Diane Forley's book, The Anatomy of a Dish, deals with the way ingredients, and in particular vegetables, are used to form the basis of dishes. Where it is not uncommon for a chef to take a piece of meat or fish and build a dish around it, Diane has taken the completely opposite tack; building dishes up from a single, seasonal vegetable, combining them scientifically into a masterpiece.
So it is no surprise that the book starts with the individual vegetables. Within the first chapter, there are many recipes that are based on a single vegetable, as in Fried Artichoke Leaves or Kale Pesto. Then we move to the combining of tastes in Salads. The chapter devoted to the salad combined both composed salads, or a combination of raw and cooked, and green salads. As Diane states, and any chef been honest would testify, Green Salads are the hardest to make. Here, though, help is at hand, as the book contains tables and notes to identify the flavours of each type of salad ingredient. It is this scientific approach in developing the dishes that is used throughout the book, assisting us to build dishes well balanced in flavour.
Beyond Salads, there are chapters on Soups and Stews, Seeds: Grain and Pasta, Savory Pastries and Breads within the Building a Dish section. Then, once you have the basics of how to combined ingredients, the book develops this knowledge in part II, called developing a Menu. This is where you will start to develop Fish and Meat Dishes, such as Halibut with Tomato-Cumin Sauce and Seared Sirloin with Mushroom Worcestershire, along with the Desserts. This is presented with notes and charts to help you understand the way dishes are put together.
The book is not be for everyone. It is aimed at the cook that wants to develop their cookery skills through planing and forethought. Diane has been formally trained, and she has imparted those cookery skills and knowledge, which will allow the reader to develop their own rigour to the planning and execution of recipes and dishes.