Repertoire: All the Recipes You Need
By Jessica Battilana (Little, Brown and Company; $15.99)
This friendly little book by Jessica Battilana, who has collaborated on a half-dozen cookbooks and writes the Repertoire column for the San Francisco Chronicle, arrives just in time for your summer cooking frenzy. Since I got my hands on a review copy, it has been in near-constant use. It’s just that sort book: Smart. Gracious. Never show-offy. Ever useful. Battilana offers a very different picture of the good life than Taylor and Franchini’s Burgundian dream, but it’s no less brilliant and perhaps more relatable.
The author shares her repertoire: a collection of 75 recipes that comprise the backbone of her cooking life. She also offers handy tips gleaned from experience and fellow chefs, stories from her life, and charming anecdotes about daily meals with two young kids. Tried and true, the recipes (to name a few: Negronis and Potato Chips, The Greenest Green Salad, Garlic Butter Roast Chicken, and Strawberry Sundaes) will satisfy, delight, and nourish all who gather at your table.
The author promises that these “are real recipes from real life, and they really work.” And that’s the truth. Battilana’s recipes
reward more than they demand, while also inspiring confidence and inviting adaptation. In her repertoire of a few dozen oft-prepared recipes, Battilana has found the distinctive confidence and freedom that cooking something frequently gives, and that culinary liberation is what she most wants to share with you.