What perfect timing for this breezy cookbook to arrive on the scene . We are all beginning to think of raiding our gardens and tossing together colorful and flavorful greens and such. And now we have this bright and cheery bookbook to give us the nudge we need.
I have long been a fan of Patricia Well’s cookbooks and food writing. She and her husband are two of the luckiest people on the face of the earth. They have lived and worked in France a good part of their lives. And they make it easy.
When I had the opportunity to read an early edition of this cookbook I jumped at it. But, alas, the ARC was on my black and white Nook. So, even though I loved reading the recipes, I had to actually wait until the book was published to appreciate it. And appreciate it I did. The photographs are superb. The food hops and jumps off the pages, making your mouth water. It is a happy book. It is also user- friendly. The only problem you may have is finding some of the ingredients, or the cost of them. For instance, I decided to make one of the dressings. I am including this one in the review since it is quick and easy. But, I ended up having to go to Whole Foods to get one of the ingredients. But all in all, that is not the norm.
I found myself making notes and thinking that this and then that would be just the perfect choice for a summer dinner party. And, I can imagine my guests standing and giving an ovation. How cool would that be! And, I may do just that. Will keep you posted.
Lime & Vanilla Dressing (need small jar with lid)
Makes 1/4 cup
2 plump, moist vanilla beans ( this necessitated the trip to Whole Foods)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
grated zest & juice from two limes (preferably organic)
1. Flatten vanilla beans, cut in half lengthwise. Scrape seeds into small jar. Reserve pods for future use. ( I put them in a small container with sugar) Add oil & salt to jar. Cover & shake. Steep several hours.
2. At serving time, add zest & juice of limes.
I found this dressing light and airy with a slight vanilla flavor that did not over power. It is important to toss the salad a couple dozen times to coat it thoroughly.