Pros: Solidly good recipes; good layout
Cons: No photos; some unbalanced flavors
Rating: 4 out of 5
Review book courtesy of The Countryman Press.
Not all that long ago I reviewed Ms. Fosburgh’s Soups & Stews for Fall and Winter Days. Like that book, this one is filled with a goodly number of solidly worthwhile recipes (soups and salads this time instead of soups and stews). Like that book, Ms. Fosburgh provides hints for adapting recipes to young palates. The layout of recipes is clear and easy to make sense of. The recipes themselves are easy to make—these aren’t fancy hours-long affairs that’ll have you slaving over a stove. Which is good, seeing as these are meant to be dishes suitable for serving over the warm days of Spring and Summer.
Again, however, we found the tastes to be somewhat unbalanced. For instance, there’s a brown rice salad in here that has, as its major flavor-providing ingredient, a quarter cup of lemon juice, and that’s just about all you can taste in the end product. I love lemon, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want it to overpower everything else in the dish.
On the whole I think I found more to enjoy in this book than in the previous. The macaroni Creole salad, for example, is quite delicious, as are the corny stuffed tomatoes. There’s a soup made with a little cheese and some jalapeno that has a perfectly balanced set of flavors. I was happy to see whole sections of fruit soups and salads in addition to the more mainstream vegetable soups, meat & seafood soups, salads made with rice potato or pasta, and even an entire section of main dish salads.
I still have to recommend that these books are best for people who are a bit experienced in the kitchen and willing to mess with the seasonings here and there to re-balance the flavors. However, the cold salads in this book are certainly good, and very handy to have around.