Edible Books

Winter Gift and Book Guide

Is there anything better than curling up with a good book on a rainy day? Grab a cup of tea and cozy up to this selection of our picks for some delicious cookbooks and photography books.


Sunlight and Water (Late Harvest Editions)

By Mark Robert Halper

128 pages, hardback: $40

This visually stunning photography book deserves a place on everyone’s coffee table. Mark Robert Halper captures intimate and arresting portraits of 110 of our Santa Barbara County vintners and winemakers in elegant sepia tones. Each one is an art piece on it’s own, so it’s a real treasure to have them all gathered together in this one book. As you turn the pages, you feel that you are part of something timeless — the glimpse into the artistic soul that goes into turning sunlight and water into wine. This is the perfect book for anyone who loves photography or wine, but for anyone who lives in Santa Barbara County, it’s a must have collectable.



Cat Cora’s Classics with a Twist: Fresh Takes on Favorite Dishes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

By Cat Cora and Ann Kruegar Spivack

240 pages, hardback: $30

Santa Barbara resident and well known Iron Chef has come out with another cookbook that you’ll want to add to your collection. Cat Cora is known for her original combinations and delicious, easy to make everyday food. Some recipes are inspired by her Greek heritage but with her trademark twist — try the Greek-style Nachos with a Roasted Red Pepper Salsa that couldn’t be easier to make or more tasty. She also encourages you to make adaptions and substitutions based on what’s in season or what you have on hand. This is the type of cookbook that you’ll use to pep up your weeknight cooking and turn to anytime you want a dose of inspiration in the kitchen.







A Menu for All Seasons: Winter (Olive Tree)

By Pascale Beale-Groom

72 pages, hardback: $29.95
Number of recipes: 28; 8 menus

The fourth in Pascale Beale-Groom’s A Menu for All Seasons series, Winter continues the seasonal and local theme with her trademark fusion of Californian, French and Mediterranean cuisine. The Winter book has recipes neatly arranged in menus, so you can easily plan your next dinner party. You might try the menu that includes Goat Cheese, Caramelized Shallot and Smoked Salmon Tartlets; Mache Salad; Wild Mushroom Ragout and Apple Spice Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Cream. The beautiful photography makes it a coffee table book, but the tried and true recipes mean that it will often be in your kitchen. This is the perfect book for anyone who loves to cook and entertain, and it’s a must for those who are looking to complete their set of this delicious series.






Brothers Cuisine: Recipes from Santa Barbara County Wine Country (Nichols Brothers Restaurant Inc.)

By Matt and Jeff Nichols with James O. Fraioli

242 pages, hardback: $34.95
Number of recipes: 145

Matt and Jeff Nichols are brothers, chefs and co-founders of the well-known Brothers Restaurant at Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos. After countless requests for their recipes, they decided to put them together with their story into a beautifully photographed cookbook. The food is real wine country comfort food with things like Jalapeño Cornbread, Pinot Noir–Braised Short Ribs and Warm Olallieberry Pie with White-Chocolate-Olallieberry-Swirl Ice Cream. They don’t forget critical basics like Chicken Stock and Port Wine Sauce either. There really is nothing in this book that you wouldn’t want to cook. It also makes a great gift for someone who has been to Brothers Restaurant or simply loves good food.






Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods (Wiley)

By Tracey Ryder and
Carole Topalian

Foreword by Michael Ableman
324 pages, hardcover: $29.95
Number of recipes: 75

We could not put together this list without mentioning the Edible book.
As members of Edible Communities, we know we are biased, but this book is a real treasure. Drawing from many of the 60+ Edible magazines, the book is a collection of beautiful photography and inspiring profiles of farms and food artisans from all over North America. It’s a cookbook to read. But don’t get so caught up in reading that you don’t try some of the delicious recipes, like the Brew-Braised Lamb Shanks with Apple Butter and Sauerkraut or the Squash, Mushroom and Sage Strata, or for dessert how about Chocolate–Brown Ale Cake with Cream Cheese Icing? Treat yourself to this book; you won’t regret it.







Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys (Artisan)

By David Tanis

344 pages, hardcover: $35.00
Number of recipes and rituals: 112

This book is organized in a novel and intriguing way. Author David Tanis
(of Chez Panisse fame and author of the acclaimed A Platter of Figs) describes three types of cooking—small, medium and large. The first part of the book is about his quirky small cooking moments, private rituals in the kitchen such as peeling an apple or pasta for one. The second section of the book is made up of seasonal menus for family and friends, with delicious menus such as one for winter that includes Savory Baked Eggs in Filo, Fragrant Lamb with Prunes and Almonds and Blood Oranges and Pomegranates with Orange Flower Water. The last section is for those larger gatherings, titled “Simple Feasts for a Long Table.” If you are throwing a dinner party for 12 or 20, these are the kinds of recipes you want: Artichoke Antipasto, Roast Suckling Pig Italian-Style with Roman Potatoes, Salad of Fennel and Bitter Greens, Almond Cookies and a Bowl of Cherries. This is a book for every cookbook lover’s collection.

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Categories Winter 2010