Thursday, December 22, 2016

Cookbook Thursday: 'Flavors of Sicily'

With New Year’s around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about losing those holiday pounds. More importantly, to start eating healthier. If those are your 2017 goals, here is a beautiful cookbook to get you started — and I promise the road to health will be a delicious one. I’m posting this review early — before Christmas — because cookbooks make for lovely holiday gifts and I guarantee your Sicilian cuisine lover will be thrilled to receive this one.

“Flavors of Sicily: Fresh and Vibrant Recipes from a Unique Mediterranean Island” by Ursula Ferrigno is as gorgeous a cookbook as it is functional. Breath-taking photography by David Munns takes readers to the emerald waters and mountain vistas of Sicily along with tempting you with shots of frittata lasagna, onions baked in marsala and aubergine (eggplant) and pomegranate salad. Naturally, there are plenty mentions of breads, pasta and desserts but most recipes incorporate olive oil, tomatoes and fresh fish and seafood, all of which will make your heart sing with appreciation.

“The island’s unique food is bright, earthy and suffused with the intensity of the Sicilian sun,” the author writes in the book’s introduction.

Ferrigno was trained at the Auguste Escoffier School of the Culinary Arts and has taught at cookery schools in both the United Kingdom and Italy, including Leith’s School of Food and Wine, Divertimenti and La Cucina Caldesi in Ireland. She has toured the United States, running classes in Sur la Table stores, is consultant chef to the Caffe Nero restaurant chain in the U.K. and has made numerous appearances on British television. She is the author of more than 17 cookery books.

Cheré Dastugue Coen is a food and travel writer living in South Louisiana. She is also the author of several Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire and the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at