By Todd English and Sally Sampson
He is the James Beard Foundation's 1994 "Best Chef of the Northeast" and the recipient of the Robert Mondavi Award for Culinary Excellence. He is chef/owner of Olives and four locations of Figs, all award-winning restaurants in the Boston area. His first cookbook, also co-authored with Sally Sampson, the best-selling Olives Table, focused on the sophisticated, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine of Olives, and his second Olives restaurant is opening in the much-anticipated Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas this fall. In short, Todd English is a very busy man. But he is a busy man who stops time to practice the art of the family supper.
In The Figs Table: More Than 100 Recipes for Pizzas, Pastas, Salads, and Desserts, Todd English brings the "flinkier, everyday food" of his Figs restaurants to families everywhere. Here is the food that English cooks with his wife and three children, food he serves at the casual, family-friendly Figs, a restaurant renowned for its pizza, pasta, and other soul-pleasing foods. Co-author Sally Sampson, who also partnered with English on The Olives Table, once again joins Todd in the kitchen, cooking by his side, to translate his popular and accessible Figs recipes for the home cook.
The Figs Table celebrates and elevates family suppers at home with everything from soups, salads, salsas, spreads and dressings, to America's favorite dinner food, pasta and pizza. Start with the simple taste of English's Basic Tomato Sauce, then begin exploring dishes that layer flavors-English's trademark style-like Portobello, Porcini, and Button Mushroom Purée on pasta and Spaghetti with Hazelnuts and Green Beans. Serve polenta on the side instead of mashed potatoes. Heat up a pot of Black Bean Chili, a lighter version of heavy beef chili that is perfect served alone or atop chicken hotdogs. Set the casserole dish aside and stir up a risotto.
Figs is notorious for its pizza, so good that it's hard to pass by. In The Figs Table, English begins with something traditional—Oliver's Pizza, named after his son and helper, and coincidentally, the most popular pizza offered at Figs. From there, the pizzas get a bit more sophisticated with scrumptious recipes for Figs & Prosciutto Pizza (an example of English's classic style); Pizza with Portobello Mushrooms, Mushroom Purée, Tomatoes and Fontina Cheese (Figs' second most popular pizza); Clam Pizza (made famous by Pepe's in New Haven, CT), and Isabelle's Pizza (named after English's daughter whose favorite foods are asparagus, baked ham and caramelized onions).
The Figs Table covers the entire meal from starters to desserts and is filled with such inventive dishes as Fennel, Watermelon, and Black Olive Salad with Feta Cheese; Couscous Carbonara with Country Ham; Creamy Cheddar and Spinach Polenta; Roasted Fennel and Shrimp Risotto; Spicy Spinach Pizza with Marinated Tomatoes and Feta Cheese, and mouth-watering desserts like White-Chocolate Challah Pudding, Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti, and Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake. The Figs Table also includes sections on The Figs Pantry—dry goods and spices; The Figs Kitchen-tools and equipment, pots and pans and knives as well as mail order sources to make shopping easier.
The Figs Table
More Than 100 Recipes for
Pizzas, Pastas, Salads, and Desserts
By Todd English and Sally Sampson
Simon & Schuster
Hardback, Price: $25.00
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created February 1999
Copyright © 1994-2017,