Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Book Review: Salad for Dinner by Tasha DeSerio

Title: Salad for Dinner
Author: Tasha DeSerio
Publisher: Taunton Press (March 13, 2012)
Genre: Cookbooks
Length: 208 pages

SUMMARY: Salad for lunch? Salad for dinner? It’s easy – and delicious – to turn salads into main meals with this original collection from chef Tasha DeSerio. As more and more home cooks are looking to eat healthy using local and regional offerings, the whole-meal salads highlighted here will satisfy vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Simple, yet sophisticated and showcasing the author’s talent for presenting beautiful ingredients in an artful way, the recipes encompass everything from greens to meat and fish, dairy, and pasta and grain. With detailed information on in-season fruits and vegetables, lesser-known salad fixings, preparation techniques (including make ahead tips), and a comprehensive chapter on salad basics, readers will have all they need to turn out satisfying and beautiful salads of their own. Easy enough for one and special enough for a crowd, salads as a main course will be showing up on tables everywhere.

THE FARMER’S REVIEW: Tasha DeSerio’s SALAD FOR DINNER: SIMPLE RECIPES FOR SALADS THAT MAKE A MEAL is a wonderful cookbook and reference book. This beautiful book does justice to the ingredients as well as providing recipes.
I enjoyed the discussion about key ingredients and techniques. Ms DeSerio recommends keeping a few key ingredients on hand and I have added them to my pantry and refrigerator. It is amazing how much more often you will prepare healthy food if you don’t have to run to the store to pick something up. As many foodies know, choosing the right oil makes all the difference in the world to a dressing or recipe.
Equally important is the selection of which acid to choose for your dressing, and Ms DeSerio covers the basics for the home-kitchen cook as well as for the professional chef. All other salad ingredients are discussed prior to incorporating them into a salad. Why do you need crunch? How do you poach a chicken breast? When do you tear the greens and when do you chop them?
I had stopped growing lettuces in my garden because cleaning them is so much trouble. However, after reading this book I’ve decided it is worth the trouble to have a ready supply of organic greens at hand, so back into the garden rotation go a variety of lettuces and other salad vegetables. Since the growing season along the Gulf Coast is long I am able to harvest fresh produce almost year-round.
I enjoyed this book and am happy to have it on my shelf for ready reference. I certainly am serving salads more often, to the delight of my family and guests.

THE FARMER’S RATING: 5 broccoli spears!

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