Pure Simple Cooking: Effortless Food Every Day by Diana Henry

Search this book for Recipes »
    • Categories: Main course; American
    • Ingredients: honey; soy sauce; limes; thyme; chicken thighs
    • Categories: Main course; Catalan
    • Ingredients: honey; ground cumin; chicken thighs; lemons; garlic
    • Categories: Main course; American
    • Ingredients: whole chicken; cherry tomatoes; potatoes; green beans; mayonnaise; fromage blanc; arugula
    • Categories: Main course; American
    • Ingredients: chicken thighs; celery; red peppers; chorizo sausages; Rioja wine; thyme; bay leaves; parsley
    • Categories: Main course; Greek
    • Ingredients: chicken breasts; Greek yogurt; feta cheese; dried dill; mint; Parmesan cheese
    • Categories: Main course; Greek
    • Ingredients: red onions; potatoes; balsamic vinegar; rosemary; whole chicken
    • Categories: Main course
    • Ingredients: whole chicken; pimentón; lemons; sweet potatoes; red onions; black olives; parsley
    • Categories: Main course; Turkish
    • Ingredients: chicken thighs; red onions; oranges; red chiles; ground coriander; cinnamon sticks; raisins; honey; mint
    • Categories: Main course; Spanish
    • Ingredients: chicken thighs; raisins; sherry; pine nuts; parsley
    • Categories: Grills & BBQ; Main course
    • Ingredients: chicken thighs; thyme; sea salt
    • Categories: Grills & BBQ; Main course
    • Ingredients: chicken thighs; red chiles; cilantro; hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide); butter
    • Categories: Grills & BBQ; Main course
    • Ingredients: chicken thighs; butter; canned anchovies; black olives
    • Categories: Rice dishes; Main course; Spanish
    • Ingredients: chicken thighs; red peppers; chorizo sausages; pimentón; dried red pepper flakes; chicken stock; Valencia rice; parsley
    • Categories: Rice dishes; Main course; Caribbean
    • Ingredients: chicken thighs; limes; thyme; hot sauce; basmati rice; mushrooms
    • Categories: Main course; African
    • Ingredients: coriander seeds; cumin seeds; harissa paste; poussins; cilantro
    • Categories: Main course
    • Ingredients: poussins; parsley; small shape pasta; peas
    • Categories: Main course
    • Ingredients: oranges; balsamic vinegar; dried oregano; lemons; poussins
    • Categories: Stuffing; Side dish
    • Ingredients: chorizo sausages; red peppers; potatoes; parsley
    • Categories: Stuffing; Side dish
    • Ingredients: fennel; potatoes; black olives; pancetta
    • Categories: Stuffing; Side dish; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: dried apricots; breadcrumbs; hazelnuts; watercress
    • Categories: Stuffing; Side dish; Georgian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: walnuts; feta cheese; pomegranates; cilantro; ground cayenne pepper; bulghur
    • Categories: Stuffing; Side dish; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: couscous; mixed dried fruits; pistachio nuts; parsley
    • Categories: Stuffing; Side dish
    • Ingredients: prunes; brandy; apples; oranges; breadcrumbs; parsley; thyme
    • Categories: Stuffing; Side dish
    • Ingredients: pancetta; cranberries; cranberry sauce; rolled oats; chestnuts
    • Categories: Stuffing; Side dish; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: mint; tahini; eggplants; ground cinnamon; dates

Notes about this book

  • stockholm28 on May 27, 2015

    The UK version of this book is called "Cook Simple". More recipe notes are here: http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/76942/cook-simple-effortless-cooking-every#notes

  • flower on July 06, 2011

    turkish baked eggplant with chile, feta, mint...fabulous

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Chicken and chorizo in rioja

    • tsusan on November 22, 2009

      About as good as expected on reading the recipe. Needs a much bigger pan, flavors a bit muddy.

  • Chicken baked with red onions, potatoes, and rosemary

    • Jane on March 10, 2017

      This was a good, easy everynight dinner. I was making it at my parents' house and they didn't have balsamic vinegar (or any red wine vinegar) so it lacked a bit for that - I found it too oily without the vinegar balancing. But it tasted good and the roasted garlic and rosemary added good flavours.

    • westminstr on October 31, 2013

      I made this on a single sheet pan with legs and thighs. I cut the potatoes quite small and spread everything in a single layer to ensure they would cook through in the time allotted. This was a great dish with lots of flavor! Great tip to rub the chicken skin with salt before roasting to crisp the skin.

    • blintz on April 19, 2014

      This is a great roast to make last minute with ingredients I often have on hand. Red onions, rosemary, potatoes, and chicken, that's it. Good dish to bring to a sick friend for quick reheating. But don't rub chicken with Kosher salt; make sure to use fine sea salt, as noted in recipe. That's a oversalted mistake I only made once!

    • hillsboroks on May 09, 2015

      This was a marvelous easy dish to throw together after a day of working in the yard. I made only one half the recipe for two people and we still have leftovers for tomorrow. Next time I would double the amount of garlic. The garlic was so good with the chicken and potatoes! I used an assortment of small rose-fleshed, purple and yellow potatoes from the farmers market that were perfect in this dish. Paired with a local wine, Abiqua Wind 2014 Pinot Gris, and some lightly steamed fresh asparagus, this was an incredible spring dinner. We will be making this many times in the future.

    • stockholm28 on October 15, 2016

      I made this on a sheet pan and cut the potatoes slightly smaller than specified in recipe after reading that a couple of reviewers found potatoes undercooked. I did not have fresh rosemary so I substituted thyme. This was very simple and flavorful.

  • Pork chops with plums and Chinese spices

    • Cheri on September 13, 2015

      Very easy prep. The pork was a little dry, I thought, but plums nice foil for spices. This is not one I would rave about, it's just ok.

    • Avocet on July 06, 2019

      p. 34 This is good, but we like it better without the 5 spice powder.

    • hillsboroks on July 31, 2014

      Quick, tasty dish for a weeknight dinner. We tried this last night and really liked them. Not too much prep and most of the time they cook unattended in the oven. The flavors of the sweet plums pair nicely with the pork, spices and other ingredients.

    • Barb_N on August 23, 2014

      This is one of my favorite pork chop recipes. The 5 spice flavor predominated but that's ok with me. I agree with TrishaCP that you need firm fruit. I am looking forward to serving this next time with the http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/recipes/1021766/chinese-style-plum-sauce from Salt Sugar Smoke.

  • Thai-spiced pork chops with lime dipping sauce

    • westminstr on December 29, 2015

      A solid B+. Everyone ate it, but nobody seemed to love it either. I thought the dipping sauce was a bit pungent/salty, but folks seemed to like it. I had to omit the cilantro stems from the marinade and that might have affected the outcome. For the chops, I used a large boneless sirloin chop, sliced it in half, then quickly cooked it, a few minutes per side. I thought it came out well done this way and would do this again but with the seasoning for the italian pork chops.

  • Italian pork chops with fennel seeds

    • westminstr on May 11, 2015

      We liked these. I subbed fresh oregano for dried, and pulled the chops at 145 degrees.

    • stockholm28 on August 24, 2015

      This took all of 5 minutes to prep and then I let it marinate for about an hour. This was surprisingly good for such a simple recipe. It had all the flavors of hot Italian sausage. I think the cooking time that Ms. Henry suggests is a bit long. The recipe calls for 8 oz pork chops and 20 minutes in the oven at 425 F. My pork chops were quite thick and about 12 oz and when I checked them at 20 minutes, they were a bit overcooked.

    • pistachiopeas on April 07, 2015

      Juicy and delicious. The fennel seed was strong and a wonderful flavor. Very little effort for the outcome. Will definitely make this again.

  • Simple gascon sausages and beans

    • westminstr on February 02, 2015

      This was indeed simple, and also extremely flavorful, though it takes at least two hours to cook (actually could have used more time - some of the carrots were still crunchy). I used home-cooked beans, panko, a bit of red wine (less than called for) and sweet italian sausages. I think it would have been even better with better breadcrumbs. E ate everything, O only ate the sausage.

