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

  • Crushed peas with burrata and black olives

    • Jane on January 11, 2020

      This was a lovely appetizer and very quick to make. Just some thawed frozen peas in a lemony dressing with torn up burrata and olives, herbs and greens. So delicious. One annoying thing though is the book photo - no way those olives are whole and no way there is 3 cups of greens on that dish. I do wish stylists would follow recipes!

    • Foodo on July 05, 2020

      Very nice! Refreshing! Had some snow peas so added those as well.

    • VineTomato on April 19, 2020

      Lovely salad. We couldn't get hold of burrata during lock down so we substituted yogurt with a sprinkling of feta and fried halloumi on top. Looking forward to making this again with the appropriate cheese. I used rocket, but I imagine mustard greens must make the salad a little extraordinary. Perhaps a note to myself to get some mustard greens in Tooting when we can next go venturing out for non-essentials.

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

    • Jane on January 03, 2020

      This was a good, quick side and could even make a lunch or light supper. I served it with leftover sausages, sliced and reheated in the same pan. There was lots of flavor from the caramelized cabbage, butter, anchovies 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.

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      Even Alison Roman won’t make me an anchovy fan. But I subbed capers and otherwise made the dish exactly to the recipe. A nice alternative to the standard cabbage recipes I’m used to.

    • Skamper on March 28, 2020

      We both really liked this. I used regular green cabbage since that's what I had and can see how it'd be even tastier with a more delicate cabbage. Used half batches of everything else, subbing 1 tsp anchovy paste for the fillets.

  • Roasted squash with yogurt and spiced, buttered pistachios

    • Jane on January 04, 2020

      This was delicious though quite sweet (at least with butternut squash) so be careful what you serve it with. The combination of caramelized squash, browned butter, spices and pistachios is almost dessert-like. The lemon yogurt cuts through that though. Will definitely make again and maybe try a less sweet squash next time.

    • tarae1204 on January 16, 2020

      Overall this is delicious and "make again" worthy. I made this with a kabocha squash. Roman says you can peel the squash or leave unpeeled, remove seeds or leave in, as you prefer. So neither peeled nor de-seeded my squash, which felt sort of daring and exciting for a regular Tuesday night...but I lived to regret it. I found some of the bites with skin were good, others tough. Some of my pepitas achieved a wonderful crunch, others did not. Spiced brown butter with pistachios - very good but I had too much. Lemony yogurt - good, again I had too much, for my one kabocha squash. Know that you may have extra of these dressings.

    • anya_sf on November 24, 2019

      I'd never cooked red kuri squash before, but now I have my go-to recipe. You could maybe skip the yogurt, although we did enjoy it mixed with the spiced butter, but definitely don't skip the browned butter pistachios. Delicious!

    • Tweedles81 on November 16, 2019

      This was really delicious - the sweetness of the squash married perfectly with the acidic yogurt dip and the salty, buttery, crunchy, and spicy sauce. We used acorn squash and didn’t like the seeds so would remove them before cooking next time. Also, I doubled the recipe, using a squash that had been sitting on my counter for some time and then a brand new squash. The difference in taste was noticeable, so learn from me and use recently purchased squash!

    • Skamper on March 28, 2020

      I've made this twice now, once with delicata and once with acorn, both unpeeled and both delicious. With the delicata, I left the seeds in half and I didn't mind them but Mark did. Prefer the yogurt spooned over rather than spread under, and it requires less. Prefer regular consistency yogurt for this over Greek, and a quarter batch is enough for 2.

  • Farro with toasted fennel, lemon, and basil

    • Jane on January 23, 2020

      This was a quick side dish - though in fact I had it as a vegetarian main. The farro gets a good flavor boost from garlic, fennel and lemon. I found the uncooked lemon added at the end a bit dominant though leftovers the next day were less so. When I make this again I’ll add all the lemon with the fennel to cook down.

    • anya_sf on November 25, 2019

      As the recipe indicates, this will never be a "wow" dish, but it's certainly a nice side. It tasted great alongside the frizzled chickpeas. The basil was a bit strong; other herbs, such as mint, would work, and I'd use less next time. The slices of caramelized lemon were also rather bitter for my taste. I didn't add the raw lemon slices and am glad I didn't. Leftovers tasted good cold from the fridge, especially with some feta cheese.

  • Frizzled chickpeas and onions with feta and oregano

    • Jane on January 06, 2020

      This is a good standby for me as I always have these ingredients (well maybe not fresh oregano but I think any herb would work). My chickpeas didn’t ever get as crispy as hers look in her photo but it still tasted good. I liked the combo of caramelized onions and chickpeas with the salty cheese and pops of fresh herb.

    • KarinaFrancis on January 17, 2020

      Like other reviewers I didn’t get my chickpeas to go very brown or crispy, but I don’t think that stopped me enjoying them! I actually used them as a topping to add excitement to a chicken salad and they were the best part of the dish. I’ll make this again for sure, and soon. Next time I’m thinking of trying her marinaded feta (from the same book) instead of plain as a topping.

    • lou_weez on March 16, 2020

      I'm in love with this dish - a little bit of heat, salty and sweet, creamy and crunchy. I think it's important to cook the chickpeas at a high heat to achieve the colour and crunch.

    • anya_sf on November 24, 2019

      I initially sauteed the onion over medium-low heat so it wouldn't burn, then turned the heat to medium-high after adding the chickpeas. The chickpeas weren't exactly crispy, but did brown. We liked a generous amount of fresh oregano and doubled the feta. My family really enjoyed this.

    • pattyatbryce on December 09, 2019

      Wonderful. Cook at a higher heat to get it browned/crispy. It ends up with almost a meaty taste and can stand alone for dinner with a salad.

    • Skamper on February 27, 2020

      I love a chickpea but this wasn't a favorite for us. The chickpeas never really got browned or crispy, despite drying on a dish towel for nearly an hour. The onions had a tendency to clump together. Decent flavor but I don't think I'll repeat.

    • Anneherzberg on November 13, 2019

      This was a bit of a fail for me, could chalk it up to “user error” perhaps. My chickpeas never got crispy, just got smushed and oily. The onions burned a bit as well. Not sure if I will attempt again.

  • Lemony white beans and escarole with anchovy and Parmesan

    • Jane on January 09, 2020

      I made 1lb of dried cannelini beans in the IP which may be more than 2 15oz cans ( I should have weighed them after draining). It felt like more “garlicky business” was needed to flavor the beans so I added the rest of the can of anchovies, including the oil. The beans had good flavor plus extra from the mint, parsley, Parm & lemon. This was a lovely combination with the escarole/frisée. I had it for dinner on its own but it would be a good side for any protein.

    • anya_sf on December 15, 2019

      I wanted more greens relative to beans, so I just used one can of beans. The beans got mushy during cooking, so dried beans would work best here, but the canned ones still tasted good. The recipe doesn't say whether to chop the anchovies, but I did. I used half the red pepper flakes so it wouldn't be too spicy. We really enjoyed the flavors in this dish.

    • Skamper on August 10, 2020

      We both liked this. I made a half batch, which was more than enough for two as a side for steak (him) and lamb chops (me). Due a miscommunication about timing, the beans heated a few minutes longer than suggested and were, I think, a little dryer than it should have been, but still a very nice side to the meat.

  • Buttered salmon with red onion and dill

    • Jane on January 11, 2020

      I also needed to cook it an extra 5 minutes. 15 mins at 325 is really not enough for a large piece of salmon. Delicious. A lot of butter and oil but you can leave that in the dish. I think I’d half it next time. Lovely flavors from the lemon, red onions and dill. I served it with Crushed baby potatoes with scallion, celery and lots of dill.

    • stef on March 03, 2020

      Made this with white fish. It cooked in 15 minutes and was delicious.

    • 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.

    • anya_sf on December 04, 2019

      I preferred to cook the salmon an extra 5 minutes; it was still very moist. My salmon was 1.5 lbs, so I reduced the butter to 4 Tbsp and the oil to 2.5 Tbsp, but used the full amount of onion (cooking most of it), lemon, and capers. The salmon was delicious; I especially loved the lemon slices. As suggested, steamed broccoli was a great accompaniment.

    • Lsblackburn1 on April 04, 2020

      Despite getting green peppercorns instead of capers and somehow the dill not making it home (social-distancing-grocery shopping is hard!), this was delicious. Had leftovers this evening turned into sandwiches with toasted hoagie rolls, left over green goddess dressing and chopped romaine. Fantastic!

  • Crispy chocolate cake with hazelnut and sour cream

    • Jane on January 11, 2020

      A lovely gluten free dessert. Served it with the Nutella cream and blackberries.

    • KarinaFrancis on February 22, 2020

      I’m not generally a chocolate cake fan so believe me when I say this cake is outstanding! Dense yet light, sweet but not too sweet and deliciously chocolatey. My niece said “best cake I’ve ever eaten”. I think the family will demand I make it again. Agree there is too much cream accompaniment but we ended up using it with some berries and granola as a parfait of sorts the next day.

    • tarae1204 on January 16, 2020

      I can't believe this incredibly rich and chocolate-y cake is gluten free. (And this important fact is not emphasized by Roman). I truly can't wait to make this for my gluten-free friends on their birthdays - no more sad gluten-free boxed cake mix. Notes on recipe: Used almond flour. Had too much sour cream frosting and I actually felt like the sour cream frosting was too rich. I would try the cake with simple whipped cream, lightly sweetened, maybe a little Grand Marnier or hazelnut liqueur to flavor it.

    • Lucylew on November 22, 2019

      Wow. This cake is definitely one of the best desserts I have ever made and I am not a huge fan of chocolate or Nutella. It's very easy to put together and looks impressive. After my husband and I eat took the first bite, we looked at each other and simultaneously said "This cake has got to go!" No lie. We finished our plates, packed up the rest of the cake and drove it 20 minutes to drop it off at my mom's house. We could not be trusted not to finish the cake that night between the two of us! Rich but light. Not too sweet. Perfection.

  • 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,

    • Barb_N on January 13, 2020

      Always in search of crunchy veg in winter, this has the right balance of salty, sour, bitter and cool. I cut back on the blue cheese and wish I had upped the shallot (half of a small but in the photo it looked larger than mine). A great back pocket recipe.

    • Skamper on March 15, 2020

      We both liked this. A half batch was more than enough for 2. Taking a tip from another reviewer I subbed feta for the blue cheese, since I had some on hand and it seemed a better match for the Milk Street Moroccan chicken.

  • Sticky chili chicken with hot-and-sour pineapple

    • vickster on May 04, 2020

      Delicious! The roasted pineapple is a real treat.

    • ShefsKitchen on February 02, 2020

      Excellent easy recipe. no changes on the recipe at all.

    • KarinaFrancis on January 05, 2020

      Hot, sticky and delicious! The marinade is easy to put together and then you just pop it in the oven. I used just chicken thighs and they were cooked in 45mins, I also halved the marinade and it was more than enough (it didn’t really reduce as much as I hoped, but lots of sauce is no bad thing). I’ll make this again for sure, maybe not using a sambal rated “extremely hot”. Another winner from this book.

    • stockholm28 on January 27, 2020

      Very good and quite easy. It does need a 30 minute marinade. I cut the recipe in half and used all thighs and they were done in 40 minutes. It does have some heat. Definitely a repeat.

    • Zosia on January 31, 2020

      Quite easy to put together and very tasty. I didn't have time to marinate the chicken but made sure to baste it several times during roasting and served each piece with a drizzle of sauce at the end. Good though the chicken was, the pineapple, which absorbed all of the flavours, was my favourite part.

    • anya_sf on May 08, 2020

      I wanted to make this with thighs, but the store only had chicken breasts, so I used those. They were enormous (1 lb each) so I cut them in half - maybe I didn't need to since an hour would have been long enough to cook them through (and they did get kind of dry, but I wanted the sauce to caramelize), but it did mean more of the meat was exposed to the delicious sauce. The chicken marinated 2 hours. I omitted the red pepper flakes (my son doesn't like them) and thought it still had enough kick from the sambal. My pineapple was small so I cooked all of it. I can't imagine I'd enjoy raw shallot on top, but green onions, cilantro, and sesame seeds were nice. My husband loved this, my son not so much.

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      I had wings on hand, so I made it with wings. It did not need quite as much cooking time, which I expected. I also set aside some of the marinade beforehand to baste them as I knew pouring it over would burn with wings.

    • Skamper on February 11, 2020

      This was good but not amazing. However, I absentmindedly bought chili garlic sauce, so used that. Marinated all day in the fridge. I used two breasts, each cut in half, and a half batch of marinade. Only took about 30 minutes for the chicken to roast, but this wasn't long enough for the pineapple to caramelize. Not sure the shallots at the end add anything.

