Lindsey Bareham's book explores the allium, or onion, family to produce an authoritative and definitive guide to cooking with onions, shallots, garlic, leeks and chives.
'First take an onion...' is an instruction that begins countless recipes, yet the chemistry of the onion, its ability to build bridges for other ingredients and the way its texture, colour and flavour change with different styles of cooking, is only partly understood. In this absorbing and creative cookery book, Lindsey Bareham describes these universal ingredients in all their versatility - their varieties, their properties, hundreds of tips on how best to prepare and cook them, and how to use them for their own sake - roast garlic spread on toast and confit of onions, for instance.
Including recipes from around the world and from many of this country's leading chefs, she explains how to use alliums with other foods: from chutneys, spicy relishes and butters to soups and sauces, as well as accompanying eggs and pasta, meat and seafood.
Alliums are the most valuable vegetables for flavouring but this is the first book to be devoted to them. It will encourage all inventive cooks to treat them with respect - in the same way they learned to love the potato after the author's masterly book, In Praise of the Potato.
When In Praise of the Potato was published, Elizabeth David wrote: 'I love the book. It's full of delicious recipes and good information.' When A Celebration of Soup was published, Michael Bateman of the Independent on Sunday wrote: 'A Classic anthology of the world's great soups....looks set to become required reading.'