Want to avoid advertising?

Join as Premium member »

Excerpts from The Silver Spoon Quick and Easy Italian Recipes

Summer rice salad

The Silver Spoon is the most influential and successful cookbook in Italy. Originally published in 1950, it became an instant classic. Translated and updated in 2005 by Phaidon, it is considered to be essential in every household. It was the first in a series of Silver Spoon-related cookbooks from Phaidon. The latest is The Silver Spoon: Quick and Easy Italian Recipes. In addition to offering a generous discount to EYB Members, Phaidon has graciously given us three recipe excerpts from the book to share with you. (You can also enter our contest for your chance to win a copy of the book.) Without further ado, here are three recipes from the book:

Pappardelle with Cauliflower and Gorgonzola
Pappardelle con Cavolfiori e Gorgonzola

Serves 4
Preparation 10 min
Cooking 25 min

1½ cups (7 oz/200 g) cauliflower florets
1½ tablespoons (¾ oz/20 g) butter
5 oz/150 g Gorgonzola cheese, diced
3-4 tablespoons milk (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
10 oz/275 g fresh pappardelle
1/3 cup (1 oz/25 g) grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Parboil the cauliflower in a medium saucepan of salted, boiling water for 5 minutes, then remove, using a slotted spoon, reserving the cooking water.

Melt the butter with the Gorgonzola in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously and adding a little milk, if necessary. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove the pan from the heat.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan. Add the garlic and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for a few minutes until lightly browned. Remove the garlic and discard. Add the cauliflower to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the thyme and season with salt and pepper.

Cook the pappardelle in the reserved cooking water, adding more boiling water, if necessary, for 2-3 minutes until al dente. Drain and add to the skillet with the cauliflower. Stir in the Gorgonzola mixture, remove from the heat, and serve sprinkled with the grated Parmesan. 

Summer Rice Salad
Riso in Insalata Estivo

Serves 4
Preparation 10 min
Cooking 20 min

1½ cups (11 oz/300 g) instant (easy-cook) rice
9 oz/250 g canned tuna in oil, drained and flaked
7 oz/200 g Gruyère cheese, diced
4 tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon, strained
8 pickled pearl (silverskin) onions
8 baby artichoke hearts or quarters in oil, drained
salt and pepper

Cook the rice in a medium saucepan of salted, boiling water until tender, then drain, rinse under cold running water, and drain again.

Meanwhile, put the tuna, cheese, tomatoes, and capers into a salad bowl. Add the rice and mix well so that it soaks up the flavors.

Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl, then pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Finally, mix in the onions and artichokes and season to taste. Store in a cool place, but not in the refrigerator, until ready to serve.

CookiesCinnamon Cookies
Biscotti alla Cannella

Makes 30
Preparation 20-25 min
Cooking 15 min, plus cooling

2 cups (9 oz/250 g) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (4½ oz/130 g) superfine (caster) sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for rolling
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus 1 tablespoon for rolling, and 1 teaspoon for dusting (optional)
zest of 1 lemon, grated
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4. Sift (sieve) the flour with the baking powder  and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Make a well in the center, pour in the oil and eggs, and mix until well combined. You might need to squeeze the dough together with your hands.

Line a baking sheet with parchment (baking) paper. On a plate, mix together the ground cinnamon and the sugar for rolling. Shape the dough into balls, roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, then transfer to the baking sheet and flatten slightly.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, let the cookies cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tidy up the edges with a cookie cutter and dust with cinnamon, if preferred.


Cookbook giveaway - The Silver Spoon Quick and Easy Italian Recipes

Silver SpoonThe publisher of the world's most trusted and bestselling Italian cookbook has just released the latest title in the Silver Spoon series of books, The Silver Spoon Quick and Easy Italian Recipes. This book is aimed at making easy and delicious meals in minutes. Each thoroughly tested recipe is accompanied by a colourful photograph. Recipes range from classics such as spaghetti carbonara and mushroom risotto to fish, soups, and luxurious desserts. You can peek inside The Silver Spoon Quick and Easy Italian Recipes with three recipes excerpts available on the EYB blog.

We're delighted to offer five copies of the book to EYB Members worldwide. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post:

What quick pasta dish is your favorite go-to easy dinner?

Please note that you must be signed into the Rafflecopter contest before posting the comment or your entry won't be counted. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends November 4, 2015.