  • Grilled chicken with thyme and sea salt

    • westminstr on December 29, 2015

      Chicken pieces are marinated in olive oil and an ample amount of fresh thyme. When it's time to cook you season with s&p, grill, and serve with lots of lemon juice. I departed from the recipe by using bone in thighs (she calls for boneless but skin on, which is not an option readily available to me) and cooking on a charcoal grill. These thighs were salty, herby, smoky, juicy, and happily devoured by all. A winner!

  • Pomegranate-and-honey-glazed chops with radish and cucumber tzatziki

    • westminstr on August 07, 2014

      Made a half recipe and thought the lamb could have used a bit more kapow. However the tzatziki was good, and the flavors were good together, and it was an exceedingly fast and easy dish, so I may try again. Next time I think I will generously salt the marinade, and perhaps leave the honey out so that the pom molasses flavor comes to the fore. Also perhaps more garlic.

    • hillsboroks on May 13, 2015

      This was incredibly easy and amazingly flavorful! I dialed back the cayenne in the marinade to 1/4 for my heat-adverse husband but he said it could be hotter so next time I will only cut the cayenne in half. Great weeknight dinner choice.

  • Chicken baked with sweet potato, smoked paprika, olives, and preserved lemons

    • westminstr on January 10, 2014

      Fantastic dish -- really flavorful. Next time add more onions - they were sooo good.

    • kari500 on August 10, 2015

      This has become a family standby. Somewhat exotic, loads of flavor, easy to put together.

    • caitmcg on September 18, 2013

      This is a real explosion of flavor. The marinade with preserved lemon flesh, garlic, and smoked paprika really makes the dish. Don't add extra salt - the preserved lemons and olives are enough.

    • stockholm28 on February 05, 2017

      This is basically a sheetpan supper with nice flavor from the smoked paprika and lemon.

    • clcorbi on October 23, 2017

      Yum. Very nice flavor and very easy to throw together. I did add extra salt because I omitted the olives. I went a little light on the preserved lemon, which was a mistake--the savory chicken and sweetness of the sweet potatoes can really stand up to a lot of it.

  • Maple-and-mustard-glazed sausages

    • westminstr on November 05, 2013

      This was exceedingly easy but did not rise to be more than the sum of its parts, as I hoped it would. My family liked it more than I did.

  • Sea bass with lebanese herb sauce

    • westminstr on April 07, 2015

      I had a whole fish from the CSF and all ingredients on hand for the sauce, so followed this recipe. My fish was a bit larger so the cooking time was a little longer. The fish roasted up very nicely. The sauce came together easily but was a bit milder and also a bit runnier than I had anticipated. It was pretty good but not knock your socks off. I made a half recipe of the sauce and had quite a bit leftover, which I used as a marinade for chicken drumsticks. That was pretty good too though again a little blander than I would ideally like. I would like to try some of the other sauce/relish options on this page.

  • Baked cod with a zesty crust

    • westminstr on October 31, 2013

      We enjoyed this both in color and flavor, and prep was exceedingly easy. However ... my breadcrumbs were not crispy! They had been in the freezer for a while, perhaps try again with panko?

    • caitmcg on September 18, 2013

      This has become a staple recipe. Quick and easy, and the breadcrumb topping is both very savory from the cheese and garlic, and brightly flavored from the parsley and lemon zest. The topping is also terrific sprinkled over asparagus before roasting. I reduce the oil by half, and it's plenty.

    • Lepa on July 22, 2016

      Love this and now make it regularly. Watch the lemon. I put too much on the first time and everybody complained. I now hold back a bit with the lemon and add some salt to the crumb mixture and it's perfect.

  • Roast cod with smoked bacon

    • westminstr on April 20, 2015

      Made with acadian redfish from my csf. For one pound of fish, used 6 oz bacon, no olive oil and cut back the butter a bit. I cooked the fish entirely in the oven. My family liked this dish, ate it up pretty eagerly because of the bacon. This is the best treatment for this fish that I've tried so far.

