Still Life with Menu Cookbook by Mollie Katzen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
If I was judging by appearances only, this would be a 5★ book.
I love the idea, as each menu looks like an it is indeed an illustrated menu from a fancy restaurant.
Design, editing & above all Katzen’s pastel drawings – all impeccable.
And this book contains my favourite pasta sauce from weird ingredients – the wonderful Spaghetti Elliana. (Page 204 -I’m noting the page number because I always have trouble finding the recipe. It is listed under spaghetti but not under Elliana, Pasta or Sauces) Who would think the (optional) anchovies, nuts, garlic, parmesan & raisins would work so well together? Katzen fell off the vegetarian wagon for this recipe!
But other than the eccentric indexing system, I just don’t like cookbooks where the the recipes are grouped by menu – in particular if the indexing isn’t perfect. I may want to choose a different selection of dishes together & having to flick randomly through a recipe book isn’t my idea of fun and is why this book is in just about immaculate condition.
The other standout recipe is the yoghurt scones – my family was very grateful that I found this one, as my NZ scones always turned out like flat pieces of cardboard. I’ve just made the Sunonomo (Japanese Cucumber & Noodles Salad) I remembered it from 20 years year ago & it is still just as good.
I’m going to try some of the eggplant recipes as eggplant very cheap in NZ this year & I just love it.
This is a cookbook I would recommend borrowing rather than purchasing. It is good, but not quite good enough to justify the shelf space.