by Sybil PrattAugust, 2003
Nigella Lawson's take on summer food is as fresh and pleasing as Nigella herself. She's an unabashed culinary sensualist who considers the kitchen "not a place you escape from, but the place you escape to." For Nigella, "summer food" carries the essence of "sunny expansiveness," even if eaten when days are short and winds are chill; hence the title of her new book, Forever Summer. If you've been to "Nigellaland" before, you know the book will be brimming with exciting, enticing recipes, garnished with charmingly honest, enthusiastic commentary. I can't think of another cookbook author who calls for "fabulous tomatoes," tells you that it really doesn't matter which part of the chicken or how much you use in a chicken salad (try the Chicken, Almond and Parsley version) or admits that you will "need to clatter about with pans" to produce an unusual thyme-scented Baked Ricotta with Broiled Radicchio. The recipes cover the lot, from starters to desserts and drinks, with some timely "dog day" delights like soothing Chilled Pea and Mint Soup, Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad, Sicilian Vinegar Chicken served at room temperature and a Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova to die for. Nigella is gorgeous, her book is gorgeous and the food you make will be gorgeous too.