by Frank Browning, Sharon Silva
Ten Speed Press, $16.99, 151 pages
Add balsamic vinegar and good olive oil into a jar. Shake well and you made a vinaigrette dressing. In this cookbook two authors blend their excellent food writing skills in a mixture of stories, history, foods, cooking and recipes — like the spices and herb of a simple salad dressing.
An Apple Harvest is a delight to read with 15 introductory pages giving the authors’ background (apple orchards in eastern Kentucky and northern California) and apple history, including apple derivatives: cider, calvados and applejack. Lovely illustrations and descriptions of the 26 most popular apples follow. Good headers precede each recipe with more stories, history and ingredient notes. Many recipes are accompanied by breathtaking professional full-page color photos. Most of the recipes are reasonably simple and down-to-earth (made up of easy-to-find ingredients) that home cooks have no problem following. Many are based on the French cuisine, others from cuisines originating around the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, some recipes require you to turn the page to follow. Single-ingredient cookbooks are not always successful but this one is an exception. Apples may be the main ingredient of a recipe or simply one of many ingredients. The index is excellent and well cross-referenced.