Book Reviews

Al Fresco: Inspired Ideas for Outdoor Living

The opening two paragraphs of Julie Pointer Adams delightfully idyllic book ‘Al Fresco’ was enough for me to know that this was a read I was going to enjoy. 

In the Preface Julie describes her pleasure and love of being alone in the New Brunswick countryside, on a rocky beach, in a wood, picking wild berries or generally spending time in the great outdoors. Yet it is obvious that enjoying a relaxed meal with friends and family, preferably in the fresh air, is oh so important for her too.

Easy recipes and personal commentaries

This book, which features mainly easy, simple recipes along with personal commentaries from over 30 contributors in many wide spread and very different locations, is truly inspirational.

Consequently, the reader, meets Nicole and learns a little of her life whilst sharing her California Tuna Salad; Olivia now living in South Carolina, who loves living ‘near the water’, suggests her recipe for Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pasta; whilst Chef Chandler gives a glimpse of her life and what gives her pleasure alongside her recipe for Braised White Beans with Fennel and Leeks.

Other contributors suggest recipes such as a simple dipping sauce; a no-fuss dish of Jamon Serrano with Orange Zest and Olive Oil;  an Undone Cheesecake, Granola, Grilled Peaches, a Favourite Sharing Board, plus many more. All of them sound simple and delicious.

Tempting meals for enjoying anywhere

Whilst the lazy hazy days of summer are drifting away from us for another year there is still time to enjoy the company of friends with an impromptu picnic or even just simple snacks in the fresh air, on the beach, in the country or even on a park bench.

We have friends who love outdoor meals so much that dressed in warm layers, under an awning and a heat lamp they eat lunch outdoors on their sheltered patio even in winter; whilst another friend has a table and chairs in her greenhouse so she and friends can relax on a sunny day with the door wide open to enjoy her excellent cooking and her pretty garden.

Even if we can’t eat outside, the recipes are so relaxed, varied and tempting we know we will also be serving them to friends whilst gathered round the kitchen table.

Stunning photography too

Simple, delicious sounding recipes along with fascinating life style stories combined with stunning photography make this book an absolute must either to buy for ourselves or as a gift. And let’s face it, Christmas is not that far away!

More information

Al Fresco: Inspired Ideas for Outdoor Living. Julie Pointer Adams. ISBN: 978-1-64829-082-4. UK £27.99; US $35. Artisan (division of Workman Publishing Co)