Oh my goodness. Do download it and let us know what you think.
I downloaded it as ordered to do :)
The first chapter I read in detail, the rest I just glanced through, so my impressions are mainly based on that first part, though the rest of the book appeared to uphold the same standards.
As with all McLagan's books, it is both very well researched and written with many facts, anecdotes and personal experiences interspersing the recipes. The photography is great, it manages to make raw produce look appetizing — which asks much more craftsmanship than making plated dishes look good.
The first chapter is about bitter greens, and provides a number of different recipes for endives, chicory, dandelions and radicchio (it is the right time of the year for a number of those,and i actually still have some chicory in my garden!). Some of the recipes are the old and trusted familiars (Belgian endives with ham), some are new but sound doable, even for a family with kids (chicory with anchovy dressing) whereas others seem outright adventurous (a chicory & blood orange combination). For the crew here, the difficulty level should not be an issue at all, and a multitude of recipes lend themselves for elaboration.
Yesterday we made as a variant on a one of the recipes chicory with a warm gorgonzola sauce, which the adults liked and the facial expression of the kids were more or less kept in check while eating (at times to be considered a major success!).
The only peeve I have with Bitter is that it appears to be rather US/American centered (surprisingly, as written by an Aussie living in Canada!). Some of the 'hard to find', 'uncommon' and 'new on the market here' produce was prepared way back then by my mom, who is far from an adventurous cook.
That being said, the second chapter starts of with a number of beer based recipes and I am very much looking forward to having a very close look at them tonight. All in all I can heartily recommend Bitter by McLagan, especially at the rather modest price piont.
Edited by fvandrog, 13 November 2014 - 07:36 AM.