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October Cookbook of the Month 2011: The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

LulusMom Oct 1, 2011 02:09 AM

Welcome to Chowhound’s Cookbook of the Month. October’s 2011 COTM is THE SPLENDID TABLE, by Lynne Rossetto Kasper.

New to Cookbook of the Month? This page explains how it all works: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_month_archive If you’ve just been lurking, come join us. This is definitely a case of the more the merrier.

We will use this thread for general discussion about the book, menu planning, and online links to the book's recipes. There are already a few links on the announcement thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/807927

The Splendid Table: Antipasto and Risotto, Soup & Vegetable First Course http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810096

The Splendid Table: Ragus and Essential Sauces & Stocks http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810097

The Splendid Table: Pastas and The Sweet Pastas of the Renaissance http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810098

The Splendid Table: Second Courses http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810099

The Splendid Table: Vegetable Side Dishes http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810100

The Splendid Table: Breads and Desserts http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810101

The Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Lets get this party started!

  1. bayoucook Oct 1, 2011 06:46 AM

    Wow, LM, this is going to be a great month!

    1. LulusMom Oct 1, 2011 08:15 AM

      I'm hoping that Big Sal (or someone else) will add an adjunct thread for the Italian Country Table as discussed - is anyone else interested in that?

      2 Replies
      1. re: LulusMom
        bayoucook Oct 1, 2011 09:24 AM

        They posted it this morning. I'm happy.

        1. re: bayoucook
          LulusMom Oct 1, 2011 09:41 AM


      2. Jay F Oct 2, 2011 03:39 PM

        What is the point in breaking a book into six subthreads? I find it complicated, following six threads instead of one. Is there something I'm missing?

        6 Replies
        1. re: Jay F
          pikawicca Oct 2, 2011 03:42 PM

          This is the way COTM has always been organized, and it makes sense to me: If I want to know how others have fared with dessert recipes, for instance, I don't want to have to wade through numerous posts on apps and mains.

          COTM posts are almost always far more numerous than those on threads such as "Cooking from Radically Simple." It would be a huge PITA to sort through them all.

          1. re: pikawicca
            Jay F Oct 2, 2011 04:20 PM

            But you *do* have to sort through them all if you're going to read everything.

            1. re: Jay F
              pikawicca Oct 2, 2011 04:24 PM

              I don't necessarily read all of the COTM posts.

          2. re: Jay F
            beetlebug Oct 2, 2011 04:38 PM

            Also, when there is only a single thread for COTM, it becomes unwieldly, pretty quickly. The Young books were a thread a piece and each thread is over 200 posts (at least).

            If the Dunlop books weren't separated, the single thread for each of the two books would probably be over 500 posts. I also think I'm being conservative with both my estimates since I'm too tired to look up the thread counts.

            Lastly, if you only want to read about vegetables because of a certain recipe, it's easier find because the thread is focused.

            1. re: beetlebug
              Jay F Oct 2, 2011 04:41 PM

              Okay, fine. Different strokes.

              1. re: beetlebug
                MelMM Oct 3, 2011 07:24 AM

                I really liked the Grace Young month with a single thread for each book. It wouldn't work with really large books, but with small to normal sized books, I prefer it. I don't find the long threads unwieldy, and I find that having more people posting on a thread gives the COTM more of the feeling of a shared experience.

                I'm not crazy about having to click on 6 different threads to catch up on what everyone cooked over the weekend.

            2. p
              painperdu Oct 4, 2011 05:17 PM

              I decided this would be the month I joined the party, and ordered the book, which just arrived today. Bad news, my month is busier than I thought it was going to be. Bad news, the thing is a brick. Good news, D H was engrossed in it when I got home, and already has his eye on the Torta Barozzi.. Maybe we will be the first contribution to the dessert thread!

              6 Replies
              1. re: painperdu
                dkennedy Oct 4, 2011 08:34 PM


                It is a a bit of a brick but so much of it is background info, more like bedside reading, the recipe aspect of the book is not so daunting. This is by far my favorite Italian Cookbook. Bring it to bed with you one night and read over the ragu section (or whichever section calls to you) and you will see why. I hope you find time to participate, but if not, pick it up again during a slower month and I am sure you will be guided to the must try recipes by everyone else's posts.

                1. re: dkennedy
                  jen kalb Oct 5, 2011 08:25 AM

                  I wish Rosetto Kasper would come on and talk to us though. There are ingredients that have come onto the US market (such as saba and carnaroli and vialone nano rice) since she originally wrote, confusion in the marketing of balsamic vinegar, and measurement questions (i.e. on the bread thread) which it would be nice to discuss with the author.

                  1. re: jen kalb
                    pikawicca Oct 5, 2011 10:53 AM

                    I sent her an invitation to join us.

                    1. re: pikawicca
                      The Dairy Queen Oct 12, 2011 04:08 AM

                      Her assistant replied on her behalf in this thread. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8079...


                2. re: painperdu
                  ChefJune Oct 7, 2011 12:15 PM

                  That Torta Barozzi is worth every calorie! ;)

                  1. re: ChefJune
                    biondanonima Oct 11, 2011 09:07 AM

                    Good to know - I really want to try it!

                3. Breadcrumbs Oct 15, 2011 04:30 PM

                  At long last I'm here to start participating in this month's COTM! We just returned from our vacation and I couldn't wait to pull these books off the shelf to see what looked interesting. Needless to say, the possibilities seem endless, especially as I now have the benefit of 2 weeks of your wisdom, experiences and enticing reviews!!

                  As I type, the tomato sauce for the Thumb Pasta and Tomato Braised Beans Piacenza Style is simmering away on the stove and, if I do say so myself, it smells pretty darn tasty!!

                  I'll also add reviews of a couple of dishes I've already made from this book. Both were delicious. Tonight I'll be reading all your posts and seeking EYB's assistance in helping me decide WFD tomorrow from these books based on the great selection of produce I picked up at the market today.

                  It's good to be home!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Breadcrumbs
                    nomadchowwoman Oct 15, 2011 04:41 PM

                    Happy cooking, BC. Looking forward to your reviews.

                  2. kscooley Oct 17, 2011 05:47 PM

                    This looks like a wonderful cookbook. Would you all recommend it? I've wanted to explore Italian cuisine - looks like this could fit the bill!

                    Hmm, looks like it will be available for my nook on Dec 6th. Wait or buy a hardcover? The Balsamic Vegetables under Antipasto look amazing. That's about all I could see on the look inside preview on B&N.com. :)

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: kscooley
                      Goblin Oct 17, 2011 07:02 PM

                      This IS a wonderful cookbook. The recipes are a great way to experience italian cuisine: savory, full of satisfying flavors, yet not difficult to duplicate in a non-Italian kitchen. My personal preference would be to purchase the physical book. I've been a dedicated e-book reader since 2008, but cookbooks feel like something different: I need to write notes on the (spattered) pages.

                      1. re: Goblin
                        kscooley Oct 17, 2011 07:06 PM

                        Thanks, Goblin! I tend to be hands-on with my cookbooks, too, relying on my laptop for online recipes. Mayhaps I'll be heading to my B&N tomorrow unless my library has a copy. Hmmm...

                        ETA - Two copies at branches. Think I'll call my local branch tomorrow & request it be sent to them. Can't wait to check it out. If it's as good as everyone has been talking about in the threads for it, I'm sure I'll be buying it to add to the collection.

                        1. re: kscooley
                          oakjoan Oct 26, 2011 09:15 PM

                          My husband brought back a Splendid Table book today from the Berkeley Library...unfortunately, it's not one of the one's we're using this month. It's called The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper. After a brief look, it looks to be a pretty good cookbook and so I'm going to use it since I don't have the correct book.

                          I'll give the page numbers and try to fit any recipes I try into the closest categories. I'll label every posting in caps so nobody will be spending hours looking for recipes that are NOT there.

                          1. re: oakjoan
                            JoanN Oct 27, 2011 02:54 PM

                            No need to go through the rigamarole. There's a companion thread up and running:

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