Friday, January 6, 2012

Review: Salad for Dinner

Paperback: 208 pages

In short: With the new year comes a new focus on eating healthy and eating fresh. De Serio, a chef, food writer, cooking teacher and caterer (Olive Green Catering), provides pictures, recipes and preparation how-tos to create sumptuous salads that are hearty enough for the main meal.

My thoughts: This is not a nutritarian, vegetarian, or vegan cookbook. The salad for dinner philosophy seems to revolve around salads with meat, fish, eggs and/or cheese plus a hearty serving of olive oil for vinaigrette. However, this cookbook does not tout itself to be a fat-free, vegan book. 

The power of this book is not necessarily the recipes themselves (it was hard for me to find a recipe that I could use as is), but the "teacher" factor in both the text, the clean, reader-friendly layout  and the corresponding pictures.  De Serio is great at "I Show You How" from preparing and storing greens, to pickling your own beets and choosing the right tools for the job. 

For example, I learned that baking sheets are useful for spreading cooked vegetables, grains, and legumes out to cool quickly so they don't continue to cook too much. The ice bath is not the only way to go. 

I also like the how to cutting techniques that are spelled out for different fruits and vegetables. I now know how to dice versus slice a shallot and how to peel and segment a citrus to keep its shape. I don't know if my knife skills will improve, but at least I have a little more technique now. At about $13.50, this is a great resource for budding home chefs.

Source: This advanced reader's copy was provided by Net Galley (dot) com for an honest review



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