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Friday, April 20, 2012

FOOD BOOK OF THE MONTH!: Salad for Dinner

SALAD FOR DINNER; complete meals for all seasons (Rizzoli, 2012;
distr. Random House Canada, 208 pages, ISBN 978-0-8478-3825-7, $35US
hard covers) is by Jeanne Kelley, a food writer (principally Bon
Appetit) and cookbook author with an urban homestead (bees, chickens,
veggies). Here she succeeds in making the salad the centerpiece of
every main meal. Here's a couple of dozen pages devoted to a salad
primer, including a pantry for the vinaigrettes and dressings. She's
got a salad code: most of 11 items that you may have in the fridge or
pantry that can be added to create a salad – stuff like an egg,
avocado, meat, cheese, fruit, nuts, dried fruit, croutons, onion plus
of course the dressing/vinaigrette and salad greens. You don't need
them all but you can incorporate what you have beyond the greens and
the dressing. The preps have their own contents listings, and run from
vegetarian salads through fish, seafood, poultry, and meat. It is a
pretty book, specializing in contrasts of colour, flavour and texture.
Personally, we eat few salads in winter – their coolness is not
appealing except for winter salads of radicchio/cabbage/endive/fennel
(not included in this book). But spring/summer/fall is a different
story at our home, with salads galore as main courses. Preparations
have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is
a table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: salad lovers looking for new turn.
Some interesting or unusual recipes: roasted acorn squash and brussels
sprout salad; brown rice grape leaf salad; fennel with roasted beet and
smoked whitefish; seafood-stuffed avocado salad; grilled kale with lamb
and garlic.
The downside to this book: no chopped winter salads using non-greens,
the kind you find in a cooler climate outside of California.
The upside to this book: good salad ideas incorporating protein and
Quality/Price Rating: 90.

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