  • Greek red mullet with oranges and olives

    • westminstr on November 19, 2013

      This was nice and easy, and the orange flavor does not overwhelm. I would do it again. I used ocean perch fillets.

  • Warm chicken, roasted pepper, chickpea, and preserved lemon salad

    • westminstr on October 31, 2013

      I made this salad with leftover rotisserie chicken, and I also subbed pistachios for pinenuts since that is what I had on hand. Everybody in the family enjoyed it.

  • Potatoes with shallots and capers

    • westminstr on August 07, 2014

      Really liked this simple potato salad. The shallots were surprisingly delicious.

  • Roasted squash with garlic and thyme

    • westminstr on December 17, 2013

      This prep was more fiddly than my usual method of slicing the squash and roasting with nothing more than salt, pepper and liberal amounts of olive oil. I'm not sure if the thyme, garlic and butter added so much more to the basic version that I would bother to take these extra steps very often. I did, though, like the savory flavor that the melted butter added to the squash and I really found myself enjoying the leftovers.

  • Rhubarb cake

    • westminstr on November 05, 2013

      Made with 700g peeled, diced apples (and no extra sugar). Absolutely delicious! It did take almost an hour to bake in my slow oven. This recipe would work with any fruit.

    • westminstr on November 03, 2014

      Made again w 1 stick butter, 4 oz white whole wheat flour (use KA flour recipe for self-rising flour substitute), 4 oz sugar, 700 g apples (or a little less). Really good and the white whole wheat flour was just fine in this recipe. Make sure to press the apples down into the batter and cut thinner pieces next time as some of them stayed a bit too firm. Really yummy cake, my family loved it.

    • kari500 on September 26, 2015

      I've made this with fresh rhubarb. I've made it with frozen. I've made it with canned peaches. All have been above and beyond what they should be for the little work required here. Truly a wonderful cake. (PS - the only one that wasn't that great was with pears - no idea why this didn't work.)

    • Lepa on May 02, 2017

      I made this cake with fresh rhubarb and enjoyed it. The cake had a lovely taste and texture. It took close to 50 minutes before it was done (not the mere 40 suggested in the recipe).

  • Black pasta with squid, chile, and garlic

    • kari500 on September 26, 2015

      When I can't find (or be bothered to find) squid, I use shrimp. This is a big tasting, delicious plate of pasta.

  • Penne with roasted onions, Gorgonzola, and walnuts

    • kari500 on September 26, 2015

      Onions smell incredible while roasting. If this sounds good to you, trust your instincts. I love it.

    • stockholm28 on December 15, 2016

      Very satisfying meal for a very cold day. Watch the onions towards the end (a few of mine burned).

    • Barb_N on February 19, 2020

      I have been revisiting older cookbooks and on a bitter-jag. This fit the bill for both. Many of Diana Henry’s recipes are similar, this one and one in Plenty having a lot of overlap. I had kale to use up, and broccolini, and wanted to make a vegetarian pasta. My husband raved about it, recommending it for company. I will definitely keep it in rotation- love the balsamic roasted red onions!

  • Baked sausages with leeks, apples, and cider

    • kari500 on September 26, 2015

      Simple to put together, and a nice homey meal on a cool evening. Great with mashers.

    • Christine on February 03, 2017

      So delicious and very quick and easy to put together. I was a bit skeptical having made a chicken and apple dish in the past that was a total disaster, but this was really wonderful. It was one of very few recipes in my collection I thought would work with the package of Indian-spiced sausages we had in our freezer. The flavoring of the sausages was much more subtle than I thought it would be though, so I don't think that makes or breaks this recipe. I wasn't sure if I should use the whole leeks or just the white/light green parts, so I decided to just leave out most of the dark green parts and save them for another use. Once I saw how the leeks cooked down though, I know that using the whole leeks would have been just fine -- however my 13x9 baking dish really wouldn't have fit the 3 full leeks anyway. Next time, I think I would use 2 entire large leeks and call it a day. I used honeycrisp apples and they definitely do not need to be peeled. A really fantastic, simple dinner.

  • Caribbean lazy chicken and rice

    • kari500 on August 10, 2015

      Needs *lots* more hot sauce, but this is a winner.