  • Beets with buttermilk and walnuts

    • Foodo on July 05, 2020

      Such a lovely dish!

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      I had to use red beets but this was amazing! I love a good beet salad and this is a great beet salad!

  • Long-roasted eggplant with garlic, labne, and tiny chile croutons

    • Foodo on July 05, 2020

      Added French lentils on top of the yogurt to make it dinner. This was an unbelievably excellent dish!!

    • Huongey on May 20, 2020

      This is my go-to method for cooking eggplant now. The texture comes out perfect and it’s so easy.

  • Mustardy green beans with anchovyed walnuts

    • Foodo on July 05, 2020

      I’ve made this multiple times and absolutely love it more each time! I grill the beans, add chickpeas to make it our dinner and have never added the dill.

    • KarinaFrancis on December 21, 2019

      I’ve made a few green bean salads in my time, but nothing like this! The dressing was so flavourful and really lifted the beans to something special. I had some brocollini that needed using up so I gave that a 3 minute head start before adding the beans. Outstanding!

    • khopkins1012 on January 14, 2020

      I loved these and they reheated well as leftovers. I followed the roasting instructions. I did however make two deviations from the written recipe. First, I left out the dill because I didn’t have any. The depth of flavor from the anchovies and the brightness of the acids still made this dish sing. Second, I used considerably less mustard. I’d recommend adding the mustard bit by bit and stopping when your dish reaches your personal sweet spot.

    • anya_sf on March 04, 2020

      Am I the only person who didn't love this? I was roasting other things at 425 so I used that for the green beans as well. They were a bit crowded and needed twice as long to roast (I wanted some blistering). The lemon probably added some flavor to the beans, but we didn't care to eat bites of it. My anchovies didn't melt, but I cut them into pieces and did enjoy the bursts of flavor, but would try paste instead. The dressing was too oily and mustardy; I'd use half the oil in the walnuts and half the dressing (or maybe half the mustard). With those changes, I think I would have liked this dish better.

    • Skamper on February 27, 2020

      These were very good. I made a half batch, and used 1 tsp of anchovy paste rather than fillets because, lazy. I used mint rather than dill since my husband doesn't care for dill. Next time, I don't think I'll serve the lemon slices with, as they became a bit bitter, but I'd still roast with them.

    • Lsblackburn1 on November 29, 2019

      What a beautiful dish! The flavors were awesome, but I wish I’d roasted my green beans longer. I like them softer but I was running behind so just took them out of the oven and tossed them in the dressing without checking on their doneness!

  • Sticky roasted carrots with citrus and tahini

    • Foodo on July 05, 2020

      OMG!! So good! Only had a navel orange yes it took longer for everything to caramelize, but the end result was amazballz!

    • KarinaFrancis on January 13, 2020

      Loved it, totally delicious and perfect with simply bbq chicken (or lamb, or beef, or ....) The carrots took 35mins, tossing every 10 mins. I took some of the oranges out after 20mins as they were starting to over caramelise, but boy were they good! Will make this again!

    • infotrop on March 15, 2020

      Fun to see everyone's different photos of this tasty dish. I agree it takes a bit longer to caramelize the carrots than the recipe says. I used blood oranges (delicious & you can pop them right in your mouth, peel and all) & pickled my onions in lime juice for several hours, which added some tartness. The tahini isn't really needed, but does add another layer of flavor.

    • anya_sf on January 20, 2020

      My carrots were mostly thin, so I only halved them, unless they were very wide. For the citrus, I used a mandarin orange; I think a sweeter orange is better here than lemon. The carrots did need an extra 5 minutes to caramelize, perhaps since everything was rather crowded on the pan, but I think that helped keep the citrus from burning. I really loved all the flavors together. My son did not like the red pepper flakes, so I may leave those out next time, as I don't think they're critical. You could also omit the tahini, although it's nice.

    • pattyatbryce on January 07, 2020

      Took a bit longer to roast than said, but turned out wonderfully.

    • Skamper on February 27, 2020

      Not our favorite. Watch it carefully; by the time the carrots were caramelized, everything else was burnt. I think pomegranate molasses would be a better fit here than maple syrup.

    • Anneherzberg on November 13, 2019

      This turned out nicely, though my carrots took much longer to caramelize. I just had a lime, so I used lime juice and roasted lime slices which were intense but tasty. I imagine the orange slices would be a bit sweeter.

  • Spicy red cabbage with sweet onion and lime

    • Foodo on July 05, 2020

      Love this alternative to mayo’d cole slaw. So refreshing the Sumac is awesome!

  • Seeded breadsticks with Parmesan

    • Foodo on July 05, 2020

      Outstanding as crackers!

    • averythingcooks on January 04, 2020

      I'm really sad to say this , but this didn't work at all for me. The lump of dough that resulted didn't rise AT ALL even after 2.5 hours. And yes, I had used the yeast a few days ago AND then later in a different recipe today. I have made lots of different yeast doughs for different end products over the years & am now suspicious of recipes that don't ask you to bloom the yeast first, don't give it some kind of sugar for food, that have you add the salt early and that have NO kneading step at all. I was leary but went ahead and ended up throwing out the remains of my sesame & poppy seeds in a hard lump of dough before trying a different recipe.

    • ChefBeccs on May 24, 2020

      My attempt was a huge success. Although my dough did not increase in size by 50%, I went ahead anyway and it worked. I also could not manage to make them as thin as Alison recommended but they were still excellent. Perfect for drinks. Be aware though, it was a little time consuming. Well worth it though.

  • Slightly sticky walnuts with sesame and sumac

    • Foodo on July 05, 2020

      Very good, very easy. Not too sweet.

  • Harissa-rubbed pork shoulder with white beans and chard

    • Mrs. L on December 07, 2019

      Loved this recipe. I thought the dish was going to be too salty as my preserved lemons were really salty, but when you took a bite of everything with the lemon it was fine.

    • Astrid5555 on February 29, 2020

      So, so good, whole family loved it, just perfect! Added my chard already with the beans, used rose harissa for the rub, and did not include the preserved lemon, because we don’t care that much for it.

    • stockholm28 on February 16, 2020

      I liked this, but actually preferred the pork as leftovers, shredded on a sandwich with cole slaw. Next time I will cook it a bit longer with the intent to shred it rather than slice it.

