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It is no wonder why Californians hold the secret to making the perfect salad: lettuce and all types of greens are one of the major crops coming out of California, and who better to trust in handling these greens with care? Lifelong Californian Michele Anna Jordan is, according to Mollie Katzen, "the quintessential expert on California cuisine" and first channeled this expertise into the successful book, California Home Cooking. Since then, she has been perfecting her salad-making craft over several decades as a chef, caterer, food columnist, and cookbook author. In Vinaigrettes and Other Dressings, she shares her wisdom about the most critical component in any salad: its dressing. About half of the recipes in Vinaigrettes and Other Dressings are riffs on the classic vinegar-and-olive-oil vinaigrette. But Michele take the formula in surprising and delicious directions, sometimes by using flavored vinegars (either store-bought or flavored by the home cook), sometimes by using dark vs. light or mild vs. strong olive oils, sometimes by switching out the olive oil for another oil, and always by adding flavoring elements like berries, citrus, honey, bacon, nuts, mustard and even wines and sherries (There is a whole art to selecting the right wines to make a given dressing, and the California-bred Jordan has the perfect skills here, too.). The remaining recipes include: milk- or cream-based dressings, dressings that start with a base of finely pureed fruits or vegetables, and dressings that feature a distinctively flavored oil, such as walnut oil or hazelnut oil. While the emphasis is on dressings for green salads and which greens pair best with each dressing, there are ample ideas for other uses, such as green bean, potato, and other veggie salads, as well as fruit salads and dinner salads that include meats or fish. The recipes will be accompanied by colorful photographs, and plenty of tips to guide the home cook’s creativity in the kitchen.

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