Monday, 28 October 2013

Book Review - The Complete Leafy Greens Cookbook.

Loved this book. Will say it right now at the top of the review. Everything I made tasted awesome, and that slight fear you make when trying something you're not sure of went right out the window after the first couple of recipes as I quickly grew to trust Susan Sampon's palate and flavour combinations. Will revisit this one again for sure as there are many more leafy greens to try - and maybe I'll venture into some of the less common ones next time! This book is not vegan but most recipes have vegan friendly alternatives.

The book itself is quite hefty and after an initial introduction is organised by green in alphabetical order. The introductory section is a general look at leafy greens, how to buy, store and prepare them, and looking at the different families. Then, each green has a good few pages looking at specifics - other names, varieties, how to buy, store and prepare, as well as nutritional information and substitutes you could use (helpful for the more rare greens). Then there are recipes using the green - for some only 1 or 2, and for others up to 10 - the number depending on the commonality of the green I suppose. There are photos of each green but not of the recipes.

The recipes are well laid out, easy to follow with tips and hints. The Robert Rose books are all very standard in recipe layout so I did know what to expect. Now the recipes I made -
Page 79 - The Brussels Caper
I love Brussels sprouts and this version, with capers and nuts was lovely.

Page 79 - Maple Walnut Brussels Sprouts
I preferred the recipe above, but liked this one too - a little sweeter and less crisp.

Page 85 - Sunny Lettuce and Avocado Salad
Simple and elegant, a very nice salad as a side, with a little bite from the radishes.

Page 111 - Fettucine with Chard and Citrus Cream Sauce
Wasn't sure about this one going in but wasn't disappointed. Flavours all went well together and we wished there was more!

Page 219 - Tomato Salad on leaf Lettuce with Crispy Shallots
Little simplistic, but the shallots are awesome (more in a bit).

Page 368 - Spinach Chickpea Salad
Heavy on the chickpeas (which is fine by me) and a little on the red onion (so I put on less). Nice the next day too.

Page 376 - Thai Curry Noodle Bowl
Another one we wished there was more of. Really fresh and refreshing with a bit of heat and lovely balance.

Page 450 - Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette
Really sings with the basil. Lifts any salad to pesto-like greatness!

Page 450 - Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette
Little sweet, but still very good.

Page 453 - Lemon Cumin Dressing
Quite lemony, a little sweet and not too heavy on the garlic. Nice.

Page 455 - Crispy Shallots
Worth the book in itself. So simple but so yummy. Hard not to eat by the handful!

Recommended? What do you think? Of Course - makes it well easy to get more leafy greens in your diet! and expands the leafy green horizon at the same time.


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