cover art for Elisabeth Luard: European Peasant Cookery

Cooking the Books with Gilly Smith

Elisabeth Luard: European Peasant Cookery

Season 21, Ep. 12

This week, Gilly has lunch with one of Britain’s most respected and original voices in British food writing, Elisabeth Luard.

A well-known writer, botanical artist and broadcaster, her many books have brought us stories of her family life in Andalucia in the 1960s set among the history, landscapes and culture of Europe. European Peasant Cookery was first published in 1986 and reprinted again at Christmas, and  is seen as one of the most important books in modern British food writing. Tom Parker Bowles in the Mail on Sunday called it 'one of the great cook books of all time.'  

The 500 recipes tell much more than how to boil a lobster or salt a cod - they remind us of a way of life that Europeans had been living for centuries. Gilly takes her back to that life in Andalucia in the ‘60s to relive some of her favourite memories, and to discuss the legacy of the book at a time when the resilience skills of the peasant have never been so important.

Check out Gilly's Substack for Elisabeth's Extra Bites

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