As the days warm, I excitedly ready my cucumber seedlings to plant.
Positioning them gently in pots of soil in my yard, I can’t help but already hunger for their snappy crunch and refreshing juiciness to use in salads of all kinds.
Including “Cucumber, Dates, Pistachios,” that’s as simple and straightforward as its name implies.
This light, bright salad is from “Very Good Salads” (Smith Street Books, 2022), of which I received a review copy.
It’s by Shuki Rosenboim and Louisa Allan, who own the proudly named Very Good Falafel in Melbourne, Australia, a tiny 20-seat cafe where falafel is a staple but the salads change regularly with the whim of the seasons.
The cookbook showcases 52 of those vibrant salads and vegetable dishes, from “Broad Bean and Macadamia-Stuffed Artichokes” in spring and “Frozen Grapes, Herbs, Zucchini Flowers” in summer to “Roasted Quince, Pearl Barley, Walnut, Pistachio, Saffron” in autumn and “Beetroot Dip, Pistachio Hazelnut Dukkah” in winter.
Take a go at dishes such as “Mustardy Green Beans with Anchovyed Walnuts,” “One-Pot Chicken with Dates and Caramelized Lemons,” “Kimchi-Braised Pork with Sesame and Egg Yolk” and “Salted Honey Panna Cotta with Crushed Raspberries.”