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Sunday, January 9, 2011


 FROM THE OLIVE GROVE; Mediterranean cooking with olive oil (Arsenal
Pulp Press, 2010, 199 pages, ISBN 978-1-55152-367-5, $24.95 CAN soft
covers) is by Helen Koutalianos and Anastasia Koutalianos, a mother-
and-daughter team. Helen was a food columnist and Greek cooking
instructor who now runs importing olive oil from
her husband's family in Greece. Anastasia has worked in publishing
(book and magazine). The emphasis, of course, is on the healthy
character of olive oil, and this includes its use in desserts such as
the apple cake prep here. Some preps have been sourced from 13 west
coast chefs. But otherwise, it is arranged by course (appetizers,
soups, stews, salads, mains, desserts). There's primer material on
olive oil (history, grading, cooking principles, health aspects). The
150 recipes are mainly Greek or Eastern Mediterranean, but no matter.
They are all healthy. Preparations have their ingredients listed in
both metric (mainly) and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no
metric table of equivalents which would have been useful for volume
Audience and level of use: home cooks; olive oil lovers.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: lamb (chop) fricassee with
artichokes; keftedes (meatballs); sablefish with preserved lemons; imam
bayildi (stuffed baby eggplants); melitzana ksipoliti (eggplant
quiche); loukoumades (Greek doughnuts); whole chicken baked in a
pumpkin; kebabs.
The downside to this book: There is no metric table of equivalents
which would have been useful for the volume measurements.
The upside to this book: there's a recipe for olive oil energy drink.
Quality/Price Rating: 90.

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