  • North African spiced poussins

    • kari500 on August 10, 2015

      I use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of poussins, roast at 400 for about 35 minutes. This is so easy and so tasty. The herbs and lemon slices add a lovely freshness with the spices. I usually serve this with roasted butternut squash (sometimes with a bit of coriander tossed with it before roasting) and couscous with currants. A special seeming meal that takes almost no time to make.

    • pistachiopeas on November 03, 2015

      I used boneless skinless chicken thighs and roasted at 400 for 35 minutes. Easy and full of delicious flavor! I served it in pita with yogurt, feta, lettuce, and radish.

  • Baked salmon with mustard and honey

    • caitmcg on September 18, 2013

      Quick and easy, but not terribly exciting.

  • Hot and sweet roasted mediterranean vegetables with tahini dressing

    • caitmcg on August 09, 2014

      This is a very delicious dish, that I didn't want to stop eating. The sweet-spicy seasoning of the vegetables is well complemented by the yogurt-tahini sauce. I didn't use the exact vegetables listed, but no matter, this is completely adaptable to what's on hand. Note that the yield on the sauce is very large; I cut the quantities in half and had plenty.

    • lilham on August 27, 2013

      I served this with couscous dressed with preserved lemons, parsley and feta. Very nice dinner.

  • Ginger, lime, and lemon grass syrup

    • caitmcg on June 15, 2014

      I used this syrup for drinks, rather than over ice cream, and it is delicious and wonderfully refreshing in a glass of sparkling water, with or without gin. In future, I would allow the lime zest to steep in the syrup as it cools, then strain it out because the finely grated zest just fell to the bottom of the bottle/glass.

  • Raspberry, apple, and almond crumble

    • Avocet on May 17, 2022

      p. 152

  • Pacific lime chicken

    • Avocet on October 08, 2015

      This was indeed tasty, fast and easy. I marinated bone in legs, thighs, wings and backs for about an hour before baking. I baked them on a sheet pan per Hillsboroks's comment, but still had difficulty getting the marinade to evaporate to get a good glaze on the chicken. I upped the temperature toward the end of the cooking and that helped quite a bit.

    • Christine on June 18, 2015

      My new favorite marinade for chicken. Really nice flavor and since the chicken just bakes in the oven after marinating, it is very simple to prepare. Only needed 30 minutes to cook because I used boneless thighs. Only other substitution was 1/4 tsp dried thyme since I didn't have any fresh. Served with roasted potatoes/sweet potatoes and a salad or vegetable.

    • hillsboroks on September 19, 2015

      Fabulous flavor and nice change of pace for chicken. Like Christine I too used boneless, skinless thighs. I was cooking for a group of 9 so I doubled the marinade recipe and left the chicken thighs in the marinade for about 1 1/2 hours but next time I might leave it in for 2 or 2 1/2 hours to see if the flavor is more developed. Very simple to make ahead for a dinner party. Just take the chicken out of the marinade and bake for 1/2 hour before the guests arrive. I did 20 thighs in two large pans and only had two left over. I received lots of compliments and requests for the recipe. I baked them in Corning Ware low roaster pans but next time I might try them on metal sheet pans because the marinade and chicken juices didn't evaporate as much as I thought they would and I would like more of a glaze on the chicken.

    • stockholm28 on December 26, 2016

      This was very easy and it was a good dish. The chicken has a sweet, sticky, soy and lime glaze. I think it would be nice with some ginger added. While I liked this, it probably will not be a repeat for me as there are other easy chicken recipes with Asian flavors that I prefer.

  • Roast Catalan chicken

    • Christine on June 18, 2015

      This is a variation of the Pacific Lime Chicken recipe. Also easy to prepare and tasty, but I do prefer the original.

  • Mint, almond, and honey sauce

    • peacheater on December 10, 2016

      Delicious! Served with lamb chops. Going to try on creamy scrambled eggs next. The acidity of the sauce really brightens up fatty things.

  • Apple and calvados granita

    • JFM on June 06, 2012

      Very easy and very refreshing; I'll definitely make it again.

