near and far that inspire her warm, nourishing cooking."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-07-06
- Reviewer: Staff
Swanson (Super Natural Cooking) offers a unique but uneven collection of vegetarian recipes inspired by Northern California, where she resides, and the diverse locales she’s visited, including Morocco, Japan, and Italy. All recipes, she states, are rooted in place, incorporating the culture of the cuisine as well as common local ingredients and techniques. She starts with San Francisco and Northern California, showcasing lackluster offerings such as cucumber salad, yellow wax beans, and shredded tofu stir-fry. Fortunately, the majority of her overseas offerings are much more appetizing. Morocco’s saffron tagine, yellow couscous, and roasted winter squash exude a variety of rich flavors. Her chapter on Japan is superb, especially nori granola, turmeric miso soup, sake-glazed mushrooms, and watermelon radish soup. Surprisingly, Italy disappoints, with radicchio salad, brown butter tortelli, and biscottini—safe but unremarkable choices. France fares only slightly better with olives with grapefruit juice, wine-washed arugula, three types of tartines, and lettuce hearts with melted brown butter. India provides Swanson with an opportunity to shine once again with saag paneer, aloo bhaji, rasam, and makhaniya lassi. She concludes with a hodgepodge chapter on accompaniments, including brown rice, fresh ginger juice, whey, and labneh. Diverse but unbalanced, this collection vacillates from the unusual to the mundane, offering cooks occasional culinary gems amidst the humdrum. (Sept.)