cover image A Passion for Potatoes

A Passion for Potatoes

Lydie Marshall. Harper Perennial, $28 (248pp) ISBN 978-0-06-055323-4

The ebulliently titled second book of New York cooking school director Marshall ( Cooking with Lydie Marshall ) is aptly named. The humble and nutritious potato does deserve a volume all its own, and this one demonstrates the author's skill and sophisticated taste. Entire chapters are dedicated to classic potato dishes--there's one on potato salads (which includes an unusual barbecued version as well as the more familiar American variety). The chapter on mashed potatoes features a sweet potato puree,stet comma, please and garlic mashed potatoes with olive oil. In addition to these, cooks should especially heed chapters on gratins and scalloped potatoes, on potato soups,stet comma potato dumplings and gnocchi, and Marshall's fascinating--and, arguably, unique--collection of recipes for moist, rich potato breads and doughs. The potato dessert recipes, while tasty enough, stretch the subject. This aside, the book's a useful tool even for the well-versed. Illustrated. (Feb.)