Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Williams-Sonoma Collection: Salad
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`Williams-Sonoma Salad' with recipes and text by Georgeanne Brennan, under the general editorship of Williams-Sonoma founder, Chuck Williams is an excellent little, inexpensive hardcover book all about salads. Unlike some other grandly titled books on salads, this little volume does two big things right for a salads only book.

For starters, it's first chapter of recipes has seven (7) recipes for major, classic salads, almost all of which originated in French, Italian, or American cuisines. These are:

Caesar Salad

Cobb Salad

Potato Salad

Salade Nicoise

Celery Root Remoulade

Insalata Caprese

Ambrosia

The second `big' thing it gets right is that the next four chapters cover salads appropriate to each of the four seasons. While your average megamart has virtually all fruits and vegetables throughout the year, there are still some important seasonal considerations that make a difference in the quality or cost of a salad. For example, asparagus and artichokes are far cheaper in the spring than at any other time of the year; tomatoes and fresh corn are at their very best if obtained locally in the summer; apples and pears are freshest in the fall, and citrus is most abundant and least expensive in the winter.

The last chapter of recipes gives us seven (7) `picnic' salads whose taste improves over time or which are easily assembled at the last minute `on site'. They are also very good for extended periods without refrigeration as they contain no mayonnaise or any other uncooked or semi-cooked eggs.

There is a non-recipe chapter at the end on `Salad Basics' covering the primary ingredients and techniques including vinaigrettes, creamy dressings, types of greens, and varieties of other ingredients. It is beyond me why this chapter is put at the back of the book when it is something you should read before embarking on the recipes or on a career of ad libbing salad making.

The only other quirk of the book's organization is that the two potato salad recipes are in two different chapters, one in the classics and one in the summer chapter. Otherwise, in general, this is a very well thought out book organization, making up for the slightly pricy $16.95 list price for 43 recipes. We are also well served by the fact that there is a full-page color snapshot of the results of each and every completed recipe. For a glossy book like this, one would feel cheated if there were pics of only half the recipes.

With all this good stuff going for it, I did find some things that were just a little off. In the recipes for the classic salads, I found at least four instructions that concerned me. The first two were where poaching chicken and cooking hard-boiled eggs were done at substantially longer times than what I have found to be necessary from both other authoritative recipes and from my own experience. I was inclined to think that the author was just trying to be careful with microbes, until I read the Caesar Salad recipe, where a totally raw egg was used to make the dressing. In all the very best recipes for Caesar Salad, the raw egg is `coddled' before adding it to the dressing. That is, it is cooked in boiling water for about a minute to kill off any microbeasties. I was also just a little concerned with the amount of fresh garlic used in the Caesar salad, and the method by which it was added. It called for first making the toasted croutons, then rubbing the fresh garlic onto the sides of all those little cubes. This seems to be a relatively tiresome method, which could easily be replaced by toasting the bread slices, rubbing on the garlic, then cutting the toast into little cubes. And even better and quite traditional technique is to rub the cut garlic into the wooden salad bowl before mixing the dressing.

All in all, this is a better salad book than others I have seen and it is a very good first salad book.
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on December 1, 2010
I bought this book based on pictures alone because I was convinced that the salads would be amazing. First, 80% of the recipes include anchovies as an ingredient. If you don't like anchovies, you're out of luck. Secondly, many of the recipes seem fickle - either over salted or the process of making them is made far, far, far too complicated when it could be easily done another way. Borrow this from a friend or from the library and then decide whether it's a good fit for you.
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on October 29, 2011
All of these cookbooks are great! Not only do they look nice on the outside and could easily be used as decor, they have great recipes an the price on Amazon is Awesome compared to paying an extra $5-6 a cookbook buying them at Williams Sonoma. I literally want every cookbook they make.
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on October 9, 2011
I was hoping for more of a traditional type of salad book but find this book to be more expansive in its ideas of what constitutes a salad.

if you are looking to make something primarily with greens then this isn't the book for you.
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on May 17, 2008
This book wasn't what I was expecting but it turns out to be a great source for new ideas. The ginger-glazed scallops are the best. I just love the Williams-Sonoma cookbooks. You can't go wrong.
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on April 6, 2007
I absolutely recommend this book. The salads are tasty, fulfilling and varied enough to keep you wanting to try a different one everyday of the week.
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on January 24, 2009
Great book to understand salad basics. Ones you have tried many recipes from this book, you will have your own delicious ideas...Excellent book!
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on August 22, 2013
A nicely presented collection of good salad recipes. Hard to go wrong with a Williams-Sonoma publication. Try it - you'll like it.
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on May 2, 2013
This book is beautiful. a handy medium size that is manageable
The recipes are not only great but easy to follow and do.
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on April 11, 2014
The photos in the book urged me to try most of the salads - all of which were exceptionally good !
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