A new use for the old can of beans

 Vegan meringue

Canned beans are a time-saving shortcut to great dishes like hummus. But did you know that you can also use the liquid from those beans to make great desserts? According to The Washington Post, bean liquid can be used as an egg white substitute to make things like a vegan meringue.

This discovery has been credited to Joël Roessel, a 34-year-old opera tenor and vegan. He wanted to create a vegan version of floating islands, the merginue dessert.  Roessel published this discovery on his blog, Révolution Végétale, in late 2014, and "the concept quickly began to catch on with others, including Goose Wohlt. The American software engineer is credited with coining the word "aquafaba" - "aqua" for water and "faba" for beans - to describe the ingredient that most people simply pour down the sink."

In March, Wohlt posted his version of a vegan baked meringue, created from the liquid from a can of chickpeas and sugar, to the Facebook group "What Fat Vegans Eat". People there have run with the concept, using liquid drained from a variety of canned or cooked beans to create fluffy meringues and other treats like macarons and even Yorkshire pudding. No less an authority than Rose Levy Beranbaum has taken up the mantle, creating a vegan meringue recipe (pictured above). If any of you has tried this, we'd love to hear about your successes or failures with the concept.

Food styling pro tips

Salted chocolate caramel tart

It's been said that the internet was made for sharing photos of cats. For foodies, it seems like it was tailored for sharing food photos. Most of us have uploaded a photo or two to social media, whether as part of a blog or more informally. If you've ever wanted to make those food photos look like the ones in your favorite blogs and magazines, Serious Eats has the answers. They've assembled the best food styling tips to make those pictures swoon-worthy.

The first place to start, says food stylist Jason Schreiber, is with the food itself. "Not everything needs to be picture perfect," notes Schreiber, "but look for ingredients that are unblemished and have good shapes, especially if you'll be showcasing them raw." He likes shopping at farmers' markets, where you are likely to find more variety than the supermarket. 

If you can tell a story with your process, that may be even more visually appealing than the final product.  "Sometimes," Schrieber says, "the process is more interesting than the final product-you'll learn more about a spice rub when you can see the individual components being measured than when you just see a bunch of dry ingredients mixed together in a bowl."

The article also discusses the use of garnishes (keep them realistic; no one is going to eat an entire sprig of rosemary on a tart), the food stylist's tool kit (X-Acto knives and brushes make the short list), and other tips. Follow these rules and you'll be well on your way to great food photos.

Photo of Salted chocolate caramel tart from indexed blog Serious Eats

All-star dessert flavors

Tish BoyleTish Boyle is the editor of Dessert Professional magazine and the former editor of Chocolatier. She is the author of several books on baking and pastry, including Diner Desserts, The Good Cookie, and The Cake Book. Her articles and recipes have appeared in such publications as the Fine Cooking and Food & Wine, and Every Day with Rachael Ray. An experienced pastry chef who trained at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris, she frequently serves as a judge in pastry competitions. Tish has just released a new cookbook called Flavorful: 150 Irresistable Desserts in All-Time Favorite Flavors. (Enter our contest for your chance to win a copy - US only.) The book explores recipes based on the nine most popular flavors in desserts. We asked Tish about the inspiration for her new cookbook:

You have written many dessert cookbooks, both professional level and for home cooks.  Where does Flavorful fall on the spectrum?

Flavorful is for the home cook. I included lots of details in the recipes, such as physical cues (i.e., "Bake the brownies until they are no longer shiny on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it."), so that novices as well as accomplished bakers can make them successfully. I find these details are particularly important when you're making something for the first time and aren't really sure what it's supposed to look like at various stages.

You have organized the book by what you consider the most popular dessert flavors. What are they and what are your own favorite flavors for desserts?

The nine flavors are: Vanilla; Berries & Cherries; Apples; Citrus; Sweet Cheese (think cheesecake); Nuts; Caramel; Coffee; and Chocolate. As for my personal favorites, I love dark chocolate desserts most of all, with citrus ones falling as a close second. Give me a devil's food layer cake with lots of creamy dark chocolate frosting or a chocolate pot de crème topped with whipped cream and I'm in hog heaven. If I'm eating a lemon or lime flavored dessert, it has to be fairly tart - nothing mamby pamby for me!

What is your own professional training?

After college I went to La Varenne École de Cuisine in Paris for nine months. From there I worked as a cook on a luxury barge that traveled the canals of Burgundy. It might sound idyllic, but it was hard work! I cooked lunch and dinner for 30 people, without any help, and I had to do the shopping, too. That job convinced me that I still had a lot to learn about professional cooking, so I went to New York and worked in a few restaurants to get some experience and hone my skills.

Have you ever worked as a pastry chef?

Yes, I worked as a pastry chef at Club Med for a year, where we served up to 1000 people during the peak season. There was no time to do anything too elaborate there - we made basic cakes, pies and fruit tarts, served buffet style. There was a fabulous French boulanger there who made all the bread and croissants, so I tried to learn as much as I could from him in my free time.

Where do you get inspiration for the flavor combinations in the book?

I tried to avoid flavor combinations that were too sophisticated or strange. I wasn't looking to impress readers with avant garde desserts; I wanted to create a collection of recipes that feature flavors that people love and return to time and again. There are a few flavors in the Vanilla chapter that might not be considered mainstream (i.e., Honey vanilla chamomile ice cream or Vanilla bean panna cotta with strawberries and lavender), but that's about it. While I am inspired by the creative flavor pairings in the desserts of great pastry chefs, I am very practical about what most people really like and want to eat!

What tips you do have for home cooks who may be intimidated by the precision required in baking?

  1. Read the recipe through completely before you even grease a pan or turn the oven on. You don't want any surprises along the way, and you should make sure you understand every step in the recipe.
  2. For baking and dessert-making, don't deviate from the recipe too much. Even small changes -- like using cake flour instead of all-purpose flour or baking soda instead of powder - can wreak havoc on baked goods. (If you feel the need to be creative, do it with your meatloaf recipe.)
  3. When baking, it's always best to weigh ingredients instead of using volume measurements, particularly with flour. For example, adding too much flour can make your cake dry; too little can cause it to fall.
  4. Pay close attention to qualifiers in the ingredient list, such as "softened" butter; "melted" chocolate; or "room temperature" eggs. Prepare each ingredient as necessary before beginning the recipe steps.
  5. Don't bake when you're in a hurry - you're more likely to make a mistake and it will show in your dessert. You should enjoy the process, otherwise you might as well pick something up from the bakery.
  6. For a special event, choose a dessert that can be made well ahead of time (preferably the day before). That will free you up to focus on the rest of your prep.

Which are your own favorite desserts in the book - one for every day and one for special occasions?

My Favorite Key Lime Pie is one of the easiest recipes in the book and also (as its name suggests) one of my all-time favorites. The filling is ultra-creamy, owing to my trick of folding a softly whipped egg white into it right before baking. For special occasions I'll make the Devil's Food Layer Cake with Milk Chocolate Malt Frosting (I defy you not to love this), or the Chocolate Caramel Almond Tart.

What desserts will be on your Thanksgiving table?

I'm pretty traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving. I always make the same three pies: Pecan, Pumpkin, and Lemon Meringue. I also like to make some French macarons to add to the mix - they freeze really well, so I make them the week before. Last year I made Pumpkin Macarons with Chestnut Buttercream.

Cookbook giveaway - Flavorful


Pastry chefs have a secret weapon--an insiders' list of customers' most popular flavors. While chefs may take a chance on new flavors, they make sure to include the popular flavors because they are guaranteed to go over well. In her latest cookbook, Flavorful: 150 Irresistable Desserts in All-Time Favorite Flavors, author Tish Boyle has translated the top nine favorite dessert flavors into a collection of sure-to-please recipes, with a chapter dedicated to each singular flavor. You can learn more about Tish's inspiration for the book in our author Q&A.

We're delighted to offer three copies of Flavorful to EYB Members in the US only. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post:

Other than vanilla or chocolate, which flavor do you like most in a dessert?

Please note that you must be signed into the Rafflecopter contest before posting the comment or your entry won't be counted. Entries from non-Members or from Members outside the USA will be discarded. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends November 1, 2015.

Ottolenghi on his new book...and the next one

corn cakes with beet root

The NY Times recently spent a busy morning with Yotam Ottolenghi, cookbook author extraordinaire, to discuss his latest cookbook, among other topics. As you might expect, the exuberant chef is seldom still. Being a restaurateur is no easy task in itself, but he's also a father to two young boys and still finds time to write a newspaper column and, of course, cookbooks. His most recent is Nopi: The Cookbook, which is out in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand (US fans have to wait two more weeks for theirs). Nopi features recipes that are more complicated than those in Ottolenghi's previous cookbooks.

