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May 14, 2018


Celia Sin-Tien Cheng

“Saladish” is a celebration of Ilene Rosen’s influence on New York’s culinary landscape. I am thrilled that her recipes are now available to an audience worldwide. Ilene was one of the first chefs I interviewed when I started Cravings 13 years ago. I was a huge fan, one of many devoted cult followers, of her savory salad bar at City Bakery. She had a unique ease of combining diverse and vibrant flavors and textures in her beloved salads, a perfect complement to Maury Rubin’s delectable pastries. Ilene sourced mainly from Union Square Greenmarket, and the produce always spoke for themselves, but what was surprising was how she combined a wide range of flavors, including Asian ones that were familiar from my childhood. Some of the ingredients were from Chinatown markets, and she popularized unfamiliar flavors and ingredients to the mainstream. It wasn’t just Chinese ingredients, her use of spices and condiments from all different cultures combined with the fresh produce created playful dishes that worked so well. In 2013, she opened R&D Foods with Sara Dima in Brooklyn, and continued to expand her repertoire. Having recently moved to Honolulu, I am so happy to have this cookbook as my companion to recreate and learn the basics behind assembling delicious salads so I can innovate my own. What I love about this cookbook is that everything is so simply broken down, from assembly to pantry, tools, sources, and 100 recipes divided in chapters by season. Her guidelines easily teach you the concept of what works and allows you to take those building blocks to develop your own creations. There’s lots of room for growth and experimentation, which makes it all the more fun.

New Potatoes with Soft Green Herbs
Cookbook, Vegetables, Healthy Living