When I saw "The Silver Spoon" gracing a library bookshelf, I was first stricken by its size; rarely do you see a 1,264 page cookbook. It turns out to be the self-proclaimed classic Italian cookbook, and it really does seem to cover an impressive variety of foods. While I admit I'll probably never try, for example, wild boar recipes, or some of its other seemingly offbeat dishes, I've been able to scrap ingredients for a few of the featured dishes.

Something I really enjoyed making was a green bean dish featuring lemon zest, scallions, and sesame seeds; it was acidic and incredibly savory, yet fragrant. Something I didn't enjoy was boiling the green beans excessively (something I don't enjoy is a mushy green bean), and the large amount of oil mixed in.

I hadn't made this dish for a while, until yesterday, when I was looking for a good after dinner snack, and found a bag of frozen slender green beans, and tried to recreate the flavor by memory (after all, I returned the cookbook, as any good library patron would). I heated the beans just until hot (still crispy), added about 1 tsp lemon zest, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 T butter, about 1 chopped scallion, and a pinch of salt and pepper. It was good, I think I managed to preserve the enjoyable properties of the dish while adding the freshness of crispy beans and cutting back on oils. I'll probably make this again.

But until I can get the "Silver Spoon" again, I'll check out Exploring the Silver Spoon, a resource blog documenting one woman's journey through its 2000+ recipes; something I'll probably never come close to doing with this cookbook.