    • Zosia on December 23, 2019

      As delicious as others have noted. I made this over 2 days, cooking the pork in an instant pot one day (55 minutes high pressure with natural release), roasting it with the beans on the second. I added baby spinach just before serving (in place of chard). Everyone enjoyed the pork but absolutely loved the beans.

    • averythingcooks on January 12, 2020

      Rave reviews from this household! My roast was just under 3 lbs so I cut the paste rub in 1/2 (and used a 50/50 mix of hot & mild harissa - we find our jar of hot to be VERY powerful). I also used 1 19 oz can of navy beans. I have always either avoided recipes which call for wilting in fresh greens (or at least just skipped that step) but T talked me into using fresh spinach and I'm so glad I did - this is not a step I intend to skip in any dish again! Lastly, I made my own preserved lemons last weekend especially for this and they were delicious. Mine are sliced in the jar and I used 2 slices - I just need to be sure to mince them very finely - there was an occasional big hit of lemon in some bites. We absolutely loved this dish!

    • leighwhit25 on November 13, 2019

      Incredibly good and easy! I used some cooked Rancho Gordo white beans that I had and pork stock instead of water. That said, I imagine it would be just as good as written. The preserved lemon was a nice addition.

    • pattyatbryce on January 07, 2020

      Great flavors and very easy. It makes a lot, so perhaps cut in half for a small family.

    • Lsblackburn1 on November 24, 2019

      Absolutely delicious! I had escarole that needed using up so I used that instead of the chard. Used 2 cans of great northern beans but may throw in an extra can tomorrow to stretch out the leftovers. The addition of the lemon peel really takes this to the next level!

    • ChefBeccs on May 14, 2020

      I subsititued the silverbeet for cabbage (which I cooked for a little longer). It was lovely. My family are a big fan of crackling so I sliced off the sheet of pork fat at the very end and popped it under the grill.

  • Sweet and salty cream cheese tart

    • mlbatt on February 27, 2020

      Baked in a springform pan and the filling stuck to the side, so the cake cracked quite a bit despite slow cooling. Next time I'll try a tart pan. Used blood orange juice and luckily had lots of blood orange slices to cover up the cracks. Everyone loved it (used the labne and sour cream options).

    • Lucylew on December 21, 2019

      This was good for what is essentially a fuss free cheesecake.

  • Creamy sesame turmeric dip

    • mlbatt on February 27, 2020

      Made with labne, thought I'd burned the turmeric, but it was fine. Make sure to add plenty of salt. The flavor improved after sitting out for a while. Great with celery and Ak-Mak crackers.

    • Astrid5555 on February 22, 2020

      Made with cream cheese as written. A delicious surprise, used as a dip for home-made focaccia bread.

    • 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!

  • Wine-roasted artichokes

    • blintz on November 15, 2019

      Fun, different way to cook whole artichokes. The outside leaves are blackened in the roasting process, but still edible. A bit oily to pick up and eat, but oh! that winey oil is delicious!

  • Spicy caramelized leeks with fresh lemon

    • blintz on February 19, 2020

      This is very fun and easy to make (massaging harrissa into the layers!) and you can't stop eating it — even the burnt parts. The diced lemon and sea salt at the end are important. The next day we added the leftover leeks and lemon to a green salad and it was a wonderful addition. I'll double the recipe next time.

    • Skamper on July 15, 2020

      I love leeks, and these were tasty, but they were very hard to cut and eat. Not sure I'd make again.

  • One-pot chicken with dates and caramelized lemon

    • blintz on January 21, 2020

      Delicious. Made this with four thighs. The shallots and dates got nice and jammy and next time I'd add more of both. The lemon slices never caramelized in all that delicious chicken fat but were soft and sweet. Definitely going on repeat. Might try a whole bird next.

    • 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!

    • lou_weez on March 16, 2020

      Delicious!!! I made this with a whole chicken (1.8kg) and reduced the cooking time by around 10min which created perfectly cooked, succulent meat.

    • anya_sf on January 10, 2020

      My chicken weighed 5 lbs, so I cooked it for 30 minutes initially (covered), then another 30 uncovered. That was probably too long, as the breast was definitely overcooked and dry. The chicken overall needed more seasoning. However, the sauce with the dates, shallot, and lemon tasted wonderful. Next time I will use chicken legs, which don't dry out, and/or salt the chicken in advance to boost the seasoning.

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      I loved this dish - we served it over Israeli cous cous. Next time, I’ll use way more dates, though. I liked the punch of sweet in the dish and wanted more of it!

  • Lemony turmeric tea cake

    • 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!

    • SugarTreeBaking on April 22, 2020

      Other than the addition of the turmeric, which creates a lovely yellow color, this was just an normal lemon tea cake. 2 tablespoons of zest from one lemon? I needed an extra half lemon.

    • 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.

    • khopkins1012 on May 16, 2020

      I halved the recipe and baked it in a 5x3 mini, bread pan. I’ve noticed that I dislike the use of whole lemons in other Roman recipes so I left those off the top. I baked it at the same temp and time listed in the recipe.

    • leighwhit25 on November 13, 2019

      Beautiful color but I found the taste to be a bit bland. My husband didn't like the texture of it - called it gummy - I didn't really have an issue with that. I've got other lemon tea cakes i like better - I might steal the turmeric idea though!

    • Tweedles81 on December 09, 2019

      Baked using the yogurt substitution. Though I used regular lemons for the zest and juice, I sliced Meyer lemons on top, and I think that helped temper any bitterness that regular lemons might cause. We’ll be making this a lot in our house!

    • Lucylew on November 22, 2019

      I really loved this cake - full of lemon flavor and absolutely beautiful color. It was really quite lovely to look at but the thinly sliced, sugar laced lemons on the top of the cake initially taste great but then go bitter quickly. Also, even using a sharp knife, the lemon on top does not allow pretty slices - they rip up the cake. I'll make again without the lemon on top.

  • Spicy tomato-marinated feta

    • Astrid5555 on February 29, 2020

      Made as part of an aperitivo spread, perfect effort to outcome ratio!

    • 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.

    • KarinaFrancis on December 28, 2019

      For 15 mins work this is makes impressive addition to a mezze platter or casual aperitivo spread I’ll be making this again over the summer. Update: I've made this 3 times in 3 weeks, and planning my next batch

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      I love feta and this is an excellent way to jazz it up. It went great on some toasted rye bread I had on hand.

