Occasionally, I buy a cookbook because I like the title, rather than because I know anything about the author or having a recommendation. This was a title-based purchase, and it’s full of curious recipes that I wouldn’t have invented. Watercress cream, anyone? Quince and coriander jelly with your peanut butter?

Unfortunately, this may be one of the least exciting blends in the book, 400 Sauces. It’s quite mild, focusing on the artichoke flavor with just a hint of complementary flavor from the garlic and cumin. Third 79 cookbooks recipe? Success, as a pleasant standard. I believe it would work particularly well to balance spicy or strongly flavored spreads on a appetizer platter.

Artichoke and Cumin Spread

2 cans artichokes (plain, not marinated) (frozen likely work well too, just defrost)
2 cloves garlic, raw or roasted
1/2 tsp cumin
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: pinch smoked paprika

Drain the artichoke. Process in a food processor with garlic, cumin, and oil. Add oil as needed to create a texture similar to hummus. Season with salt and pepper, and top with a little paprika.

Atkinson, Catherine, Christine France and Maggie Mayhew. 400 Sauces. Hermes House: 2010. P 111.

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