If you have a thing for lettuce, a craving for greens, a garden begging to be eaten, or just a plain and simple passion for salads, Lettuce in Your Kitchen is the book for you. Coauthors Chris Schlesinger and John "Doc" Willoughby have written what might be the definitive volume on salads. Everything from the history of greens--they appear in Egyptian tomb drawings that are at least 4,500 years old--to a myriad of recipes is included. And these aren't iceberg-lettuce salads smothered in Thousand Island dressing, either. The authors believe in the full-meal deal in which salads can be appetizer, entree, or even dessert.
How about a Watercress and Grilled Chicken Salad with Mangoes and Grapes livened up with a curry-lime vinaigrette? Chris and Doc are masters of juxtaposition and tend to be more adventurous than classicists like Alice Waters. Try the Bitter Greens with Fiery Seared Squid, or Escarole with Papayas and Fried Plantains for a culinary experience not soon to be forgotten. Their approach isn't always as dramatic. There is an excellent chapter on simple salads, and gardeners looking for new ideas in late summer will appreciate the chapter on tomatoes. The most refreshing declaration the authors make is that there are no hard and fast rules in making salads. They openly encourage experimentation and substitution from the outset, and 100 different dressing recipes provide an exponential level of combinations. The ingredients guide references greens and other major ingredients, and shows what can be substituted in those desperate moments when arugula just can't be found. This is the third book from Chris and Doc. Their earlier works, Big Flavors of the Hot Sun and The Thrill of the Grill were both critically and popularly acclaimed, and Lettuce in Your Kitchen continues their tradition of bold, innovative cookbooks. --Mark O. Howerton
From Publishers Weekly
Schlesinger and Willoughby (The Thrill of the Grill) dazzle with this array of salads and dressings varied in texture, color and flavor. There are simple salads with few ingredients (Cary's Leaf Lettuce Salad with Orange, Fennel and Red Onion, tossed with a briny green olive dressing) and fancy salads featuring special-occasion ingredients such as lobster, shiitakes or foie gras. Unexpected combinations occur in Oak Leaf Lettuce with Grilled Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus, served with cashews and an orange-dill-sour cream dressing, or Mixed Cabbage Salad with Poached Shrimp and Hearts of Palm and a dressing made with avocado, cilantro, cumin seeds and lime. Beginning chapters include a glossary of 25 greens, another glossary for general-use ingredients and a guide to choosing, cleaning and substituting greens. Chapters range from Salads for the Perfect Tomato through Main Course Salads to Salads for a Crowd. Substitute greens are suggested for each recipe, as are additional uses for the dressing. Although it wouldn't work for a title, the authors spin a thrill into salads too, transforming a usually familiar course into an inventive, unexpected eating experience.
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Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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