cover image Sweet Onions and Sour Cherries: A Cookbook for Market Day

Sweet Onions and Sour Cherries: A Cookbook for Market Day

Jeannette Ferrary, Louise Fiszer. Simon & Schuster, $24.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-70084-3

Ferrary and Fiszer's book is a boon for anyone who can't tell a Crenshaw from a honeydew. Just when you've become totally overwhelmed by the varieties of produce available at the local grocer's, these two Californians have pooled their knowledge to provide instruction in how to select, and what to do with, the perfect artichoke or avocado. They limit themselves to items found in the average supermarket and farm stand; the book is divided between vegetables and fruits. Each chapter contains a brief history of the food in question, whether persimmons or fennel; an account of how it became popular; and notes on some of the more interesting varieties. The crucial information comes in the consumer and cooking guide, which is where Ferrary and Fiszer tell us exactly what to look for when choosing a vegetable or fruit, when it can be found for sale, how to store it and how to enhance its flavor. The few recipes are very simple, intended to show off favorites. Even the most inexperienced cook can whip up some tasty dishes, such as baked apples in white zinfandel and potato and asparagus salad with smoked salmon. Recipes for homemade stocks, pesto and mayonnaise to accompany other recipes are included. (Aug.)