This truly was a right time, right place kind of cookbook.
Here in London in July, we actually experienced *summer*– that’s not always guaranteed here, let me assure you– and so we had many days where it just was too hot to cook. This book was perfect for those many nights and for that reason alone, I highly recommend it. (I feel compelled to point out, though, as I type this, normal weather service has resumed here– grey skies with occasional showers and cool temperatures.)
But I also loved this book because it also allowed me to expand my abiding love for the Leon restaurant chain by making the salads I love there, here at home. Funnily enough, I’m almost positive that the first time I went there it was with Kirstin, in its early years. We went to the restaurant right behind Liberty and I was immediately hooked. They’ve expanded considerably since then, but the ethos remains the same: fresh delicious food that is good for you too. I’ve never had a bad experience there. I highly recommend it if you live in London or are visiting. You won’t be disappointed.
Would this book be as perfect in January? Obviously not. Now it’s peak fruit and vegetable season, so the shelves are groaning with beautiful produce that are begging to be eaten. You’d have slightly less choice in the middle of winter, but there are a few recipes featuring roasted vegetables that would be good that I look forward to trying when the time is right.
Buying a cookbook that only features salads obviously is a bit limiting. But the great thing about this cookbook is it has recipes for nearly every salad you’d love to make, and the recipes themselves seem to be pared down, simple versions of some of the more exotic salads you know and love (I’m thinking in particular of fattoush and tabbouleh).
Overall Grade (A- F): A+ (Maureen)
Best recipes: Maureen: It’s difficult for me to choose just one, but given that I’ve already made the Greek Salad, the Fattoush and the Tabbouleh more than once, I’d have to say they are winners.
Grade for Photography (A-F): A
Any disasters? Maureen: No one liked the Sausage Ditalini (I didn’t post it). I don’t know if it was more a winter dish or I did something wrong, but it just was disappointing.
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Maureen: Bookshelf, and in a high-rotation position until the end of the summer.
Would you give this to a friend? Maureen: Absolutely, particularly anyone who’s a vegetarian.