“It’s easy to get lost in making a salad if you let yourself.” In her first book, food stylist Jess Damuck speaks to the meditative qualities of preparing good food with intention.
Damuck looks back at her favorite job from over a decade working for Martha Stewart: making meals for Martha, especially lunch. Her “three-hour salads” involved going to the farmer’s markets for the best ingredients of the day, then preparing each component with all the focus and attention she could summon.
Damuck doesn’t exactly advocate for salad as self care, but she’s not NOT suggesting it either. Along with the typical cookbook introductions, she offers her Spotify playlist as a way to set yourself at ease in the kitchen. Her writing is highly personal and honest: “I loved him before he broke the melon open with his hands, but that day on the beach was one of my favorite days … It was a sticky mess in his chest hair and on the sandy towel, but the cantaloupe was so sweet and almost musky and, of course, just out of the cooler and ice cold.”
100 recipes are divided into four sections with fresh, unexpected takes on what seasonal salad eating can look like: the cover image’s mandarins and cream in the winter; Tokyo turnips with miso mayo in the spring; a sungold and saffron panzanella in the summer; and crispy calamari with carrots, frisee and ginger in the fall. An index follows with a simple guide to inventing your own vinaigrettes, and recipes for other homemade components like ricotta, focaccia, and a rose petal zaatar.
An excellent choice for those looking to give fruits and vegetables the star treatment all year round.
Hardcover. Color photos throughout.