Yesterday I took lunch to a friend’s house. My friend is pregnant and required to take it easy, so it was a nice opportunity to pay back some of the good will I received during my pregnancy. I opted for a quiche and made a couple of salads from one of my favorite recipe books: Annie and Margrit – Recipes and Stories from the Robert Mondavi Kitchen.
Margrit is the widow of the wine mogul Robert Mondavi. My husband and I had the opportunity to meet her during a lunch at the Robert Mondavi Winery while in Napa. Within the private dining room just two tables were set; our party (a wine tasting luncheon) and one other that included Margrit BIever Mondavi.
Margrit very graciously agreed to sign her cook book and seemed genuinely interested to talk with another European and to share her interest in Chicago. Ever since I have enjoyed making her recipes, since not only does this bring back memories of a wonderful vacation, but they are so tasty yet simple to create.
I’ve given this book as a gift before. With its beautiful photographs, such as Margrit illustrating a menu, it makes a good coffee table book as well as being practical. Add a bottle of Mondavi wine and the present becomes so much more considered. Other suggestions to give with this cook book are:
– Olives and kosher salt – two of The Pantry staples listed in the book.
– Balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a basil plant – to make Margrit’s Basil Vinaigrette (with a little tag to explain).
– A Whole Foods gift card – to purchase ingredients for a recipe of their choosing.
– A mortar and pestle – to make dishes such as Rosemary and Mustard-crusted Rack of Lamb.
– Simple floral notecards – to use as invites, like the ones used for events at the Mondavi estate.