Cookbook aimed at young crowd


Recipes reflect particular lifestyle

July 13, 2005|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,SUN FOOD EDITOR

A couple of years ago, Dave Lieberman was just another college student.

OK, he was a good-looking Yale University student who also just happened to know how to cook.

In his senior year, he had his own cooking show on a cable-access channel and operated a catering business. The New York Times' Amanda Hesser featured him in a story, and before you know it, the Food Network came knocking at his door.

Lieberman, 25, now has his own cooking show, Good Deal With Dave Lieberman, and his first cookbook, Young & Hungry (Hyperion, 2005, $22.95).

This is a book targeted to other twentysomethings, folks who might not yet know how to cook well, but want to make good food quickly without breaking the bank. Most of the 100 recipes are fairly standard - ribs, roast chicken, omelets, etc.

They are arranged in chapters that reflect the lifestyle of a young audience - casual sit-down dinners, dinner for two, lazy mornings, cooking for a crowd, happy hour and even "living room tailgate party."

Despite his unusually good fortune, Lieberman portrays himself in the book's introduction as just an average Joe. "I live in a cramped Manhattan apartment with a couple of friends from college days. Most of the time I work as a personal chef in the city and unwind with friends when I can.

"We hit up the bars, check out a club or two and go out to restaurants. All that stuff is great and I wouldn't want to give it up, but you know what? The best times my friends and I have usually happen when I cook up some good food and have a bunch of people over to my place to dig in."

Maybe this sounds more like a personal ad than a cookbook, but get past the introduction, and you will find some tasty recipes here, many illustrated with handsome color photos.

One of the easiest, and most interesting, is the Watermelon and Baby-Tomato Salad. Here you get a double shot of lycopene, plus a refreshing accompaniment to a summer meal.

Watermelon and Baby-Tomato Salad

Makes 12 servings

1/2 large watermelon in rind, preferably seedless

1 pint baby or grape tomatoes, washed, dried and quartered

handful of fresh basil leaves, cut into fine strips

2 handfuls of fresh mint leaves, cut into fine strips

2 tablespoons olive oil (or to taste)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or to taste)

salt to taste

Cut the watermelon in half lengthwise and then crosswise into 1/4 -inch slices. Cut off the rind.

Arrange the watermelon into pieces on a platter. Top with the tomato quarters and the basil and mint strips.

Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar.

Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and serve.

Per serving: 84 calories; 1 gram protein; 3 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 16 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram fiber; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 5 milligrams sodium

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