Authors English and Sampson are aiming, with The Figs Table, at the 15 best pizza recipes out of Todd English's award-winning restaurant, Figs. But to get there--poor reader--you will have to pass through one impossibly flavorful ordeal after another, starting right up front with such basics as roasted garlic, balsamic onions, and fig jam.
You will find the whimsical: Fennel, Watermelon, and Black Olive Salad with Feta Cheese, which comes of English musing about agro dolce and melon paired with prosciutto. You will find the sublime: Roasted Beets with Walnut Gorgonzola Dressing. And in between, you are sure to stop at some very basic treasures like White Bean Soup, Black Bean Chili, a lasagna to end them all, Sweet Potato Polenta, Roasted Fennel and Shrimp Risotto, and then on into those pizzas to die for.
English uses the Mediterranean like a springboard for his flavor imagination. This cookbook is his dismount. Any judge would give him the highest points possible. --Schuyler Ingle
From Publishers Weekly
English, chef and owner of Figs, a trendy Boston restaurant, and Sampson (The Olives Table) have created an eclectic collection of Mediterranean-inspired salads, sauces, pizzas and desserts made easy for family meals and home entertaining. Readers might chose to skip the stilted introductory q&a discussion and go on to savor the unusual variations of Italian classics such as risotti (Asparagus Butter Risotto with Shrimp; Spring Risotto with Arugula Pesto and Pea Shoots) and pizzas (White Bean Humus and Asiago; Fig and Prosciutto) that are a snap to prepare. English provides the know-how to create specialty oils such as Mint Oil and a Fig Jam that is similar to a dried fruit preserve but made with vegetable oil, shallots, red wine and chicken and beef broths. The authors offer unusual vegetable combinations such as Fava Beans with Orange Segments and Toasted Walnuts or Roasted Carrot and Feta Salad with Za'atar, a tangy Mideastern spice. Desserts range from traditional favorites such as Chocolate Chip Cookies and Gingersnaps to the slightly exotic Cardamom Almond Biscotti and Ginger Peach Crumble. Helpful are two sections?The Figs Pantry and The Figs Kitchen?that list ingredients and tools needed for the recipes. Photos not seen by PW.
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