Sometimes a single recipe can encapsulate an entire cookbook. Consider this gem: Persimmons, Mozzarella, Prosciutto di Parma, and Basil with Maple Vinaigrette. Tough to imagine? Here’s the photo:
Author and photographer Meike Peters won a James Beard Award for this brilliant first book. She is German and well-traveled in Europe. Her partner in life is American-Maltese and Meike has adopted those culinary cultures into her portfolio. That’s why you find this recipe with mozzarella and prosciutto combined with maple syrup to forge a truly international dish.
Eat in My Kitchen is filled with bold ideas reflecting Meike’s unbound imagination. The recipes here are most definitely NOT 1-2-3 simple. You can easily accomplish any of them, but you are going to need some time. The dishes are delightful because of their complexity: multiple ingredients unexpectedly combined into layers you’ve never, never seen before;
Here are some examples that immediately caught my eye:
Asparagus, Leek, and Pea Lasagna with Chevre and Pecorino
Cumin-Roasted Squash Wedges with Pistachio-Feta Dip
Parsnip and Sweet Potato Soup with Caramelized Plums and Whipped Gorgonzola Mascarpone
Warm Salad of Sautéed Carrots, Preserved Lemon and Mint
Trout al Cartoccio with Prosciutto, Olives and Tomatoes
That Trout al Cartoccio means Trout in Parchment. The full list of ingredients includes, besides the trout: tomato, garlic, bay leaves, prosciutto, black olives, and white wine. Here’s the photo from the book, which might tempt you to grab your fishing pole. Or at least your car keys.
Book chapters include the ones you expect and some surprises, too:
- Savory Baking
Her time in Malta has driven that Pasta chapter. The sandwiches, like Pea Pesto and Honey-Caramelized Bacon Sandwich with Fresh Marjoram, will have you thinking that lunch is the main meal of the day. Or, you can do sandwiches for dinner. How about a Grilled Eggplant, Ricotta, Chickpea, and Poached Egg Tartine?
Savory Baking features pizza, of course, but also a Pear and Blue Cheese Tart with Rosemary — something to share in the fall holidays for sure.
In that Sweets chapter, Meike reverts to her German heritage with zest. There is a Frankfurt Crown Cake, a sponge cake frosted with buttercream and dusted with caramelized hazelnuts. Or you might want to sample a Marbled Cherry Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Chocolate — that combination of cherry and chocolate is particularly refined in this dessert. And there is just “plain old” Lemon Cardamom Crescent Milk Rolls with Poppy Seeds.
The recipe titles in the book are telling. They are long. The words “and” and “with” show up almost every time. Nothing is starkly simple. But then, if you can enjoy a Raspberry and Blueberry Tart with Bavarian Cream, why wouldn’t you go for that complexity.
Eat in My Kitchen is delightful and a book you do want to try in your kitchen. Creative recipes, thoughtful writing, and glorious photographs make Eat in My Kitchen a “go to” cookbook. Go now.