cover image The Big Book of Sides

The Big Book of Sides

Rick Rodgers. Ballantine, $30 (480p) ISBN 978-0-345-54818-4

Cookbook author Rick Rodgers (Thanksgiving 101), who has already penned over 40 cookbooks and worked behind the scenes on an additional 30, attempts to top himself by going large while aiming small. In an effort to help readers "choose luscious additions to the main course," Rodgers has amassed more than 450 side dish recipes, involving vegetables, grains, pickles, sauces, and the occasional bit of bacon or pancetta. The entries are inspired by a truly global sense of cuisine and the multitude of flavors bump against each other. Braised sweet potatoes with red curry sauce shares a page with sweet potato fries with jerk seasoning, followed by lemon sweet potatoes with meringue topping. In the realm of baked beans, there is the traditional Boston slow-baked, with salt pork and molasses, and variations like beer and maple beans, and even root beer baked beans. For dessert, there's strawberry and cream cheese salad, apple and sour cream noodle kugel, or fresh ambrosia salad with blood oranges and pineapple. (Nov.)