7/18/2018

Amazing Food from Garlic and Sapphires

On this round of Cook the Books Club we have been reading and getting inspired by Garlic and Sapphires, a Ruth Reichl memoir, hosted by moi.  Like Miss Ruth, I am a woman who goes through life seeing the comic absurdity at play all around me.  Perhaps why I so appreciate her writing.  The disguises she literally got into here!

And, I absolutely love her many transfixing culinary descriptions. For instance, on the occasion of a meal at Jean-Georges' restaurant in the Trump Tower, in a hastily put together disguise: "'A little amuse bouche as a gift from the chef,' (which should have been the clue she was made) murmured the waiter, setting down a minuscule porcini tart framed by a delicate salad of tiny herbs.  I ate slowly, first the lacy licorice-flavored chervil, then sturdy, spicy wild parsley, and finally the aggressive little fronds of dill.  Poring through them I discovered a single leaf of lamb's quarter, bits of sorrel, dandelion, chickweed.  I followed the flavors in my mind until the walls vanished and I emerged into a deep glade that grew more distinct with each bite.  It was disappointing to come out of the woods...."

At that same meal there are creamed morels, spooned over asparagus.  That certainly caught me up, along with everything else.  But, perhaps something I could manage, when asparagus is back in season.  Later, there was Salmon with a Moroccan glaze, wild mushroom dumplings, scalloped potatoes, Risotto with Lobster and rosemary, Gougeres, and so on and on, throughout this tribute to food and the inventive chefs she encountered during her tenure as food critic for the NY Times.



From the overwhelming selection, I prepared Scalloped Potatoes, Pureed Watercress, Moroccan spiced salmon, and a salad inspired by the delicate mix of tiny herbs, mentioned above.  Served at various meals. Note the bits of corn from my garden.  I didn't get much from this harvest, but it was good and made a nice addition to salads.


The Scalloped Potatoes alone (a half recipe, mind) were enough as a side for three meals, neither of us being exactly hearty eaters.  It continually amazed me reading this book, as well as her others, how much food that woman can put away at a sitting!  I am planning to make her yummy sounding hash browns, the creamed morels over asparagus, a risotto with lobster and rosemary, short ribs with horseradish dumplings, and some wild mushroom dumplings, perhaps to be served in a simple clear broth of reduced, homemade stock and wine.  We're still being inspired here.


This is my contribution for our current round of Cook the Books.  Stay tuned for the round-up after the 31st.  You still have time to read the book and join in!  This will also go over to Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking event, and to the July Foodies Read Challenge.  Stop by and sample the many goodies - books as well as good food -  at those sites.

12 comments:

Mae Travels said...

Delicious-looking foods! I din't even remember that there were recipes in the book, though I remember the anecdotes about her disguises and the reviews she wrote.

best...mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Beth F said...

I keep meaning to re-read all her memoirs via audiobook. Great food choices.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Great picks--everything looks so delicious! I am still trying to decide what to make. ;-) Yes, it does amaze me too just how much she can eat and Ruth never fails to make me hungry with her descriptive writing.

Carole said...

Scalloped potatoes are in my near future now. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

Tina said...

Those are good choices, I love this book!

Wendy Klik said...

Thanks so much for hosting. I really enjoyed this selection and there certainly was tons of food inspiration from which to choose!!

Rob said...

Really enjoyed this book. I'll have to try those Scalloped potatoes! They look delicious.

eljaybee nuiguinea said...

As always, your choice of dish preparations, tantalized my taste buds. Love the photos of your dishes. Thanks for sharing the read. Linda

Debra Eliotseats said...

Thank you for hosting this fabulous book. Every single one of the contributing dishes this round are fabulous. Reichl truly inspired!

Lynda H said...

I'm so glad you shared this recipe - it's wonder and delicious, and will be the one I use from now on.

Delaware Girl Eats said...

There were so many recipes to choose from in Reichl's book. I found it hard to decide. But more to the point, her descriptions of getting into character for restaurant review sessions were just hilarious. Good choice for the club on this one!

Simona Carini said...

You are amazing! With all that's going on in your corner of the world, you garden and harvest (corn) and cook lovely meals. Thank you :)

P.S. I hope the air quality is getting better.