Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 57.
- Review Date: 2008-04-07
- Reviewer: Staff
Chef Goldstein, author of several Mediterranean cookbooks, focuses here on “146 delicious salads and small plates... to show the versatility of Mediterranean dressings as marinades and finishing sauces.” And with these, she hopes to change the way the average American diner thinks of salad—as a bowl of leafy greens tossed with a dressing, served as a precursor to a meal. In fact, leafy greens make up only one of seven categories included in Goldstein's collection (others include fruit, bean, and grain salads as well as protein-based seafood, meat and poultry salads). Although many ingredients are repeated, Goldstein manages to make each recipe fresh and enticing. Readers may be familiar with some of the traditional classics such as Panzanella (bread salad) and Salad Niçoise. However, the real magic of the book lies with the lesser-known dishes like Italian Parsley Salad with Pecorino, Catalan Salt Cod and Pepper Salad, and Vitello Tonnato (veal with creamy tuna sauce). Well researched, and highly informative, each section begins with a list of ingredients and their definitions, while each recipe includes history on the dish as well as some of Goldstein's related personal experiences. This book is a delight, an inspiring collection. (May)
The art of the salad
Salads come in many shapes and sizes. They can be first courses, main dishes or follow-ups, and for Joyce Goldstein, salad savant and a master of Mediterranean cuisine, they're front and center. Goldstein's twin passions were the happy impetus for Mediterranean Fresh: A Compendium of One-Plate Salad Meals and Mix-and-Match Dressings. She divides this meditation on Mediterranean salads into seven categories, 146 combos in all, ranging from the tender and leafy to the hearty and beefy, with equal attention given to beans, greens, grains and a variety of veggies, seafood and chicken that easily morph into a multitude of small-plate pleasers. You'll find classics, often accented with shavings of cheese, toasted nuts or strips of prosciutto, classics with a twist like Gazpacho Bread Salad, and bright new concepts such as Persian Pomegranate and Cucumber Salad, and Shrimp Salad with Walnut Tarator Dressing. It's not just what goes into the salad that concerns Goldstein, it's what goes on the salad. In other words, you must dress for success, not in a sedate suit with matching pumps, but with a perfect balance of salt, acidity and fat. To that lofty end, she's devised 46 dressings that harmonize with the prime ingredients, not too tame, not too assertive, but in Goldilocks' immortal words, "just right"as is this entire celebration of salads.