Saturday 31 August 2013

A Salad for All Seasons

Now, I really must firstly apologise to everyone who follows my blog. I’ve been AWOL for a good while now. This has been partly due to time and partly due to a health issue I’ve been working through more recently (nothing serious).

Now, I’m often asked for reviews of books, even if I’ve not cooked from them first by friends and readers who have sent emails. I’ve pondered this for a good while now, and have decided to do reviews without things I’ve cooked, as well as the normal format of cooking posts. So that should cover all basis, and keep everyone happy as much as possible. You can be sure that although I’ve not been blogging I’m still buying books!! =) So to the book in hand…
Harry Eastwood has had three solo cookbooks, each of them I have anticipated happily. This one possibly more than ever, as I love a good salad. So here we have, A Salad for all Seasons by Harry Eastwood published by Bantam Press 2013.
It is exactly what it says in the title. The main chapters are Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. As well as these though, at the beginning there is a short Dictionary of Leaves and another final chapter at the end – Glazes, Dressings, Pestos and Vinegars. This last chapter contains little gems such as Swiss Dressing, Blueberry Balsamic Glaze and Thyme & Tangerine Vinegar.
The book is really well done and all the recipes are clear and simple to follow. All have calorie counts and how many of your five-a-day you are having, a clock symbol goes with those super fast salads, and a golden halo is shown for the ones that are lowest in calories and highest in 5–a-day quantities. This is not a diet book, there are recipes suitable for eating when cutting back, but there are also lots of recipes that just taste absolutely fabulous too. =) The photography by Laura Edwards is really inspiring too, showing the salads in their fresh beauty.
I’ve tried a number of recipes so far, and am looking forward to the weather heating up just a bit to start properly on the Summer-y salads. The recipes are mainly for savoury salads, but there are occasional sweet ones too. Some of the many other salads I have bookmarked to try are: Lightly Pickled Beetroot, Cucumber and Feta with raspberry Dressing * Spring Store-cupboard Salad of Wild Rice and Garden Peas, * Persian Salad of Tomato, Pomegranate and Cucumber, *Squash Salad with Pomegranate and Prosciutto * Strawberry Salad with White Chocolate Mousse.
The thing I like about all the recipes I have tried is that they have the feel good factor, they fill you up, but don’t weigh you down. Oh and the fact that they have all been delicious so far!

Roast Chicken Caesar Salad
A good main course salad, filling and yummy.

Whopping Potato Salad
This one is really nicely balanced, I love a good potato salad, but so often they can let you down. Not this one though I’m happy to say, potatoes, mustard, celery, spring onions, eggs, gherkins, dill…

Camembert Salad with Cherry Dressing
Now if you have the book already you’ll see I’ve done this one differently from the book, and merely cut the Camembert into pieces instead of coating in breadcrumbs and frying them. This is because I’m allergic to yeast, which is a pity because I did used to love crispy crumbed cheese. Still the cherry dressing is gorgeous with the cheese and nuts. I quite fancy some now, even just thinking about it!

Minnesota Salad
Nothing to do with Minnesota the place, but this is the nickname Harry uses for her boyfriend. Leaves with red pepper - fresh and roasted, mozzarella, and Prosciutto (which I crisped in the oven) and a light balsamic vinegar dressing. Yum.

Waldorf Salad
I was so chuffed with this one, this is a halo recipe. My little one will happily eat seconds of this one, which is no mean feat for a child who didn’t like lettuce! She has a tenacious Mama though, and I didn’t give up on getting her to like it easily. Romaine is her lettuce of choice, which is why I use it a lot. Give me time though and I’ll try and pop in some different leaves too!

Next Up: Breakfast For Dinner.