I was a deprived child. Severely deprived. My mother was deathly allergic to garlic. So I grew up with no garlic. Not a sliver. Imagine spaghetti and meatballs with no garlic. Never a Caesar Salad.
I remember being 23 and having my first bite of this cousin to onions. The fire was intense. My addiction was immediate.
Around the world, garlic is a key ingredient. Not quite as prominent as salt, I know, but it’s right there on that second tier of ingredients we use, not for substance or bulk, but rather for the ability to convey flavor and elevate a dish from ordinary to captivating.
Accomplished London author Jenny Linford takes us on a garlic odyssey in her latest book. The very word garlic has a fun meaning. It comes from the Anglo-Saxon gar, meaning spear and referring supposedly to the plant’s leaves but almost surely as well to the sharpness of flavor.
There’s some garlic lore at the beginning of the book, along with tips for buying and handling. It’s the 65 recipes here, from all around the world, that merit your consideration. Here’s a baker’s dozen, my candidates for first testing out this book:
Roast Garlic and Beet Soup
Roast Garlic Crab Tart
Roast Garlic Rosemary Focaccia
Ajo Blanco or White Gazpacho [bread, almonds, grape, and garlic]
Spanish Style Garlic Baked Beans with Chorizo
Kimchi Pancake with Black Garlic Crème Fraiche
Malay Garlic and Chile Prawns
Wild Garlic Goat Cheese Flan
Grilled Garlic Mussels
Wild Garlic Sweet Potato Mash
Black Risotto with Garlic Prawns
Rosemary, Garlic and Fennel Roast Pork Loin
Garlicky Chicken Livers with Pomegranate Molasses
The happy genius of Garlic is that, while there are some old recipe friends here to be sure, most of the recipes are new ones for me. And, in addition to being new, the garlic presence here has been carefully embedded. Take that Wild Garlic Goat Cheese Flan. No sane amount of garlic can overwhelm goat cheese, of course, but enough garlic can make the flan accelerate in new flavor dimensions. A garlic lover, Jenny has used her decades of garlic cooking experience to introduce us to recipes honed for garlic enjoyment.
If you don’t have an allergy like Mom, then you should not wait. New experiences, new favorite dishes await you in Garlic. One clove at a time.
Diane Morgan has written 17 cookbooks. Do I have every one of them? No, just a majority. She wins awards but more importantly, she will win your heart.
Her latest book is Salmon, a head to tail tour of this unique fish. We all eat salmon. Well, most of us. Go to a wedding or a bar mitzvah, and salmon is somewhere on your table. Maybe in front of you, may next to you. You can’t miss salmon. There’s the color, of course. And the smell. No matter how prepared, “salmon” means fish to many of us.
The first quarter of this book is not recipes for salmon but the facts you need to know about salmon. The chapter Essentials talks about the life cycle of salmon, different species, wild versus farm-raised, and all the health benefits. Once you have bought or caught you salmon, you need the Preparation Primer to help you know how to store and prep the salmon before the cooking gets serious.
There are five chapters devoted to recipes. Raw and Cured lets you avoid the stove and the stovetop. So here you’ll find ideas like:
Salmon Carpaccio with Celery Root Slaw
Salmon Tartare with Fresh Herbs and Cucumber Ribbons
In On the Stove Top, quick but excellent recipes are provided. And, you just might be invested in stove-top smoker!
Wine-Poached Salmon Steak
Crisp Rice-Coated Salmon with Citrus Siracha Sauce
Salmon Stir-Fry with Snow Peas and Shiitake Mushrooms
Whether it is a simple smoking or a richly diverse stir-fry, that dominant salmon taste is never lost.
If you go from the stove top to In the Oven, the ideas become more complex, more rich:
Whole Roasted Salmon with Lemon, Fennel, and Onion
Salmon Baked in Parchment with Tomatoes and Corn
Panko-Crusted Salmon Cakes with Jicama Orange Slaw
Outdoors, on our grills, we often go for beef but salmon is a wonderful protein choice. So On the Grill suggests for you:
Whole Salmon with Lemon and Bay Laurel
Alder-Planked Salmon with Lemon, Rosemary, and Thyme
Salmon Grilled on a Bed of Herbs
Salmon flavor lasts and lasts. Salmon leftovers can be spectacular. So, you can do one of the whole salmon recipes here and then, in a day or two, use the leftovers in creative, delicious ways:
Salmon Hash with Yukon Gold Potatoes and Herbs
Poached Eggs and Smoked Salmon on tapenade Mayonnaise-Smeared Bread
Salmon Salad Rolls
This post ends with a picture, those Salmon Salad Rolls. You may have been to a Thai place and marveled at these kinds of dishes. Now, all you have to do is  buy a whole salmon,  buy this book, and  make some Hoisin-Peanut Dipping Sauce. You’ll see the recipe here tomorrow. Get your salmon ready! Oh, yes, get Salmon. It’s as bright as a freshly caught Chinook.