A Taste of Summertime
The cookbook is divided into the following chapters: breakfast, brunch and lunch; cakes and tea-time treats; drinks; starters; mains; and desserts. Of the hundred or so recipes in the book, the ones that appeal to us most are the rhubarb pie with 'amandelspijs', cantaloupe soup with goat's cheese and homemade basil oil, cedar-smoked apple salmon, and white wine sorbet. There are also sub-sections with a few important Dutch and French "summer" holidays, including Easter, Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) and Fête votive de la Saint Eloi/ de la Madeleine. We like Yvette's version of marbled eggs with lavender salt for Easter and her homemade version of 'Oranjebitter' (an orange liqueur traditionally enjoyed during Queen's Day in the Netherlands) so much that we'll happily overlook the triviality that Easter and Queen's Day actually fall in spring.
The author is known for her MacGyver-like approach to kitchen crafts. Van Boven is, above all, a resourceful cook. Homemade Zomer includes how-to's for making flavored oils, quark, preserved lemons and ricotta cheese, among others. And again, she follows up each of these kitchen crafts with recipes putting these ingredients to good use. So, for instance, the preserved lemons are used in a vinaigrette and in a recipe for quinoa salad with fava beans (broad beans) and turnip tops.
Design & Layout
Oof Verschuren serves up verdant veggie patches and blue-skied landscapes, as well as bright summery shots of colorful dishes such as thousand-tomato salad, raspberry macarons and cucumber & pawpaw soup with lobster, but a few indoor photographs are unflatteringly lit against a dark background and some outdoor shots have such harsh shadows that they do the food no favors.
All things considered, however, you'd have to be a summertime-Scrooge to dislike much about Van Boven's celebration of summer. The luminescent cookbook provides plenty to inspire and enjoy - and make us wish for an endless summer.
Try a Recipe from the Book