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Cookbook Review: Food 52’s Mighty Salads

Fast Review: If you’re sick of boring salads? Food 52 is here to rescue you with over sixty mouth watering (anything but boring!) recipes to get you out of that salad rut.

Food 52 was started by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. Their goal was to bring people together from every corner of the world to share recipes, ideas, tips, tricks and support. A few years ago, they started a column on the website called “Not Sad Desk Lunch” and this book is one of the results of that movement. These are not your everyday salads– but they could be (and likely will be thanks to the tantalizing food photography). The pictures inside will inspire you to branch out from the typical Cobb salad, motivate you away from the standard panzanella, and energize you to to step out of your comfort zone in exchange for a flavorful new world of mighty salads.

Who’s Kitchen Would You Find It In: Everyday cooks who like adventurous flavors, fans of Food 52, those looking to eat more healthfully

Nuts and Bolts:

The book begins with the “Contents” page. Different than some books it divulges the chapters and their contents from the beginning. A thoughtful layout that makes it easier on repeat viewing to easily flip to your selected recipe. One of the introductory sections titled “Building Blocks” lays out where specific tips and tricks are in the book. For example, “Lettuces That Last Weeks”, “Preserve Your Own Lemons”, “How to Save So-So (and Plain Terrible) Dressing”, and “Grilled Cheese Croutons.” Mighty Salads is then separated into the following chapters: “Leafy Salads”, “Less-Leafy Veggie Salads”, “Grain and Bean Salads”, “Pasta and Bread Salads”, “Fish and Seafood Salads”, “Meat Salads”.

The introduction asks if anyone truly needs a recipe to make a salad. The answer is a yes and a no. The salads in this book are salads at their full potential. They are submitted by members of the Food52 community and culled by the editors. Each recipe is accompanied by a detailed photograph, a description of the recipe and the process is clearly laid out in orderly numeric steps. There are occasional tips at the bottom (“melty cheese dressing” anyone?) and full pages of “building blocks” information interspersed throughout.  

The chapters are fairly self-explanatory. While the book is not separated into seasonal cooking by chapter, ingredients in the title will call out to you after those farmer’s market visits. Some of the recipes are more deeply involved than typical salad preparation but are well worth the investment. The salads in the book are sure to impress guests and improve the state of your lunch.

This book is an ideal choice for anyone who needs to get out of a salad rut, is looking for an easy way to incorporate more vegetables into their diet, experienced cooks looking for new riffs on dressings and flavor combinations.



What to make:

 

When you’re craving a classic: Caesar Style Kale Salad With Roasted Onions (p. 17) which is what you know but with more (like ricotta, bacon, capers, and roasted half onions)

For that summer picnic: Fried Eggplant, Tomato and Peach Salad with Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette (p. 32) or Lemony Greek Pasta Salad (p. 90) which are both sure to be hits.

For brunch: Bloody Mary Steak Salad (p. 128) which will fit in so well with a perfectly poached egg on top.

For Something Filling: Wild Rice bowl with Tofu, Sweet Potatoes, and Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette (p. 69)

For Something Really Different: Chorizo and Summer Melon Salad (p. 124) or Roasted Broccoli Rabe, Chickpea and Crispy Salami Salad (p. 43)

Get your copy today, https://www.relishdecor.com/

What to pair with this book at Relish:

Essential Salad Dressing Recipe Bottle: https://www.relishdecor.com/shop/essential-dressing-bottle/

Rosewood Stitch Bowl: https://www.relishdecor.com/shop/rosewood-stitch-bowl/

Akita Stamped Bowls: https://www.relishdecor.com/shop/akita-large-stamped-bowl/

Food 52’s Mighty Salads is by Editors of Food 52 and photography is by James Ransom