Review of a Cookbook this Salad Fanatic Cannot Put Down
Okay, so that’s a little flowery, but you get the idea.
Food 52 Mighty Salads: 60 Ways to Turn Salad Into Dinner is, understandably, my latest cookbook obsession. Here’s the thing about cookbooks – you can (and should) try out the recipes, as instructed… only substituting where necessary – like for allergies or intolerances or for ingredients you either can’t find or have zero intention of paying for (I’m looking at you $saffron). However, you can (and most definitely SHOULD) also use recipes in cookbooks as “guides” and “inspiration.” Mighty Salads is a beautiful example of the latter, in particular.
Granted, when it comes to salads, I am a pro. If salad making were a sport, I’d be LeBron James, Serena Williams, Peyton Manning, and Albert Pujols rolled into one. Sorry, I just don’t have time for modesty today. However, even I found innumerable ideas and creative inspirations in Mighty Salads. There were techniques I’d never thought of and even ingredients I’d never considered.
While salads are beautiful and delicious, they can also be next level nutritious, especially when you can add a variety of vegetables or fruits to your creation. So, a cookbook that gives you countless ideas for doing so is… in my opinion… priceless.
From the Inside Cover:
A collection of 60 recipes for turning ordinary salads into one-dish worthy meals.
Does anybody need a recipe to make a salad? Of course not. But if you want your salad to hold strong in your lunch bag or carry the day as a one-bowl dinner, dressing on lettuce isn’t going to cut it.
Make way for Mighty Salads, in which the editors of Food52 present sixty salads hefty with vegetables, meats, grains, beans, fish, seafood, pasta, and bread. Think shrimp and radicchio tossed in a bacon vinaigrette, a make-ahead jumble of white beans with charred lemon and fennel, slow-roasted duck and apples scattered across spicy greens. It’s comforting food made captivating by simply charring one ingredient or marinating another—shaving some, or roasting a bunch.
But because we don’t always follow recipes, there are also loose formulas for confident off-roading, as well as back-pocket tips and genius tricks for improving any old salad. Because once you know how to fix too-salty dressing, wash greens once and for all, keep an avocado from browning, and even sprout your own grains, the humble salad starts looking a lot more interesting—and a whole lot more like dinner.
Salad recipes, tips, and ideas cover lettuce-based salads, pasta salads, and potato salads. While this is not a “gluten-free” cookbook, each recipe can be easily adapted to fit those of us who have to or choose to eat gluten-free. Also, while there are a lot of recipes that call for meat, vegetarians will find them equally easy to tweak. In fact, I think this cookbook is IDEAL for vegetarians (as well as anyone looking for ways to add more vegetables to their diet.
I just can’t tell you how many innovative ideas and creative tips are included in this one very handsome cookbook. It’s packed with them!
- Fresh Corn Cakes With Crab-Tomato Salad
- Roasted Potato Salad with Mustard-Walnut Vinaigrette
- Wilted Escarole with Feta and Honey
- Grilled Bread, Broccoli Rabe & Summer Squash Salad
- Lemony Greek Pasta Salad
- Thai Pork Salad with Crisped Rice
- Charred Broccoli & Lentil Salad
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Endive & Apple Salad
- And many, many more great salad recipes and ideas.
“While Emily’s and the other recipes in this book are mighty, they are just the beginning. Even if you never make a single recipe in the book to completion but instead create a mash-up you like better or that serves as a happy home for your leftover vegetables, we’ve done our job.” – From the Introduction
I also (as an experienced salad pro… still zero hint of modesty) found myself saying, “I agree!” or “Preach on!” again and again. For example, when making your salad’s dressing, they tout the importance of taste-testing the dressing, not on a spoon or finger, but on one of the salad’s stars. A great dressing is meant to be a co-star – it isn’t meant to be the star attraction. It should compliment the diva of the salad and the best way to see if it’s worthy of sharing the spotlight is to test it on a cast member.
I completely and whole-heartedly recommend Food52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad into Dinner. It’s a great-looking cookbook that’ll make your kitchen healthier, more colorful, more creative, and (perhaps most importantly) more delicious. If you click through any of the links above, you’ll find a recipe from the book: Cobb Salad with Hard-Boiled Egg Dressing!
Note: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. The opinions are entirely my own.