By: Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Publication Date: April 2007
Reviewed by: Miriam Leventhal
Review Date: September 2008
When I first began to learn how to cook I was overwhelmed with the array of cookbooks on the market. I purchased several compilations and found many of the recipes to have uneven results. You could spend an hour on a recipe only to have it turn out to be the blandest meal ever produced. In came The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. This cookbook was notable for breaking away from traditional American fare, creating celebrated innovative American recipes and incorporating fresh ingredients. It now seems like a staid proposition, but twenty-five years ago, using fresh ingredients was a novel idea.
While some cookbooks are formidable in size, The Silver Palate perfectly hits its stride with just enough recipes, covering finger food, fish, cheese, meat, dessert, vegetable and drink dishes. The most wonderful part of this book is that the recipes are uniformly fantastic. Chili for a Crowd, Minty Cucumber Salad, and the favorite, Chicken Marabella, are not only simple in their execution, they are delicious. Although I haven't made a dent in the dessert section, for fear of changing my entire diet solely to sweets, the dessert recipes I have tried are scrumptious. The book is enhanced with sidebars that explain how to cook herbs, or prepare edible flowers. The only cautionary note is that The Silver Palate includes a hefty amount of rich ingredients, which today, you can easily find substitute products and still get the same excellent results.
Quill says: Cookbooks come and go, but this one will endure for the ages.