  • Any excuse to make shrimp cocktail

    • abrownb1 on December 26, 2019

      Only made the cocktail sauce but it was easy and delicious. Simple to make with ingredients in the house and the harissa is a nice little spin that makes it a little more special but doesn't stray far from the classic

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      I too enjoy any excuse for a shrimp cocktail! The sauce was divine, definitely going into heavy rotation at my house!

  • Pot of pasta with broccoli rabe and chorizo bread crumbs

    • wcassity on April 29, 2020

      Tasty. Good weeknight pasta. I used rabe, rigatoni, and made an improvised chorizo with ground pork and fresh bread crumbs.

    • Zosia on January 21, 2020

      Very flavourful and fairly quick to make. I didn't have tomato paste so cooked down half a large can of plum tomatoes. I also substituted broccoli for broccoli rabe which made this dish more family-friendly in my home. Out of habit, I added it to the pasta pot during the last few minutes of cooking rather than cooking it with the tomatoes. The crumbs added delicious crunch.

    • anya_sf on February 16, 2020

      I only had 1 cup panko, but that was enough for the topping. After cooking down the broccoli rabe, I decided I wanted more veg (for a one-pot meal), so I added a pound of frozen chopped spinach, which fortunately cooked quickly. Next time I'll double the broccoli rabe. I loved this, but my son found the chorizo a bit too spicy and the broccoli rabe a bit too bitter, so for kids maybe use mild Italian sausage and regular broccoli.

    • dprostrollo on December 13, 2019

      This was really good. Used fusilli instead of rigatoni because it's what I had, and green beans in place of the broccoli (also because it's what I had to hand). Definitely a repeat recipe.

  • Creamy goat cheese with lemony za'atar

    • scritchley on January 28, 2020

      Really good! We ate it with ak-mak crackers for some extra sesame.

    • Lepa on November 09, 2019

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

  • 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.

    • khopkins1012 on July 29, 2020

      I made this with a full fat, Greek yogurt but forgot to garnish with cilantro/parsley. It had a delicate flavor that I enjoyed. A half recipe served 4 as a side dish.

  • Tiny, salty, chocolatey cookies

    • meggan on May 11, 2020

      I love chocolate but these were a little too sweet for me. Confectioners sugar is too cloying and that is the main ingredient.

    • raybun on November 12, 2019

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

    • khopkins1012 on January 02, 2020

      I really like these cookies. They took ~8 minutes in my oven. I left out the nuts.

    • anya_sf on December 03, 2019

      Quick and easy to make. Mine took about 8 1/2 minutes to bake. I skipped the nuts this time. The cookies were mostly lightly salted dark chocolate, barely held together with chewy brownie batter. How could that be bad?

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      These are the best cookies ever! I too skipped the nuts, I was sharing them and wasn’t sure about allergies. They are amazing!

  • Smashed sweet potatoes with maple and sour cream

    • KarinaFrancis on January 15, 2020

      I liked this but probably not enough to make it again. I used walnuts for crunch instead of the buckwheat. I don’t think it’s necessary to roast them directly on the oven racks (I’ve got nuggets of caramelised sweet potato juice to deal with) a tray would work just as well.

    • Zosia on December 23, 2019

      This is a great method of preparing sweet potatoes producing a crisp exterior with a creamy centre. I omitted the butter and sour cream to keep it vegan and used only 2 tbsp maple syrup and lots of lime. Good enough to almost convert the sweet potato hater in the family.

    • leighwhit25 on November 18, 2019

      I found some small sweet potatoes at the farmers market so I had to try this. Smashing and crisping the sweet potatoes in butter is genius. I didn’t think the other components elevated the dish though. I prepped half of my sweet potatoes without the sour cream, buckwheat, maple and half with and we preferred the simple ones. Oh well.

    • ChefBeccs on May 14, 2020

      Kids loved this

    • taste24 on June 11, 2020

      I was a little skeptical of the lime sour cream against the sweetness, but these were delicious. I did not have any buckwheat so did not include it.

  • Labne with sizzled scallions and chile (almost ranch)

    • KarinaFrancis on April 13, 2020

      Quick, easy and perfect to throw together at short notice because I generally have all the ingredients on hand. I did have a bit of time so I made labne, but you could get away with plain Greek yogurt. Will make again!

    • Lepa on December 22, 2019

      This recipe is brilliant. It is quick and easy to make and absolutely delicious. I didn't have labne so I used whole milk Greek yogurt. We ate it with wasa crackers, which was my favorite combination, and cucumbers, peppers and carrots.

    • averythingcooks on January 04, 2020

      I made a smaller portion of this for us tonight as a "test batch". I used 1/3 cup Greek yogurt and 1/3 cup sour cream but made 1/2 of the chili oil mixture. However, as soap tasters I did not use use cilantro (but used more green onions, chives, parsley and some minced garlic with the dried chili flakes). Yes, we really liked it with Canadian Living's version of crispy breadsticks!

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      This dip is so good! And I love that she includes options for the base!

    • Jviney on January 01, 2020

      Made for a New Year’s Eve appetizer. I’m not sure I loved it but received several compliments, and a friend said it got better through the evening. My olive oil never acquired the “fiery red” color the red pepper flakes were supposed to impart...I was kind of looking forward to it...

  • Slow-roasted oregano chicken with buttered tomatoes

    • KarinaFrancis on February 01, 2020

      Holy smoke this is so damn good! I even managed to get some crispy skin on the breast thanks to basting with the pan juices every 30 mins. I cooked it at 150deg C for 2 hours and the meat was juicy, the tomatoes were jammy as promised and the pan juices outstanding. Note to self: double the tomatoes!

    • Zosia on December 23, 2019

      I used chicken thighs and baked them on a sheet pan. I omitted the butter and oil but the tomatoes were still very flavourful thanks to the juices from the roasted chicken (and garlic and oregano) and became "jammy" in the time it took for the chicken to cook. Family enjoyed this.

    • averythingcooks on January 05, 2020

      This made a wonderful Sunday dinner! I made it as written (using the tips from anya_sf's comments) with a 4 lb chicken and broiled some buttered ciabatta bread to eat along with it. I ate my portion as a knife & fork open faced sandwich as follows : toasted bread smeared with roasted garlic topped with chunks of chicken followed by the lovely "herby jammy" tomatoes sprinkled with crumbled feta cheese. Just delicious and an absolute make again!