  • Zucchini with ricotta, mint, and basil

    • hillsboroks on July 27, 2016

      This is a lovely change of pace when zucchini season hits it peak and you can't bear your same old zucchini recipes one more night. It came together very quickly and the flavors were lovely. The finished dish looked just like the photo in the cookbook and we really enjoyed it. I couldn't find ricotta salata so I used regular ricotta instead but it worked just fine.

  • Greek baked chicken in yogurt

    • Moniquelfp on February 20, 2013

      Tasty. I did add more feta than the recipe called for because I was trying to use up some I had. The liquid at the bottom of the baking dish was onion soup like - yummy spooned over the chicken. Next time I would probably cut up the chicken, the chicken breasts I had were a little too large to be one serving. I cut them in 1/2 after taking it out of the oven. But would be easier to just cut them up before hand.

  • Pork chops lyonnaise

    • stockholm28 on May 27, 2015

      Great weeknight dish that takes little effort. This recipe sounds a bit boring, but it was very good in a comfort home cooking sort of way. The mustard, onion, breadcrumbs were delicious with the pork. This is a keeper.

  • Arroz con pollo y chorizo

  • Greek roast lamb on rice and spinach

    • Barb_N on July 31, 2014

      I made this with a few changes- I had a boneless butterflied leg of lamb so I stuffed it with some of the spinach/feta mixture and placed the rice and spinach around it. I used Korean chives instead of scallions, to use them up. Instead of lemon juice to finish I chopped a preserved lemon and added it to the rice for the last few minutes. Even with extra broth and oven time, some of the rice was chewy but over all this was a keeper.

  • Maple and mustard roasted vegetables

    • pistachiopeas on April 07, 2015

      I really liked the addition of maple syrup and dijon but next time I would cut back on the olive oil. It was way too much.

  • Roasted squash, feta, and black olive salad

    • Lepa on July 22, 2016

      My husband requested that I "never make this again." I'm a bit surprised, as the flavor combination sounded good. Maybe it was the squash, which wasn't skinned?

  • Pappardelle with ligurian walnut sauce

    • Lepa on February 13, 2017

      Add this to your repertoire for quick meals to make from pantry items! It is fantastic. I've made lots of walnut sauces but this is the very best I've tried. The effort to result ratio is outstanding. I toasted the walnuts for an extra layer of flavor and used regular dried noodles but otherwise stuck to the recipe.

  • Spaghetti with parsley, red pepper, and garlic

    • Lepa on April 29, 2017

      This is very spicy and good. I added some anchovies to the garlic and pepper flakes as they cooked.

  • Roast cod with anchovies and bean puree

    • Lepa on July 22, 2016

      This is one of the best fish dishes I have ever made- or eaten. It is sublime. The flavors work together perfectly and the result is very elegant and delicious.

  • Spanish sweet potato with chorizo, peppers, and fried egg

    • Smokeydoke on December 17, 2016

      I love the flavors in this dish. Wonderful comforting meal for a cold winter day.

You must Create an Account or Sign In to add a note to this book.

Reviews about this book

This book does not currently have any reviews.

  • ISBN 10 1784725307
  • ISBN 13 9781784725303
  • Published Sep 04 2018
  • Format Paperback
  • Page Count 192
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Mitchell Beazley

Publishers Text

A re-issue of Diana Henry's Classic Pure Simple Cooking, offering quick and easy recipes for all those with little time to cook but who still want to eat well.

Award-winning author Diana Henry shows you how to turn everyday ingredients into something special with the minimum of effort. Pure Simple Cooking is packed with over 150 recipes and ideas - many of which Diana has harvested from her world travels - that offer simple ways to make every meal spectacular.

Diana dedicates a chapter to each of 12 everyday ingredient groups: chicken, chops, sausages, leg of lamb, fish, leaves, summer veg, winter veg, pasta, summer fruit, winter fruit, flour and eggs. Each recipe takes only minutes to prepare with ingredients easily sourced from your local supermarket.

Features stunning pictures by award-winning photographer Jonathan Lovekin.

Other cookbooks by this author