Bitter: A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes by Jennifer McLagan

Search this book for Recipes »

Notes about this book

This book does not currently have any notes.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Fernet-Branca chicken livers

    • wester on April 04, 2015

      The taste of the Fernet Branca was very subdued here, which surprised me as it's such a strong taste on its own. I'm not sure if I want to make it again with more Fernet Branca or if I'll just drink the rest instead of cooking with it. If you don't like bold flavors but you do happen to have some Fernet Branca, it might be just right for you.

  • Celery and olive salad

    • wester on July 13, 2020

      This was nice and easy to make. The flavors are very strong, which I liked but not everybody in the family did.

    • Barb_N on January 03, 2016

      For a simple recipe, the prep is time consuming but so worth it. I increased the lemon juice and added parlsley leaves instead of oregano to augment the small amount of celery my celery heart yielded. So crisp and bracing, a great foil for a rich entree. I served with pomegranate molasses basted chicken thighs.

  • Celery and arugula leaf salad

    • wester on February 26, 2015

      Very strong flavors, which I liked but the children didn't.

  • Tarragon roasted celery

    • wester on November 07, 2014

      Very tasty. Works with dried tarragon as well. The roasting time given is way too long - half an hour was plenty.

  • Braised young turnips

    • sheepishjen on April 19, 2017

      This is a tasty and nuanced way to cook baby turnips. I preferred this to the recipe in Roots, though it is also good.

  • Tea-infused prunes

    • CynthiasCooking on February 13, 2019

      These made a lively rich sauce. The Earl Grey I used was old. It didn't come through much. I think fresher would be better.

  • Braised puntarella chicory

    • Omsafeeya on November 15, 2021

      lovely bitter side dish.

  • Bitter greens ravioli

    • infotrop on April 02, 2018

      Really helpful technique for making ravioli with wonton wrappers. Also best sauce. I stuffed some of the wontons with a roasted and mashed squash-sage-shallot stuffing.

  • Cardoon beef tagine

    • infotrop on October 24, 2018

      Since I couldn't find cardoons (but will keep looking; really curious to try them now), I used rutabaga and celery as McLagan suggests. Made this in my pressure cooker, adding celery at end with a bit of cornstarch to thicken the yummy sauce.

  • Brussels sprouts, bacon, and chestnuts

    • mjes on December 04, 2019

      This recipe is how you get everyone to eat the Brussels sprouts - this is my standard go-to recipe.

You must Create an Account or Sign In to add a note to this book.

Reviews about this book

  • Boston Globe by T. Susan Chang

    Overall, it’s a book with ambition and sometimes disconcerting scope, and it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, which you may find you like more than you thought you would.

    Full review

    ...the gorgeous photography is enough to convince any cook to pick up a pan... Bitter is a timely work. But, more importantly, it’s a beautifully utilitarian cookbook.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • Walnut cake

    • Cookbooks for Dinner by T. Susan Chang

      Oranges and walnuts! a match made in heaven. That plus a faintly chewy, profoundly buttery crumb. It was like the darker and more glamorous cousin of a financier.

      Full review
  • Horseradish and avocado quenelles

    • Fine Cooking

      Mash avocado, mix in horseradish, and shape into quenelles for an elegant side. The avocado is a great vehicle for carrying the bitter root's flavor. Try them alongside grilled shrimp.

      Full review
  • ISBN 10 160774516X
  • ISBN 13 9781607745167
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Sep 16 2014
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 272
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Ten Speed Press
  • Imprint Ten Speed Press

Publishers Text

The champion of uncelebrated foods including fat, offal, and bones, Jennifer McLagan turns her attention to a fascinating, underappreciated, and trending topic: bitterness.

What do coffee, IPA beer, dark chocolate, and radicchio all have in common? They’re bitter. While some culinary cultures, such as in Italy and parts of Asia, have an inherent appreciation for bitter flavors (think Campari and Chinese bitter melon), little attention has been given to bitterness in North America: we’re much more likely to reach for salty or sweet. However, with a surge in the popularity of craft beers; dark chocolate; coffee; greens like arugula, dandelion, radicchio, and frisée; high-quality olive oil; and cocktails made with Campari and absinthe—all foods and drinks with elements of bitterness—bitter is finally getting its due.

In this deep and fascinating exploration of bitter through science, culture, history, and 100 deliciously idiosyncratic recipes—like Cardoon Beef Tagine, White Asparagus with Blood Orange Sauce, and Campari Granita—award-winning author Jennifer McLagan makes a case for this misunderstood flavor and explains how adding a touch of bitter to a dish creates an exciting taste dimension that will bring your cooking to life.

Other cookbooks by this author