Cooking from the Heart of Spain

Cooking from the Heart of Spain by Janet Mendel

Cooking from the Heart of Spain by Janet Mendel

Twenty years have gone by since I read Spanish classic Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (ack!), and while I may not remember what this hapless knight ate on his travels, I do remember thinking that most of it sounded good.

The cuisine of Castile-La Mancha, the native land of Don Quixote, is still as appealing as ever to me. It is a cuisine replete with the intense and hearty flavors of cured meats, stews, game and garlic; as well as delicate (and intense) Manchego cheeses, spices (saffron!) and honey. This is also the region that produces more wine than any where else in the world, providing assurance that whatever you eat in La Mancha will surely be accompanied by a glass of it.

I have traveled to Castile-La Mancha countless times and, even when just passing through, I always make sure my trips to coincide with lunchtime. But when I want to take the flavors of this region into my kitchen, I often turn to Janet Mendel‘s excellent cookbook Cooking from the Heart of Spain (William Morrow, 2006) – the first cookbook on this region’s cuisine to be published in English.




4 thoughts on “Cooking from the Heart of Spain

  1. Adrienne, I’m pleased you like COOKING FROM THE HEART OF SPAIN, FOOD OF LA MANCHA. They are recipes I use over and over. With all those Manchegan grapes ripening soon, try the recipe for green bean salad with grapes and anise. By the way, the original edition of the book was published in the United States by William Morrow. Frances Lincoln published the UK edition.

    • Hi Janet,
      Thanks so much for your comment. That recipe sounds great. I will absolutely try it. I use green beans in salads all the time in the summer so it’s nice to have some new ideas. Also thanks for letting me know about the publisher, I will make the correction now. Hope you’re enjoying your summer and keeping cool.

  2. Janet, I bought your book “Cooking in Spain” many years ago. I had returned to England after living in Spain for a few years and wanted to recreate some of the dishes that I had enjoyed during my time there. This often proved to be difficult as many of the ingredients were not available to me. I am glad to be able to tell you that we have now returned to Spain permanently (Andalusia to be exact) and so I am now able to make much more use of your wonderful book. Thank you !

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