Salads are my favorite summertime go-to meals. Here in Phoenix, summer starts in April and lasts until October, so we eat a lot of salads.
That's why I had to buy "The Everything Salad Book" by Aysha Schurman the first day it hit the market in mid-April. Ms. Schurman's book offers 300 salad recipes, so it's destined to be my go-to cookbook throughout the summer. And since our winters resemble springtime in the Midwest, I'm likely to use this book all year round.
Ms. Schurman divides her salad book into chapters, and chapter 1 details a bit of history, a few techniques, and a few bits about substitutions and storage.
Chapters 2 and 3 focus on salad dressings and starting with chapter 4, the salad recipes are divided by types, including green, fruit, potato, seafood, gourmet and more.
From the crisp simplicity of a Mediterranean Tomato salad to the more complex flavors of the Eggplant Arugula salad, Ms. Schurman's got it covered.
The book is well-organized, the listed ingredients easily found in local supermarkets and each recipe includes nutritional stats. I would have loved to have seen photos of the salads, but the lack of visual aids has not deterred me from loving this cookbook.
Ms. Schurman, in her opening letter to the reader, defines her idea of heaven as "a diverse buffet of fresh salads and fruity desserts." And it is the diversity of her approach to these recipes that encourages readers to achieve diversity in their diet.
Blogger Shaun Bevins, author of the blog, "Fitness for Smart Poeple," shares that philosophy. From her April 6, 2011 post, "Choosing Nutrient Dense Foods - A Diet Revolution," she writes about a more holistic approach to dieting:
"Instead it is a system that rates a food or even your diet on its overall nutrient density, the amount of nutrients it supplies compared to the amount of calories it contains."
This is what the Contemporary Cook strives for: diversity of flavor and texture; nutrient rich foods that offer those flavors and textures; and an array of foods to offer to those with restrictive diets. What we want is good food to feed to our friends and family.
And in these contemporary times, we cooks have books and blogs to help us achieve our culinary goals.
I did not nor do I now receive any compensation for reviews of any books, products or sites.