THE BEST CAESAR PRODUCTION: JULIA SHERMAN’S ARTFULLY PREPARED COOKBOOK

 

On June 24 from 2-4 p.m., TenOverSix at The Joule will host a cookbook signing and cocktail hour with artist and chef Julia Sherman, author of Salad for President: A Cookbook Inspired by Artists.

Home of Shinji Masuko and Maki Toba

We all have manifold, never-used cookbooks strategically displayed in our kitchen or bookshelves; Salad for President is not one of those dust-collectors. Julia Sherman has created a truly beautiful book filled with interesting and humorous anecdotes that accompany her recipes. The tome finds Sherman visiting unusual live/work artist spaces from Kyoto to Mexico City to interview and photograph creatives as they cook together and share a meal.

What started as a blog in 2011 Salad for President, evolved into a publishing project that draws a meaningful connection between food and art.

Home of Madeleine Fitzpatrick

 

The resulting volume offers an intimate insight into the lives of artists with a uniquely vegetable-obsessed perspective.

The book includes 75 of Sherman’s own recipes as well as featured recipes from Laurie Anderson, William Wegman, Alice Waters, Tauba Auerbach, and Harry Gesner, among others.

Salad for President contains chapter titles like, “Salad in Sweatpants: Casual Meals for People Who Already Love You”, and “Salad on the Rocks: Cocktails, Soups, Desserts, and Other Abuses of the Format” making it undeniably fun to read, and playful illustrations with beautiful photographs make aesthetically pleasing to look through.

This past weekend we made the “Little Gems with Crispy Pancetta and Green Caesar Dressing” and now there’s no going back to a Caesar salad prepared at home any other way. The crispy pancetta was a perfect compliment to the green Caesar dressing. If you’d like to try one of Sherman’s recipes done by a professional,  Americano will feature Sherman’s “Peach Panzanella Salad” on their menu through June 24th.

 

Peach Panzanella Salad at Americano

Before Saturday’s signing, we caught up with Sherman as she readied for her multi-city book tour.

PATRON: Dallas is known for its BBQ, steaks, Tex-Mex and arguably the best tacos North of the border. Given that heritage what recipe(s) would you suggest to Dallas residents?

JULIA SHERMAN: Oh man, the flank steak salad with miso kimchi dressing is one of my all-time favorites. You get your protein in there, and the dressing is so simple and clean (miso, kimchi, water and a little oil), but somehow tastes like Doritos! For some South of the border influence, the soft eggs, radishes, and avocado with peanut pasilla salsa is a showstopper. Seriously, I have never seen people lap up a sauce like they do this one. It has dried shrimp, nuts, roasted garlic and dried chiles in there, and it’s amazing on tacos, crudités, sandwiches, anything really.

P: What is your favorite recipe in the book? 

JS: That’s like asking which is your favorite child. I would say, if there is one that I am the proudest of, it would be the melon with olive-oil fried sage and sea salt. It’s so simple, something anyone can make, but really makes you feel like you have your life together.

Watermelon Wedges with Bronze Fennel,
Olive Oil, and Flaky Sea Salt

P: Which artist featured in the book offered the most noteworthy experience? 

JS: Hmm, again, so many crazy characters to choose from! I loved making a salad with artist/activist Ron Finley in South Central Los Angeles.

Artist Ron Finley featured in Salad for President

He started an urban farming movement when he was fined by the city for growing a garden in the public median outside his home, an area of LA that is considered a food desert. He fought back, and now he has this rag-tag urban veggie farm out on the sidewalk, and if you hang out there for a couple of hours, people just come in streams to meet him and thank him for his work. He had a big banana tree growing right there, so we picked one of the blossoms and used that to create a Vietnamese banana blossom salad. One of my favorite salads of all time…

P: Which artist(s) are next on your radar?

JS: Well, I just made a candy salad with painter Will Cotton. I have always loved his work (most widely known for his painting of beautiful girls on cotton candy clouds, and the Katy Perry album cover where she wore a whipped-cream bikini). It’s always incredible to have this very intimate experience with someone who you have admired from afar. And, I love when people subvert the salad prompt. Will candied kale and chard for the base of his salad, added marshmallows instead of croutons, and candied pecans and flower petals as garnish. Genius.

P: What’s next for you? New projects/artwork?

JS: I am working on a web series with a documentary filmmaker friend. It’s top secret, but it’s going to be awesome. I think the salad making format, the characters I find and the spaces I end up in, really lend themselves to video…and another book, of course.

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