cover image The Nantucket Holiday Table

The Nantucket Holiday Table

Susan Simon, Chronicle Books. Chronicle Books, $29.95 (168pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-2508-5

What do native Nantucket Islanders do during the winter when the summer visitors aren't looking? It turns out that they're doing quite a lot of sophisticated dining. Simon (The Nantucket Table), a part-time resident of the island, offers up a celebration of hearty dishes that she suggests for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's, such as Cider-Soaked Baked Ham with Honey-Rum Glaze and Turkey Shepherd's Pie, which sports a sweet-potato topping and a spicy filling. The breakfast section is particularly pleasing because Simon treats breakfast as the important opening act of a nourishing, joyful day with recipes like Salmon Hash with Poached Eggs and Coronation Scallops on a Bed of Parsley Rice. Some dishes that sound mouthwatering, like Apple-Molasses Pancakes with Honey Butter and Laura Simon's Root-Vegetable Latkes, are bland; however, the dessert section more than makes up for these few disappointments with innovations that make excellent use of native ingredients, including Cranberry Shortcakes, Cranberry Beach-Plum Cheesecake and Indian Pudding with Hard Sauce. Photographs by Jeffrey Allen of quaint island scenes and tantalizing foods complement the reliable, straightforward recipes to create a cookbook that works in the kitchen as well as on the coffee table. (Nov.)