    • anya_sf on December 23, 2019

      Roasted for 2.5 hours (4.5 lb chicken), the chicken was tender and juicy. I didn't have time to salt the chicken ahead. Some additional guidance would have been helpful. I left the garlic cut side up, but think the cloves would have softened more cut side down. The oregano was strewn on top and dried out, when I should have made sure it was under the tomatoes. We mopped up the tomatoes and juices with bread. Delicious and easy, as long as you have plenty of time. My mother-in-law said it was the best chicken she'd ever eaten.

  • Grilled lamb shoulder over fresh garlicky tomatoes

    • KarinaFrancis on December 21, 2019

      In a word, delicious! We used a butterflied leg instead of shoulder and we’d do that again. Took the advice to serve it with a salsa verde, which paired perfectly. Will do this again, it’s a great summer dish

  • Salmon with soy and citrusy charred scallions

    • KarinaFrancis on January 30, 2020

      There was just the 2 of us so I cooked individual pieces instead of a large piece. The charred shallots in the dressing was the best bit and I’m going to use that idea again.

    • julesamomof2 on December 11, 2019

      The preparation for this salmon dish is standard slow roasting; what made is special was the idea of aggressively searing the scallions (mine were charred in places) and adding those to a citrusy soy 'dressing'. To make it a more complete dish I stir fried mushrooms and asparagus and added them on top of a bed of brown rice, all drizzled everything with the soy mixture. We like this a lot.

    • Zosia on January 07, 2020

      Great flavour, good texture and very easy to make. The dressing was also delicious on the accompaniments of stir fried bok choy and brown rice I served with it. The salmon took double the time in my oven to reach "medium", the way we prefer it.

    • Barb_N on February 04, 2020

      It took 20 minutes for my fish to reach medium. A nice dressing, though it could have worked with less oil.

    • anya_sf on December 27, 2019

      I just had one bunch of scallions, so I sliced one raw and charred the rest, and skipped the red pepper flakes as some family members don't like spicy food. We preferred our salmon less rare, so it roasted 15 minutes. Served over herbed basmati rice, the salmon was absolutely delicious and moist.

  • Iceberg with pecorino, crushed olives, and pickled chile

    • stockholm28 on January 27, 2020

      Chock full of olives, this reminded me of a Greek salad. I liked this. It is pretty quick to put together and is a great side for pizza or pasta.

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      A perfect lunch salad! Agree that it’s very reminiscent of a Greek salad.

  • A very good lasagna

    • stockholm28 on February 16, 2020

      This is a very good lasagne and individual pieces freeze and reheat nicely. I used a 1 lb box DiCecco lasagne noodles and came up a couple noodles short so finished the top layer with a couple of no boil noodles that I had on shelf; they worked fine. Next time I will buy another box of lasagna noodles. It would have been much more manageable if I’d made the sauce the day before. The cheese kind of melded in to the sauce as the layers were fairly thin.

    • Lepa on November 16, 2019

      My family loved this lasagna - my kids said it was the best I have ever made. We like anything with anchovies and I think that's what put it over the edge for us. I will certainly make this again.

    • Lepa on June 07, 2020

      This is my family's favorite lasagna and I've previously reviewed it but would like to add that this recipe works well with homemade lasagna noodles without any adjustments at all and it was lovely.

    • 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.

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      This is such a good lasagna!

  • Coconut-braised chicken with chickpeas and lime

    • VineTomato on April 19, 2020

      I'm eating mostly veggie these days and didn't feel like substituting with a mock chicken so just used chickpeas. This curry was outstanding - I absolutely loved it. Alison Roman would say without chicken it is a different recipe! But one worth trying if you are veggie. There were two ingredients that elevated the whole thing, Brindisa Navarrico chickpeas (the most amazing chickpeas I have ever eaten) and fresh turmeric (delightful). The raw onion on the top is wonderful.

    • anya_sf on January 14, 2020

      I took pattyatbryce's suggestion to use boneless, skinless thighs (1.5 lbs) so the meat could easily be shredded in the sauce. Even after reducing, there was a lot of sauce, but it was so tasty, we certainly didn't mind. I added 8 oz baby spinach at the end. Not wanting it to be too spicy, I used mild gochujang and only 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, which was a pleasant level of spice my son could tolerate. This was just delicious, and we enjoyed it with lime, cilantro, and peanuts, but next time I'll skip the raw onion.

    • pattyatbryce on January 07, 2020

      Very nice, but surprisingly mild. My husband loved it. If you use boneless/skinless thighs and cook long enough, you can pull the chicken meat in the sauce. Yum.

    • Skamper on June 13, 2020

      This was delicious. The headnote points out that it can be made in the instant pot, but she begs you to try the stovetop method at least once to smell the wonderful aromas as it cooks. I had really intended to do that, but then work, life, blah, blah, and it was almost 7 pm so instant pot it was. I made a half batch with 4 bone-in, skin-on thighs. I browned them as directed and cooked on high pressure for 6 minutes, reducing the broth to 1 cup and adding half the coconut milk before cooking and half after. After, I removed the skin and cut the chicken from the bone into chunks and returned it to the pot. From that perspective, it seems like it makes more sense to use boneless, skinless thighs as others have pointed out, though I'm sure that lovely fond and chicken fat also helped the sauce. I used yellow onion but skipped the raw onion in the finished dish. Served over rice. Will definitely make again.

    • Lucylew on November 22, 2019

      This was phenomenal! It really blew me away. I served it with rice and it was just perfection. The leftovers were even better the next day. Because I am cooking for two, I find that cutting the recipes for the salads and mains work well for us.

  • Chicories with preserved lemon, yogurt, and mint

    • VineTomato on May 31, 2020

      I really enjoyed this strange salad, served alongside Alison's cauliflower cheese

    • Lepa on November 09, 2019

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

  • Tomato-y beans with preserved lemon and bread crumbs

    • VineTomato on March 22, 2020

      I've cooked a few of Alison Roman's recipes recently and they have all been packed full of flavour, so was expecting the same from this dish. It was good, but did not pack her usual flavour punch. I used Rancho Gordo corona beans, and served it with grilled cabbage wedges with lemon and Parmesan. Overall not a big hit with Mr VT. With so many other bean recipes to try I doubt I will come back to this one.

  • Creamy cauliflower and onion gratin

    • VineTomato on May 31, 2020

      Amazing! So unhealthy but so, so, so good. Served with the chicory and preserved lemon salad.

    • leighwhit25 on November 19, 2019

      I’ve never made cauliflower gratin before so I don’t have much to compare it to but this was really delicious. I chose the non breadcrumb option but I think it would be delicious either way. It looked dry after the first 20 min so I added more cream but it ended up being too much so next time I will stick with proportions given. Single handedly ate 1/3 of it all by myself. Oops. (Edit-ate the entire dish myself over 4 days. It’s even good cold. So good.)

    • anya_sf on December 25, 2019

      I baked this in a round, high-sided casserole. The cauliflower needed an extra 10 minutes covered to become tender. In hindsight, the sides of the casserole were probably too high, as the cream did not fully reduce, so the breadcrumbs ended up rather soggy. This dish was rather too rich, but definitely delicious.

    • pattyatbryce on January 07, 2020

      Very good, but rich. Definitely a good one for vegetarian company.

  • Spicy pork meatballs in brothy tomatoes and toasted fennel

    • Zosia on February 12, 2020

      I liked the idea of this dish and perhaps it was just user error but the meatballs were dry, though quite delicious, and some family had issues with the acidity of the broth and the number of tomato skins in it.

    • unterekless on January 16, 2020

      Shocked the stars for this are low. We did it with 100% pork and absolutely loved it. Definitely wanted to drink all of the broth.

    • lou_weez on July 09, 2020

      I used a pork/veal mince for the meatballs and found they were a bit dry. Used beef stock instead of water and the broth was very tasty.

    • averythingcooks on January 02, 2020

      I made this using a 50/50 beef / pork mix, a combo of red & yellow grape tomatoes and beef broth in place of water. I sliced yesterday's focaccia horizontally and broiled it slathered with a garlic, parsley & Parmesan butter and then cut it into "fingers" to dip in the flavourful sauce. I found it spicier than my husband did but overall it was a very tasty dinner!

    • Skamper on July 09, 2020

      Delicious. I used half ground pork, half ground Turkey. Served with crusty bread to go with the delicious broth.

  • Smashed cucumbers with sizzled turmeric and garlic

    • Barb_N on February 04, 2020

      I did not taste the garlic oil and felt the turmeric added a bitter note. I prefer Fuchsia Dunlop’s recipe from Every Grain of Rice.

  • 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.

    • Lucylew on November 22, 2019

      I served this with Alison's pork chop recipe from Dining In and it made for a great date night dinner. It was definitely a fresh take on potato salad and my husband, who is normally vegetable adverse, had three servings. I didn't add the anchovy but did munch on a couple while putting the salad together. Somehow I think Alison would still approve. Will definitely make again and again.

  • Celery salad with cilantro and sesame

    • Lepa on March 01, 2020

      I made this because I didn't want to leave the house and needed something green to serve with a rich dinner. I only had celery and some herbs and I remembered this salad but had low expectations. We ended up loving it! It is refreshing and tasty and has completely changed my mind about celery salads! Highly recommend!

    • khopkins1012 on January 09, 2020

      This bright and crunchy salad paired well with roast chicken and potatoes. The recipe was flexible enough to accommodate 2 handfuls of salad greens and thinly sliced, half moons of cucumbers.

    • Skamper on February 11, 2020

      This was a tasty accompaniment to sticky chili chicken (p. 196). A half batch was just enough for two servings. I used a bit more celery (3 stalks), a bit less jalapeno (a bit less than half), and a generous cup of cilantro, per personal taste.

  • 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.

    • averythingcooks on January 02, 2020

      I was certainly not as excited by the outcome as I expected to be. I did cut the recipe in half (easy based on quantities and it fit perfectly in my small PChef stoneware bar pan). I expected a "chewier" result but it really is "breadier" (if that makes sense). I also think the dough itself needed more salt and the top even more oil than I used - which seemed to be a lot at the time!

  • Tangy roasted mushrooms

    • Lepa on November 09, 2019

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

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      I made these to go with the marinated feta as snacketizers one evening. I loved the flavor but wish I’d eaten the mushrooms closer to when they came out of the oven. They lost some of their crispy texture marinating.

  • 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.

  • Crushed blackberry and cornmeal cake

    • Lepa on December 04, 2019

      The corn/blackberry taste was nice but we didn't like the gritty texture from the medium-grind cornmeal (and the blackberry seeds!) This won't be a repeat in our house.

  • Harissa-braised green beans with herbs

    • alex9179 on May 13, 2020

      A handy recipe for a stove-top side. A surprise hit with my kids who prefer al dente green beans. They thought it was very flavorful.

  • 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!

  • 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 .

  • Escarole with mustard and spicy guanciale bread crumbs

    • lou_weez on July 05, 2020

      This is a delicious salad. I used baby gem lettuce as that's all I could find and omitted the chilli as I wanted the kidlets to eat it. Will definitely make this again.

  • Vinegared apples with persimmon and white cheddar

    • lou_weez on April 25, 2020

      Amazing!!! Crunchy, sweet, tangy, creamy cheese...ooohhh so good.

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      I made this with the Asian pears she recommended as an alternative to the persimmons. It was great! The horseradish provides just the right amount of tang but isn’t overwhelming my toddler even ate it!

    • Lucylew on November 22, 2019

      I added arugula to make a salad. This was absolutely divine! I loved the combination of the sweet and tangy apples and persimmon (my new favorite salad fruit!) with the spicy horseradish and the rich and creamy cheddar. I used Trader Joe's unexpected cheddar which was brilliant in this application.

  • Grilled carrots with limey hot sauce and cotija

    • lou_weez on April 27, 2020

      I loved these!! Carrots aren't in my top 5 vegetable list, but dressing them in this tangy sauce made them amazing. I can't wait to do these again.

  • Garlicky broccoli and greens with hazelnut and coriander

    • lou_weez on April 25, 2020

      This is fantastic and packs a garlicky punch. I used smoked almonds instead of hazelnuts and 2 bunches broccolini instead of broccoli.

    • anya_sf on April 04, 2020

      I roasted the vegetables, which required 2 sheet pans. Since they didn't have to hold up on a grill, I removed the tough stems from the lacinato kale. I also peeled the broccoli stems and would do so again. Otherwise, I think diners would need to cut those parts away. The kale roasted faster than the broccoli; some of it got crispy, which ended up being the best part, as the other parts were quite chewy and hard to cut. I was out of coriander seeds, so I used 1/2 tsp ground coriander. One clove of raw garlic was plenty for me. I absolutely loved the garlicky, nutty, lemony dressing with the vegetables. Next time I'll skip the kale.

