Just when it seems that all possible Italian cookbook topics have been exhausted, along comes a book illuminating a little-discussed course in the Italian meal: the salad. Simon (The Nantucket Table; The Nantucket Holiday Table) provides more than 60 simple recipes for traditional, composed, entrée and numerous other salads, organized by season. Casual headnotes explain the origins of, and Simon's connection to, each recipe—many are provided by Simon's Italian friends and acquaintances. An introduction explains the history and subtleties of the Italian salad, noting that while the recent American trend has been to eat salad at the end of a meal, Italians may begin with, make a meal of, or conclude a meal with salad. Simon, who runs a catering business in New York City, serves up favorites like Seafood Salad and Arugula with Parmesan and Pine Nuts, along with inventions like Italo-Sri Lankan Salad with pineapple, Asparagus and Vegetable Citronette. The Summer section includes a Salad of Wild Greens and Herbs and a Tomato and Mozzarella Salad. Not all of Simon's salads rely on greens (e.g., Pasta Salad with Eggplant and Mixed Berry Salad with Blueberry Sauce), and many (Fontina and Roasted Yellow Pepper Salad, for instance) are more likely to be presented as antipasto than as salad courses. What all these recipes have in common is their inventive use of fresh, in-season produce. 40 color photos. Agent, Marian Young. (June)
Forecast:This little volume arrives just in time for summer's lighter eating, and has an appealing look and feel that will translate into healthy sales.