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Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over by Alison Roman

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Notes about this book

  • Indio32 on October 20, 2019

    Did the 'Ferro with Toasted Fennel, Lemon & Basil' on page 164. Really enjoyed it.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Creamy sesame turmeric dip

    • Lepa on November 09, 2019

      I made this with ricotta (an option in the recipe) and it was watery and flavorless. I am guessing it would be totally different - and better - with cream cheese as they don't seem similar in texture or flavor at all. I may try it again with cream cheese but I'm not sure.

    • Ehcoggin on November 12, 2019

      I made this with a combo of greek yogurt and sour cream and it was still so rich even without the cream cheese. It initially was the underdog of dips in this book but now it is my front runner!

  • Spicy tomato-marinated feta

    • abrownb1 on November 08, 2019

      Easy to make and tastes better the longer it marinates. I found myself sneaking bits for breakfast the whole week long! I used more juicy tomatoes so never really got a thick sauce but was still very good.

  • Creamy goat cheese with lemony za'atar

    • Lepa on November 09, 2019

      If you really like lemon (I do!) this is a nice dip. Beware, it makes a lot!

  • Tangy roasted mushrooms

    • Lepa on November 09, 2019

      I liked this. It's good on crackers with some goat cheese or labne.

  • Overnight focaccia, tonight

    • Lepa on November 09, 2019

      This turned out very badly. I don't know why. It was hard and flavorless. We ate a bit and threw most of it away.

  • Chicories with preserved lemon, yogurt, and mint

    • Lepa on November 09, 2019

      This hit all my favorite flavors: radicchio, preserved lemon and yogurt. The result was a sparkly, delicious salad.

  • Celery and fennel with walnuts and blue cheese

    • mllamas on November 10, 2019

      I subbed feta for the blue cheese and thought it worked great.

    • jenmacgregor18 on November 08, 2019

      When I attempted this, my intense blue cheese overwhelmed everything else. I like the crunch of it. I think I'd enjoy it more with a milder blue cheese,

  • Crushed baby potatoes with scallion, celery, and lots of dill

    • Lepa on November 09, 2019

      I was skeptical about this salad because, unlike AR, I like potato salad with mayo but this combination was a winner. We ate it with the Buttered salmon with Red Onion and Dill (also in this book) and it was a great foil to the rich fish dish. The recipe notes that one can add fish (like sardines) to the salad and I think that would be even better.

  • Just-cooked cabbage with butter, anchovy, and lemon

    • jenmacgregor18 on November 08, 2019

      Since I'm usually cooking ahead to take meals to work--and this isn't a cook ahead cabbage dish--I used Deborah Madison's wilted cabbage salad recipe for the veg, which is great prepped ahead. But I used Alison's dressing of butter, anchovy & lemon from this recipe. It was really good. Not too strong on the anchovy. Pretty mellow in the butter, but a lot of flavor. excellent option.

  • Black lentils with crispy garlic and labne

    • meggan on November 08, 2019

      Pretty yummy but my lentils were old and needed to cook forever. Labneh should be everyone's BFF.

  • One-pot chicken with dates and caramelized lemon

    • raybun on November 12, 2019

      Absolutely fantastic! Loved the mix of sweet, caramelized & sour in this dish. If you can track down the urfa chilli it’s worth it. Definitely making this again, a one pot wonder!

  • Buttered salmon with red onion and dill

    • Lepa on November 09, 2019

      This reminded me of our family's favorite salmon dish from Genius Recipes (salt roasted and topped with a pickled onion relish). I think I like that version better than this one. This fish was a bit too greasy. I found myself wanting the salmon from Genius Recipes instead.

  • A very good lasagna

    • raybun on November 12, 2019

      Excellent for a meatless lasagna! I appreciated not having to make a béchamel and the anchovies in the sauce went undetected by the Fussy Child. Leftovers were not so good the next day so l’ll scale down for the 3 of us next time.

  • Casual apple tart with caramelized buttermilk

    • raybun on November 10, 2019

      This was delicious! I alternated Granny Smiths & red apples so they wouldn’t collapse after reading a comment by another baker. I definitely didn’t use a whole 1/3 cup of buttermilk either, maybe a tablespoon. Divine served with vanilla ice-cream .

  • Salted honey panna cotta with crushed raspberries

    • Lepa on November 09, 2019

      My family loved this. The panna cotta is made with buttermilk and sour cream and it has a lovey tang. It's not too sweet. The raspberry/apple cider mixture is a lovely accompaniment. Please note that while the recipe says it needs at least an hour to chill, we found that it was still pretty watery after two hours. I think 4 hours or more would be ideal.

  • Torn plum browned-butter cake

    • raybun on November 12, 2019

      Mine needed longer in the oven and my fruit sunk. I used fresh figs instead of plums, it tasted amazing!

  • Tiny, salty, chocolatey cookies

    • raybun on November 12, 2019

      Just like eating a brownie in cookie form, fantastic! Used chopped almonds.

  • Lemony turmeric tea cake

    • raybun on November 12, 2019

      What a spectacular colour! The adults loved this, Fussy Child didn’t. A very different lemon cake, that I’ll make again.

    • Astrid5555 on November 10, 2019

      Did not have enough lemons so used only half the quantity called for in the recipe, finished cake was still lemony enough for my taste. The loaf has a lovely yellow color from the turmeric in the batter, which was a bit of a surprise for the rest of the family. Topped the cake with thinly sliced limes not lemons, which became quite bitter, so would not do again even though recipe calls for it. All in all a definite repeat!

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Reviews about this book

  • Kitchn

    ...is a plea for home cooks everywhere to stop using the word “entertaining” altogether, and we can’t wait to read it.

    Full review
  • Food52

    Roman gives us mini-cooking lessons and little reinforcements...Good advice whether you're inviting 12 people for dinner, or two.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 0451497015
  • ISBN 13 9780451497017
  • Published Oct 22 2019
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 320
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Clarkson Potter

Publishers Text

It’s not entertaining. It’s having people over. The social media star, New York Times columnist, and author of Dining In helps you nail dinner with unfussy food, unstuffy vibes, and the permission to be imperfect.
NAMED ONE OF FALL’S BEST COOKBOOKS BY The New York Times • Food & Wine • Eater • Food52Bon AppétitEpicuriousChowhoundForbes Grub Street
Nothing Fancy delivers what those of hoping to up our dinner party game are looking for: It’s utterly current and distinctly doable.”—Eater

An unexpected weeknight meal with a neighbor or a weekend dinner party with fifteen of your closest friends—either way and everywhere in between, having people over is supposed to be fun, not stressful. This abundant collection of all-new recipes—heavy on the easy-to-execute vegetables and versatile grains, paying lots of close attention to crunchy, salty snacks, and with love for all the meats—is for gatherings big and small, any day of the week.
Alison Roman will give you the food your people want (think DIY martini bar, platters of tomatoes, pots of coconut-braised chicken and chickpeas, pans of lemony turmeric tea cake) plus the tips, sass, and confidence to pull it all off. With Nothing Fancy, any night of the week is worth celebrating.

Advance praise for Nothing Fancy

“Ms. Roman offers recipes in Nothing Fancy that are crunchy, cheesy, tangy, citrusy, fishy, smoky and spicy. . . . They work, and not only for company . . . squash scattered with spiced pistachios or pasta with chorizo bread crumbs and broccoli rabe could appear anytime. For dinner parties, she provides cocktail recipes, extra snacks and pep talks so urgent and encouraging that having people over for leg of lamb and tiramisù suddenly seems like a bucket-list event.”—Julia Moskin, The New York Times

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