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Not what I expected
on 29 December 2015
Interesting recipes, but not what I had in mind when I bought the book. My fault completely. I saw "French market" and "seasonal recipes", and living in France as I do, somehow expected simple, down-to-earth recipes to make the best out of the seasonal produce one might find at the local market.
And although the book does indeed offer seasonal recipes, I clearly overlooked the "Parisian Kitchen" part of the title, which pretty much defines the approach to be found inside. I'm guessing part of my confusion had something to do with the interpretation of "French cooking", which is not the same if you've been living in France for some time and have come to accept the cooking as normal/homely (not all French cuisine is refined and elegant; look up their Hachis parmentiers [Shepherd's pies] or hearty, winter stews and you'll see what I mean) or you're living in the U.S./UK, looking for fancy French recipes to add a touch of sophistication to your cuisine.
After having received the book and taken a good look (and eventually, looked up the author), I realised my mistake. The book isn't bad if you're looking for vegetarian dishes to impress guests with (I've decided to keep the book for just that purpose), but not what I had in mind when I bought it (my bad, once again). The recipes are generally fairly elaborate and time consuming. Many of them look delicious, but more on the fancy, bourgeois side - not particularly the kind of thing I'd usually prepare. Don't get me wrong, I'm a seasoned cook and adore cooking (a glass of red wine, soothing music, and savour the process kind of cook), but am more partial to simple, home-made recipes without the visual pizazz, long names and small portions on over-sized plates, and the recipe herein aren't really the kind one might prepare on a daily/regular basis (simple but creative ways to mix and prepare seasonal veggies).
What you're paying for here is the trendy Parisian element. It's a small-ish format, cute-looking book. There are roughly 14-15 recipes per season, plus about 5-6 seasonal deserts added in. By my count, that's about one recipe for every 6 days, or in other words, enough for one dinner party a week ;) (which feels pretty much like the book's target)
If that's what you're after, you should be fairly pleased. In my case, I think I'm going to be leaning more towards Mediterranean cooking (Spanish, Italian, Greek), which is more in line with my idea of a simple, healthy, tasty, day-to-day vegetarian cuisine.