Savvy Cookbooks: Whole Grains for a New Generation


My routine when I get a new cookbook involves big Post-It notes, two pens and a mug of tea.  I settle in on the floor of my office and flip through the introductions and recipes, writing down the names and page numbers of any that I think I might want to make in the next couple of months.  With a colored pen, I make note of the particularly useful sidebars and their location for future reference.

When my list is complete, I neatly transfer it to my recipe notebook.  Yes, I could just make the initial list directly in my recipe notebook, but I’m a bit too much of a neat freak when it comes to my planners and organizers for that.

Usually, the number of recipes I want to try ASAP can be counted on my fingers.  If it is a really great cookbook, it may require some toe-counting as well.  But when I flipped through Whole Grains for a New Generation:  Light Dishes, Hearty Meals, Sweet Treats, and Sundry Snacks for the Everyday Cook by Liana Krissoff, the recipe titles I jotted down filled an entire page and a half of my notebook… 49 recipes! I mean really, who could resist recipes such as Sweet Potato and Millet Cakes with Poblano Cream (page 82), Smoky Amaranth Corn Chowder (page 120), Asparagus and Kabocha Farrotto (page 173) or Cereal Bars with Yogurt (page 70)?

So far, I’ve made both the Thai Eggs with Leftover Grains (page 69) and a variation on the Spinach and Oat Groats Salad with Blue Cheese and Toasted Walnuts (page 103), and they were both smashing successes.

Thai Eggs

As for the sidebars, I loved the tips on popping your own amaranth and tempering dal. The four-page spread devoted to hot cereal toppings was particularly intriguing, with combinations ranging from “fresh sliced peaches… ground cardamom, a drizzle of half-and-half” to “Demerara sugar, a pat of butter, and a splash of Johnny Walker Red” to “crumbled goat cheese…honey, torn fresh basil or mint leaves.”

I shouldn’t be surprised by the fact that I loved so many recipes in this book, though. I adore Krissoff’s first bookCanning for a New Generation, and their parallel titles and even cover designs should have clued me in that this book would also become a regular in my rotation.

Oddly, this is the second cookbook in a row that I’ve reviewed with inaccurate page numbers.  For instance, the table of contents claims that the Main Dishes chapter begins on page 114, when it really doesn’t start until page 119. All in all, this is a minor complaint.

I give Whole Grains for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff…

5 out of 5 stars

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