A cookbook with Scottish-Italian heart

Carini Contini was born in Edinburgh. Her parents were Scottish and Italian.

With her husband Victor, she currently runs two successful restaurants in the capital and lives and breathes food. This book is a cookbook and much more.

It is the story of a family of foodies and the creation of the Contini’s kitchen garden on the outskirts of their beloved Edinburgh.

The book opens with an introduction to the family, young and old, including some charming photographs and a timeline explaining how, over a period of 14 months, the garden – lovingly dubbed San Lorenzo – came to fruition from the one hectare site that had never before been used to produce food next to the family’s newly-purchased Georgian house.

The recipes themselves are split seasonally, allowing each chapter to carry growing tips suited to that specifi c time of the year. Particularly of interest to anyone with the compulsion to ‘grow your own’.

They are clearly written and not so complicated as to put off the amateur cook (or gardener) and each recipe is beautifully illustrated by some particularly mouthwatering photography. Each recipe also tells the story of the dish and gives some valuable information about the ingredients used to create each one and how best to serve and store the dishes.

It’s the personal touches that make this so much more than just a cookbook.

The reader gets the distinct impression that they are taking a privileged peek into the personal food diaries of someone for whom food has always been a way of life.

I can’t wait to try out the chocolate and lavender truffl es and the beef shin in stout looks so good that I may even be willing to bypass the summer months in order to cook up this particular comfort food this weekend.

Kitchen Garden Cookcook, by Carina Contini, published by Frances Lincoln, £25.

[review rating=”4″ align = “left”]

  • Click HERE to read more book news and reviews from Scottish Field