A Well-Seasoned Appetite: 8recipes from an American Kitchen

Molly O'Neil, Author, Molly O'Neill, Author
Molly O'Neil, Author, Molly O'Neill, Author Viking Books $25.95 (480p) ISBN 978-0-670-85574-2
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``The dishes of spring are sprightly, bold in a quiet key, unreconciled, too young to know any better... Think of dinner as a kick. Think of being young and in love. You will then produce fresh and gentle flavors.'' The grandiosity (and prolixity) of the writing might lead a reader to conclude that O'Neill is a weekend poet instead of an accomplished cook and New York Times Magazine food columnist. Those who can look past both her prose and her silly defense of seasonal fare (her argument for favoring seasonal ingredients is based on aesthetics, not common sense or economy) will find a cornucopia of somewhat trendy recipes, grouped by season. Dishes range from the exotic (e.g., for summer, a Korean barbecue marinade, with ingredients including ginger, papaya, pineapple juice and sesame oil, or blue hubbard squash in a squash-and-maple-syrup pie) to the streamlined (basic steamed lobsters or Soft-shell Crabs Sauteed in Brown Butter). Ingredients can be costly (four cups of sliced fresh morels in Chicken with Morels, Fava Beans and Spring Potatoes, to serve four) and directions presume some expertise, but reasonably well-heeled, well-schooled cooks will likely enjoy dipping into this idiosyncratic collection. Illustrations not seen by PW. 50,000 first printing; author tour. (June)
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