For Sondra Bernstein, it's all about elegance and simplicity. Readers won't encounter impossible-to-find ingredients or complicated, twenty-step concoctions in The Girl & the Fig Cookbook.
Successful west Coast restaurateur Bernstein shares more than 100 sure-fire recipes for California-style food infused with a French-provincial twist.
Bernstein's devotion to fresh, seasonal ingredients are wonderfully apparent in every recipe here, from the savory appetizers and main courses to the refreshing desserts. Starter courses such as Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, Shrimp and Salmon Cakes with Red Pepper Rouille, and Endive Salad with Walnuts and Bosc Pears make the most of fresh ingredients. Among the entree recipes are Wild Mushroom Risotto, Grilled Pork Chop with Apple Cider Sauce, Duck Confit with Lentils, and Coq au Vin. Side dishes include Braised Fennel, Citrus Pearl Cous Cous, and buttery Basil Potato Cakes. Bernstein's desserts range from the sinfully scrumptious (Chocolate Pot de Creme and Lavender and Wild Honey Creme Brulee) to the delightfully innovative (Figs with Fromage Blanc and Pinenuts). With black and white photographs throughout, The Girl & the Fig Cookbook also features tips on wine pairings, detailed sidebars on ingredients and artisan purveyors, and imaginative recipes for charcuterie platters, cheese courses, and aperitifs.