Acknowledging the increasing popularity of olive oil, Deborah Krasner's The Flavors of Olive Oil
offers a comprehensive guide to tasting, understanding, and cooking with superior extra-virgin olive oil, the cold first pressing of the olive crop's best. Most valuably, the book offers profiles of the best oils from countries including Italy, France, Spain, and the U.S. (as well as international blends). Useful, too, are sections on olive oil grades; label reading (you can
tell olive oil from its package); and usage and storage pointers. Though it's hard to derive a unique recipe selection from as basic an ingredient as olive oil, the book also offers over 90 easy, attractive recipes for dishes that include it--from appetizers, sandwiches, and small dishes to salads, pizzas, entrées, and even desserts. Among these, readers will discover delicious versions of familiar friends like tapenade and focaccia with caramelized onions as well as "finds" including White Peach, Corn, and Toasted Almond Salad; Turbot with Fennel, Potatoes, Olives, and Lemon; and Slow-Cooked Boneless Pork Spareribs in Tomato, Rosemary, and Juniper Sauce. As a Jewish cook, Krasner also supplies formulas for enticing Eastern European Jewish classics such as challah and noodle kugel. Also useful is a section that explores the oils through detailed analysis of flavor characteristics--delicate and mild through leafy green and grassy. It's hard to imagine a better introduction to olive oil and its enjoyment. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
This thorough investigation and appreciation of olive oil from food writer Krasner (Kitchens for Cooks), encourages cooks to delve deeper into the pleasures of this versatile staple. The author first gives an in-depth summary of olive oil: like wine, olive oil can be classified by type and grade-and, like grapes, the flavor of olives is affected by soil and climate as well as methods of production. Krasner then discusses kitchen basics, equipment and ingredients and tips for variations, substitutions and labor-saving measures, as well as a section of alphabetically arranged resources, mostly Web sites, some with phone or address. While an entire cookbook on recipes for olive oil may seem excessive, Krasner does offer such dishes as Tapenade, and Chickpea, Tuna, Olive, and Goat Cheese Salad. For main courses, she includes recipes for Charcoal Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb, Turkish Style, and Seared Scallops on Chickpea Crepes. Illustrations by Krasner and photographs by Ann Stratton enhance this presentation.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.