Customer Review

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For people who value their health but love their food, 12 Jan. 2003
This review is from: A Cook's Guide to Grains: Delicious recipes, culinary advice and nutritional facts (Hardcover)
Recipe books that bridge the divide between 'health' food and good cooking, I think, are few and far between.
This is one book that accomplishes that brilliantly. If like me, you've got some quinoa waiting hopefully in the cupboard, some pearl barley that expired in 1995 and would like to do something with them that is closer in style to Nigel Slater than the 'Rainbow Surprise' recipes of this world, then this book is for you.
The author has travelled the world exploring each country's grains and skimmed off their tastiest recipes, covering wheat, spelt, farro, amaranth, buckwheat, barely, corn, wild rice, millet, oats, rice, rye and quinoa.
The first part of the book looks at each of the grains, their origins, how they're produced, used and health benefits. In other hands this section could have all the appeal of cardboard but her journalistic approach lends it the feel of a good Sunday paper.
The second section covers all the recipes taken not only from each country but also from chefs, writers and restaurateurs. The recipes are divided into, breakfast cereals, pancakes and waffles, breads, soups, salads, pasta & couscous, fritters and burgers, polenta, risottos, stews, side dishes, main dishes, desserts, cookies and crackers, snacks and drinks.
Featuring recipes such as, griddle cakes, old fashioned muffins, quinoa cashew and grape salad, barley risotto, chicken with freekah, spaghetti with tomatoes, olives and walnuts, creamy polenta, almond cake, corn icecream and sponzo salad of which she notes,
'...private chef Joseph Sponzo thrust a scrawled recipe into my hand to test while I was away. I was naturally hoping for something chocolate, so my heart sank when I read the title 'Millet and Aduki Bean Salad'. How uninspiring. Yet the fresh herbs, vegetables and tangy cheese he matched with the dull ingredients of the salad elevated them into a superb dish that became my favourite of that project.
The recipes are easy to follow. The cook's notes for each recipe are great, giving alternatives or explaining why some ingredients are a must.
Being a self-confessed lazy cook herself, if there's a quicker way to get the same results she'll tell you about it. Her appreciation of busy lives means there's a good balance of recipes that can be whipped up on a weekday or slowly enjoyed over a weekend.
What more can I say? Buy it. You won't regret it.
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Location: East Sussex

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