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Saffron and Sunshine Hardcover – 1 Sep 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; 1st ed edition (1 Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593043030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593043035
  • Product Dimensions: 24.9 x 19.3 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 768,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Often the best and most memorable part of a Mediterranean meal are the starters. One might remember, or imagine, sitting on a sun-dappled terrace, or in a cool, vaulted room, as plate after plate of highly-flavoured, characterful little dishes are brought out. Elisabeth Luard has devoted Saffron & Sunshine to these magical morsels: to tapas, mezze and antipasti, between surely them the epitome of civilised, sociable, leisurely eating. The result is captivating, a sequence of over 300 jewel-like recipes evoking all the most vivid flavours of Spain, France, Italy, Greece, the Middle East and North Africa. Here are meatballs, omelettes, unctuous vegetable stews, fritters, grilled meat or seafood on skewers, stewed game. Here are chick peas, lamb, squid, bitter greens, chicken, goat or sheep cheeses, rice, bulghur or couscous, courgettes and aubergines, anchovies and garlic. Elisabeth Luard has collected recipes from Valencia to Iraq, from the Balkans and northern Italy to the Atlas mountains. Recognising that no mezze dish is properly ever served on its own, she has applied a system of numbering, to indicate their relative substance and pre-eminence (the fabulous Sardinian Barbecued Lamb is a 1; Provencal Artichoke Hearts with Peas is a 2; Gozleme--Turkish Flatbreads Stuffed with Greens--is a 3). By the same token, each dish comes with a suggested list of companions. This is a wonderful book, full of sun and flavour, and a tonic to the pallid, etiolated Northern soul, and is very highly recommended. --Robin Davidson

From the Back Cover

Holidays in the sun and visits to Spanish tapas bars and Greek and Turkish restaurants have made us familiar with a way of eating that is remote from the formalities of the three- or four-course lunch or dinner. Those appetizing displays of little dishes, hot and cold, laid out all at once on the table to be dipped into at will - tapas, mezze, antipasti - under whatever name, are less a cuisine and more a way of life. They are food for sharing, offering endless possibilities of cooking single dishes or combining many, some familiar, some new and enticing. Either way, they present a leisurely choice of plenty without excess, of simple perfection without a trace of pretentiousness.

The dishes that comprise these sociable little feasts from the countries along the shores of the Mediterranean have slight variations from place to place and appear under many different names, but they are linked by common traditions and techniques - not least the use of saffron, the edible sunshine that gives many of them their flavour and colour. With the combination of richly evocative description and practical guidance that has made her earlier books modern cookery classics, Elisabeth Luard presents mouthwatering recipes for over 300 of them. They are grouped in chapters according to the principal ingredient, but in every case she recommends complementary dishes for balance and variety.

Saffron & Sunshine contains all the hallmarks of Elisabeth Luard's cookery writing, with delicious, authentic recipes based on the very best simple ingredients. It also offers great flexibility for cooks to serve up excellent food in today's more relaxed, informal style of entertaining at home. Food for vegetarians, slimmers, supper dishes or multiple feasts - all is here in a magnificent collection of recipes to be savoured by both armchair cooks and real cooks.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marand TOP 100 REVIEWER on 19 Oct 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first came across this book in my local library and then simply had to buy it because it is packed full of recipes that I just wanted to cook. Sadly it is out of print now so it had to be a second hand copy. It contains a wonderful collection of recipes for 'small bites' from around the Mediterranean. In her introduction, Luard says: "Tapas, mezze, antipasti, hors d'oeuvre - whatever name you care to call that cheerful collection of little dishes set out on a table for sharing - are a party in the making, a reminder of days when we all ate out of the same pot. As a way of eating it's convivial, gregarious, leisurely, but above all libertarian." For me the word 'cheerful' sums up the collection.

The recipes are drawn from all around the Mediterranean - Spain, Greece, Italy, France, Turkey, Croatia, Serbia, Albania, Israel & North Africa. To give you just a small sample of the dishes, from Croatia there are very more-ish breaded cheese slices with a paprika 'kick'; Andalusian cheese fritters; Suppli (Italian risotto balls), Spanish chick pea stew with chorizo; falafel; Greek lamb stew; Merguez sausages (to make from scratch with minced lamb) from Algeria; Lebanese chicken parcels; pheasant terrine from France. Each chapter brings together recipes for a particular main ingredient: breads & wrappers, eggs & dairy, spring green, summer vegetables, winter veg, mushrooms, fish & shellfish, chicken & game, meat, pulses & grains. There is a final chapter containing desserts (provencal chocolate pots, Catalan lemon tart, Greek honey cake and more).

The recipes are categorised into three groups - primary dishes, secondary dishes & what Luard calls "bulk" (something 'solid and inexpensive based on grain-foods, bread, pasta').
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 10 Nov 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book which sadly you can only buy in Amazon marketplace. I am reviewing it from memory (library, two winters ago) while awaiting my order.

The recipes are mostly very simple flavours and easy to make, I suppose tapas tend to be this way because you make a selection of them at any one go, the recipes have suggested matches with others from the book.

If you use the freshest and best quality of available ingredients, you have a whole book of wonderful starter courses or summer lunches.

It has an almost coffee table design with uplifting sunny colours and the recipes are a breeze. Wonderful.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Les on 5 Jun 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is a wonderous collection of Spanish/moorish recipies, all of which are easy to cook and easy to source ingredients for.Along with Tess Mellos's Middle eastern cooking it is the most used cook book in my collection, have just ordered her new South American book and am looking forward to that.Les
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Aug 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book contains dozens of well-written, clear, simple recipes which are a pleasure to make and eat. Highly recommended for kitchen novices like me!
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