500 Salads: The Only Salad Compendium You'll Ever Need (500 Series Cookbooks) Hardcover – Jan 5 2010
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About the Author
SUSANNAH BLAKE is a London-based freelance food writer and editor. She consults, commissions, project-manages, art-directs and writes for various book publishers and magazines. She has produced over 30 cookbooks, including four award-winning titles. Her previous titles include 500 Appetisers and 500 Soups. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The book gives me a good starting point for deciding what to make for our family meals (such as the lentil salad), but then I must (absolutely MUST) modify. As is, the recipes are a little lack luster in flavor. For example, I've substituted olive oil where the recipe calls for canola oil. Other examples: adding fresh garlic, increasing amount of lemon or apple cider vinegar, etc.
My criticism: while there are 500 recipes in the book, only about 1/4 of them are original or fresh. Let me explain: the book is divided into chapter with each recipe on a page. At the end of the chapter, that same recipe is used as the base and 4 variations are provided. The variations are rather lame and anyone who spends time in the kitchen would be able to think of most of these on his/her own.
There are color photographs which is always a plus, and the ingredients are easily found in any grocery store. I wanted some main dish salads and made the Pasta Salad With Ham and Peas and the Greek Tortellini Salad, both of which my family enjoyed. Other recipes I have bookmarked to try include Greek Salad, Warm Sweet Potato Salad, Couscous Salad, variations of Taco Salad, Beef with Cabbage and Zucchini Salad, and Fruit Salad with Coconut Milk.
Classic salads such as ceasar, chef, cobb, potato, etc., are included. Other chapters feature light and healthy salads, salads with grains, beans or pasta, warm salads, slaws and shredded salads, asian style salads, main course salads, and fruit salads. There are also several dressing recipes. I'm looking forward to trying many of the recipes and appreciate that the ingredients are fresh and locally available.
I do like this cookbook and it is one that I will especially use during our warm summer weather when we don't want a hot meal. This would be a great addition to any cookbook collection.
Most of these salads are very basic - salads you already know how to make, and the variations are only useful to those with no imagination whatsoever.
My advice? Save your time and money, and buy a recipe book that actually delivers what it promises.