Starters and Desserts , the two other volumes to date in the New Healthy Kitchen series edited by "/>

Williams-Sonoma Main Dishes: New Healthy Recipes

Georgeanne Brennan, Author, Chuck Williams, Editor, Dan Goldberg, Photographer , Photos by Dan Goldberg Ben Dearnley. Free Press $19.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-7432-7859-1

Fitting in squarely between Starters and Desserts , the two other volumes to date in the New Healthy Kitchen series edited by Chuck Williams, this richly illustrated volume proposes the rainbow approach to dining. It's not about calories or carbs, it's about reds and greens and browns; for each color has its own "phytochemicals," a word that appears as often in these pages as "butter" slides across the works of Julia Child. The organizing principle, which acknowledges its roots in the work of the Produce for Better Health Foundation, keys each recipe to the color of its principal ingredient. Otherwise the book is not particularly distinguished from others serving up new California cuisine—light, bright, herb-strewn and agreeably complex without being truly complicated. This is mostly scratch cooking, with exceptions for the likes of prepared horseradish and chicken stock. The one notable deviation is the Chickpea, Corn & Cilantro Salad, which calls for canned chickpeas; here taste and texture were apparently sacrificed to minimize the aggregate prep and cooking time. What the recipes don't mention is how much shopping time is required and how critical it is that the cook have access to specialty grocers in order to whip up a quick dish with purple asparagus or Puy lentils. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/08/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
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