From My Bookshelves is an occasional book review series – featuring my cookbook collection. A few years ago, I pared my burgeoning cookbook shelves back to just the essentials. It had to happen. No one likes a hoarder. If I recommend a book, it’s because I’ve cooked from it and love it – not because someone’s given me a free copy. Occasionally, I may review other types of food writing too.
Want to be a hero among your friends? Always volunteer to bring the salad. Much of the time, green salads are an afterthought – but they can be so much more. Salad opens the palate at the beginning of a meal, or provides a refreshing respite at the end.
My go-to salad evolved from a recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks.
My friend Lisa gave me Matthew Kenney’s Mediterranean Cooking for Christmas back in 1997, the year it was published. The book focuses on the flavors of the Mediterranean rim – in addition to recipes from Spain and Italy, the countries represented here include Morocco, Egypt and Turkey. Kenney states in the introduction that his recipes aren’t necessarily traditional in technique, or even ingredients. His goal is to bring traditional Mediterranean rim flavor profiles to American home cooks. And how did he succeed, at least in my kitchen.