta with Mushrooms and Mint?  Spicy Lemon-Chocolate Ganache Tart?  The authors, Sara Jenkins and Mindy Fox, have included full-page color photos to inspire me (and you).

Olives and Oranges: Recipes and Flavor Secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus, and Beyond Cover Image
ISBN: 9780618677641
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - September 8th, 2008