In "The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper," Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift have given us a gem of a book that matches the spirit of their weekly NPR show.

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If you’re a devotee of NPR’s “The Splendid Table,” this is the book you’ve been waiting for. And if you’ve never tuned into the show, pick up a copy of “The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper” by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (Clarkson Potter, $35) and become an instant fan.

Like the radio show that began in 1995, which is hosted by Kasper and produced by Swift, the book is fun, quirky, entertaining and enlightening. And the food they share is simple and just plain good.

The two authors live very different lives. Swift has two children and a husband who travels for business; she cooks both for necessity and pleasure. Kasper, whose previous award-winning books have focused on Italy’s regional cuisine, cooks for her husband almost every night both for therapy and pleasure.

The recipes are written with the weeknight meal in mind. Most can be quickly prepped and cooked. Pasta with Chopping-Board Pistachio Pesto, for instance, omits the more time-consuming use of the food processor, opting instead for simply chopping the ingredients on a cutting surface and tossing them with hot pasta.

There are accompanying tips for making the cooking process easier. And occasionally tucked into the pages is a wonderful little feature called “Building the Library” in which the authors offer recommendations for books that expand our knowledge.

Both women share an infectious curiosity in the role that food plays in influencing our culture, putting us in touch with the people and stories we may never encounter otherwise.

Take, for example, The Museum of Burnt Food (, where framed images of blackened toast and burned gyoza dumplings are artistically displayed.

An essay on “The Lunchmen of Mumbai” is a fascinating story of India’s tiffin-wallah, the lunch-delivery servicemen who drive their bicycles in a sort of fierce relay race. Their purpose? To relieve the average worker of carrying a lunch pail. On the crowded commuter trains of Mumbai, there’s literally no room for baggage of any kind.

Kasper and Swift have given us a gem of a book that matches the spirit of their weekly show. Read it and catch the magic.

In the Seattle-Tacoma area, “The Splendid Table” can be heard on KUOW-FM (94.9) at 2 p.m. Sundays.

CeCe Sullivan: