02 January 2010

Of Cabbages and Kings Cookbook

Charlotte Turgeon died last year. I feel we didn’t give her a proper send off at Cookbook Of The Day. I am always fascinated by people who follow the same trajectory in life who end up with one becoming a household name and the other relatively unknown to the general public.

Charlotte Turgeon, though well known in the culinary community, was virtually unknown to the general public. She began her career at Smith College, traveled to France and became enthralled with French food and culture. She in 1949 she published a translation of one of the most famous French cookbooks, Tante Marie’s Kitchen, giving American cooks a trusted collections of French recipes. She was the American editor and translator of Larousse Gastronomique and the Food Editor of the Saturday Evening Post. After traveling the globe with her professor husband, they settled in Massachusetts. Sound a bit familiar?

Charlotte Turgeon’s classmate at Smith was Julia Child.

One of my favorite cookbooks of Charlotte Turgeon’s is Of Cabbages and Kings Cookbook, an ode to the cruciferous vegetable. My copy was in the hands of chef who used several of Turgeon’s recipes extensively, each page permanently folded and the recipes circled.

Two of those recipes are very close to recipes I use quite often, scalloped turnips and bacon cole slaw. Another recipe circled is for a cauliflower salad and since the chef seemed to know my style, I thought I would give this a try.

24 hour Cauliflower Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce
1 head cauliflower (uncooked)
1/2 pound of bacon
1 onion

2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Break the cauliflower into flowerets and then cut them into slices. Chop the onion.
Fry the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels and crumble into bits.
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to mix evenly.
In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the dressing and stir until blended. Pour over the salad ingredients. Do not mix. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

Charlotte Turgeon's New York Times Obituary.


  1. Hmm, I've never been a really big cabbage fan...

    To each her own.

  2. Try cooking it as an au gratin. Lightly steam the cabbage and bake it in a cheese sauce.
    You will hardly notice the cabbage.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin