COOKING WITH FLOWERS by Jenny Leggatt

COOKING WITH FLOWERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Most previous books on this subject have been small, winsome, and modestly aimed. This more ambitious treatment has large elements of bad and good. Its biggest lack is a systematic listing and description of various blossoms from any culinary standpoint. Despite some material on crystallizing and drying flowers or using them in tisanes (teas), the real focus is visual. The accessory floral overkill of the color photographs often drowns out the flowers in the actual dishes. The recipes vary greatly; who can taste two teaspoons of chopped violets in a dressing containing a cup of yogurt and 1/4 cup of blue cheese? Salads, stir-fry dishes, and pastas often gravitate toward arbitrary-sounding color-for-color's-sake notions. But then Leggatt also provides delightful uses of traditional flowering herbs: lavender shortbread, cold cherry soup with sweet woodruff, mackerel and gooseberries with elderflowers. No one could cook literally from these recipes, with their dubious proportions and badly judged seasonings. The vague directions will leave novices high and dry; American cooks will often have no idea what plant or ingredient is meant; the Imperial/metric/American equivalent measurements are sometimes just plain wrong (especially with sugars). If you can't cook from your own knowledge, forget it. If you can, you may be able to tap into Leggatt's real imagination and charm.

Pub Date: June 19th, 1987
Publisher: Fawcett/Ballantine