Books on preserving are many, but what makes this one a standout is its unique point of view. Domenica Marchetti, a longtime contributor to Fine Cooking, is Italian by heritage and visits Italy regularly. In this, her seventh book on Italian cooking, Marchetti delves deep into the Italian methods for preserving the kinds of ingredients beloved in that country-tomatoes, olives, eggplant, quince, beans, and basil-and how to then use them in scrumptious dishes. (Our feature here is derived from her book.) Though mostly focused on fruits and vegetables, there are also chapters on curing meats and making fresh cheeses, liqueurs, and confections. And some recipes don't even require advanced processing steps. Her aromatic Porchetta Salt is one such recipe, and her broths, pastas, and pestos can simply be frozen. Sidebars throughout the book show off Marchetti's journalism skills (she used to be a reporter) and are fun to read, preferably while eating some toast slathered with her Apricot-Anise Jam.
A new pantry staple: Lemon Olive Oil. Easy to make, and oh so good.