Ladle, Leaf and Loaf: Soup, Salad, and Bread for Every Season

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9780395967157: Ladle, Leaf and Loaf: Soup, Salad, and Bread for Every Season

Any of the dishes in this book can serve as the inspiration for a meal and set off a creative chain of delicious possibilities. Fresh Green Pea Soup with Minted Yogurt Cheese is the perfect partner for Spiral Herb Bread with Chive Butter. Chicken Salad with Caper Dressing begs for a quick accompaniment like tender Big Buttermilk Biscuits. Cornmeal Popovers pair up with a savory bowl of Curried Tomato Soup. Lisa Cowden provides more than two hundred recipes for soup, salad, breads, and spreads, creating a nearly limitless set of meals for every season. Her intricate cut-paper illustrations are as artful as the food, and her meditations on art, cooking, and the seasons make this cookbook as pleasurable as it is practical.

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About the Author:

Lisa Cowden is coauthor of SWEETNESS AND LIGHT. Her cut-paper illustrations have appeared in many publications, including the NEW YORK TIMES. She resides in New York.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Garlic Breadsticks

These breadsticks are slender and crisp, rich with the savory flavor of garlic, and they make a very attractive presentation at the table. My mother-in-law used to say that being "thin, rich, and beautiful" was something to aspire to, and these breadsticks have it all.

1 package dry yeast 1 cup lukewarm water 4 teaspoons olive oil About 2 1/4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour 1/4 tablespoon pressed garlic 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling Cornmeal for sprinkling

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. Stir and let stand until foamy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil and beat in H cup of the flour. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 3 teaspoons oil in a small skillet. Stir in the garlic and cook until lightly browned. Cool for 3 to 4 minutes and add it to the flour mixture. Stir in the 1 teaspoon salt. Gradually stir in about 1 1/2 cups flour. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead in the remaining 1/4 cup flour, or more as needed, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly buttered medium bowl, grease the surface, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until almost doubled in size.

At least 15 minutes before you bake, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Sprinkle a baking sheet with the cornmeal and set aside.
Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Roll out each piece into a log about 10 inches long. Cut each log into 8 to 10 pieces. Roll out each piece into a thin, 10-inch "stick" and transfer to the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Makes 16-20 breadsticks
Belgian Endive and Boston Lettuce Salad with Savory Orange Dressing

Elegant greens arranged in individual servings, this salad is more for "dining" than eating dinner.

4 small Belgian endives 1 head Boston lettuce, rinsed and dried Savory Orange Dressing

1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts (page 38)

Trim and cut the endives in half lengthwise and separate the leaves. Tear the Boston lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Arrange the greens on individual plates. Drizzle the dressing over the greens, and garnish with the hazelnuts.

Serves 4

~ Savory Orange Dressing ~

Try this exotic orange dressing with baby beets as well as with endive salad.

1/4 cup canola oil 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar 1/4 teaspoon grated orange rind 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a small, tightly lidded jar. Shake well. The dressing will keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Makes about 1/3 cup

-- Copyright (C) 2000 by Lisa Cowden. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.

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