As the Times reporter follows the chef on a busy day in his development kitchen, we learn about some of his favorite things. Not surprisingly, he is partial to several kitchen tools, like the Tamahagane Gyuto Knife and Williams-Sonoma Chef'n Citrus Juicer. Non cooking-related favorites include Sharp & Dapper Shirt Stays and Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier Original. Of the latter he says it "is a design classic. I love being out and about with my Bjorn (and my baby), feeling both his little heavy weight on my chest while staying footloose and arms free."

Even though he is now promoting his new cookbook, Ottolenghi has already identified the subject of his next book - desserts. "I think we're going to call it 'Sweets,' but we don't know yet," he says. "We might not have the last 's' there. We might have an exclamation point." What he didn't tell, however, is when that book is due to be published, so fans will have to content themselves with Nopi for now.

Photo of Corn cakes with beetroot and apple salad from Nopi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully


What your cookbook organization says about you


How do you organize your cookbooks? The answer to that question can say a lot about your personality, according to the cookbook personality test at The Kitchn. They provide 10 different personality types that correspond to how you organize the cookbooks on your bookshelves.

If your bookshelves are color-coordinated, for instance, you probably "have a joyful, illustrious soul. You prefer to live a thoughtful, beautiful life rather than one of pure reason. Experimenting in the kitchen is your strength, and you especially love cooking new things for the people you love." However, if you organize more classically by the author's last name, you might be "the A+ student who sticks to the books. You've dabbled in library sciences and once considered a career as an archivist. You just like things neat and orderly, and there's nothing wrong with that."

Other organization methods explored are subject matter, frequency of use, geographic specialty, and organizing by date of publication, and more. They even have you covered if you don't own any cookbooks (gasp!). If you use only online resources instead of books, they explain that you "are a minimalist that insists on purpose in all aspects of life. You probably live in a smaller apartment with your significant other and a cat. Your home is high-tech, with internet speeds that make your neighbors jealous."

If, like me, you have a combination of methods (I organize my books into three categories--baking, cocktails, and everything else--and then go by author's last name), perhaps you are free to choose which attributes for those methods that you like the most. Does the quiz reflect your personality based on your cookbook organization?

Featured Cookbooks & Recipes

Do you find other people's comments on recipes helpful? Have you written your own recipe Notes? It's a great way to remind yourself how a dish turned out and share your experience with the EYB community. On each Recipe Details page you'll find a Notes tab.

Adding online recipes to your EYB Bookshelf is a really great way to expand your personal recipe collection. You can now do this even if you have a free membership!

We're featuring online recipes from these books, magazines and blogs - check them out.

Happy cooking & baking everyone!
From UK books:

23 recipes from NOPI: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi & Ramael Scully

28 recipes from Everyday Super Food: Recipes for a Healthier Happier You by Jamie Oliver

19 recipes from Home Baking by Jo Wheatley

From AUS/NZ books:

5 recipes from Vegetables, Grains & Other Good Stuff by Simon Bryant

8 recipes from Everyday Delicious by Chelsea Winter

27 recipes from Wicked Sweet Indulgences by The Australian Women's Weekly

From Canadian books:

199 recipes from Canadian Living Make It Tonight: Delicious, No-Fuss Dinner Solutions for Every Cook by Elizabeth Baird & The Canadian Living Test Kitchen, indexed by an EYB member

From US books:
39 recipes from Root to Leaf: A Southern Chef Cooks Through the Seasons 
by Steven Satterfield

8 recipes from Einkorn: Recipes for Nature's Original Wheat by Carla Bartolucci,
indexed by an EYB member


Bourdain brings his travels home

BourdainAuthor and television host Anthony Bourdain has finally unveiled the plans for a retail food market that will be located on a pier in New York City. Rumors have been swirling for months that Bourdain, host of culinary travel shows like No Reservations and Parts Unkown, was planning such a venture.

Now he has confirmed that he and his partners have subleased a building known as Pier 57, located on a busy pier on the Hudson River in New York. The market won't open for about two years, according to Bourdain, but he has locked down commitments from some big names like April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman, who plan to open prepared-food stalls in the market.

The project is patterned after city markets like Pike Place Market in Seattle. Over 100 retail and wholesale vendors are envisioned, ranging from fishmongers and butchers to bakers and other artisans. But the main thrust of the project will be "a Singapore-style hawker market, with communal eating spaces surrounded by small stands selling street foods from around the world."

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!