  • Spicy marinated anchovies with potato chips

    • khopkins1012 on May 05, 2020

      I ate this at one of Alison Roman’s book tour stops. It was savory, succulent and surprised me in a good way. If I hadn’t been served this, I would’ve never found this sophisticated chip dip.

  • Little gems with garlicky lemon and pistachio

    • leighwhit25 on November 19, 2019

      Wow, great salad. Used preserved lemon bc my lemons went hard.

    • anya_sf on December 03, 2019

      I was skeptical about using a whole, chopped lemon, but the flavor combination was very good. I used Meyer lemon, which is less sharp. The only quibble we had with this salad was that, since the various dressing components are drizzled on top of lettuce wedges, bites without much dressing are bland. Next time I might try chopping the lettuce and tossing everything together, possibly using less dressing.

    • pattyatbryce on December 09, 2019

      Really easy little side-salad. It could go with just about anything.

    • ChefBeccs on May 14, 2020

      Surprising flavour and texture

  • Upside-down apricot tart

    • bwhip on July 19, 2020

      Easy and delicious. Really maximizes the apricot flavor. Great warm with vanilla gelato.

    • anya_sf on June 09, 2020

      Super easy to make. I used 1 Trader Joe's puff pastry sheet (9 oz) which was hard to roll out much bigger than 10". For a 9" tart, it would have been better to have the pastry 11" around to account for shrinkage. I baked it a few hours ahead but didn't unmold it until right before serving, as instructed. I thought it would make a big mess since the pastry shrank a lot, but it was fine. There was a lot of liquid, though, so the pastry does get soggy quickly. The flavor was delicious and it was a nice, relatively light summer dessert. We just had it plain, but I'm sure pistachios and/or whipped cream would be great.

  • Ricotta-stuffed shells with burrata, mushrooms, and herbs

    • anya_sf on January 22, 2020

      I'm too lazy to stuff shells, so I followed the suggestion to use rigatoni (the whole 1 pound box) and just mixed the cooked pasta with the ricotta mixture. Using a mixture of hedgehog, trumpet, cremini, and button mushrooms, a lot of liquid was exuded during the roasting process, so I had to drain that off for the mushrooms to brown. I roasted the mushrooms a day ahead so this recipe was actually doable on a weeknight. I love mushrooms and cheese and thought this was just fabulous. The herb topping really brightened the flavors.

    • pattyatbryce on December 09, 2019

      Definitely takes some time, but not very hard at all. The tip about olive oil on pasta after draining was a good one. I made it with burrata, but fresh mozzarella would be an adequate swap.

  • Coconut banana cream pudding

    • anya_sf on April 05, 2020

      I made 1/4 recipe, which just fit in a 1 quart bowl, using slightly fewer graham crackers but 2 small bananas. That served 4 people, so a full recipe could potentially serve 16. Although the pudding was super smooth when warm, it became somewhat grainy when chilled, as if tiny droplets of coconut oil had solidified. Fortunately, my husband and son didn't seem to notice. Next time I would try light coconut milk and either half-and-half or whole milk in the pudding. Everyone enjoyed this.

  • Sheet cake with mascarpone and coffee

    • anya_sf on March 19, 2020

      This final instruction is missing from Step 2 of the recipe: Fold the cream mixture gently into the egg mixture.

    • anya_sf on March 21, 2020

      Better if made a full day ahead. We had it on the first night, but the coffee mixture hadn't soaked much into the cake (almost angel food). The second night, the cake was mostly moistened through, although even then the edges were dry in places. It was delicious, creamy, and not super sweet. Half the recipe served 6.

  • Almost angel food cake

    • anya_sf on March 20, 2020

      Error: 1 cup butter does not 1 stick, it's 2 sticks. Since angel food cake traditionally does not have fat, I assumed 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter was correct. I made 1/2 recipe (using 1/2 stick butter) in a 9"x13" sheet pan and it turned out fine. I used it in the "tiramisu" recipe, but think it would be great in trifle or strawberry "shortcake".

    • Lsblackburn1 on April 13, 2020

      I also used one stick of butter, so only 1/2 a cup. This worked great! Served with whipped cream and strawberries.

  • Chicken and mushroom skillet pie with greens and tarragon

    • anya_sf on January 12, 2020

      The chicken rendered a lot of fat, even though the skin was trimmed, so the butter was not really needed (I did add 1 Tbsp). Since my puff pastry was rectangular, I put the filling in a rectangular casserole, rather than baking it in the skillet. The partially-cooked chicken meat (I used thighs) was a bit difficult to remove from the bone; fully cooked chicken would be easier. My pastry got overly brown and burnt on the edges, which I had to cut away, but we enjoyed the rest of it. The filling was absolutely delicious, although thinner than traditional pot pie filling, so we had it in bowls. This only served 4 in our house.

  • Scallops with spicy beans, tomatillo, and citrus

    • anya_sf on February 28, 2020

      Disappointing. There were 3 of us, so I used 1 pound of scallops but the full amount of other ingredients. I still had to cook the scallops in batches (in cast iron) and the scallop juices ended up caramelizing too much (i.e., burning) so the beans acquired an off flavor. Overall, we thought this dish was less than the sum of its parts. We had it with basmati rice. We did enjoy the citrus and tomatillos, so perhaps I'd try it without the beans (but with the rice).

  • Halibut with asparagus and brown-buttered peas

    • anya_sf on February 18, 2020

      I roasted 2 bunches of asparagus on a separate sheet pan; the stalks were medium thickness (I don't like the super skinny asparagus), so I put them in the oven 8 minutes before the fish. Although the green onions weren't super thick, I halved them as I worried they wouldn't be done otherwise (they cooked with the fish); they were flavorful, but difficult to cut and chew. The fish was relatively lean local halibut, which still turned out fairly moist. The peas were plenty buttery with 2-3 Tbsp butter. Overall, everything was delicious, and my family of 3 finished it all.

  • Citrus chicken rested in herbs

    • anya_sf on February 10, 2020

      Amazingly, I found yuzu kosho at TJ's. I used chicken thighs and marinated them 24 hours. Per the suggestion, I roasted sliced fennel and quartered radishes alongside the chicken. The marinade was quite zesty and really made everything taste delicious.

    • Skamper on January 15, 2020

      Gave the chicken - skin especially - gorgeous mahogany look and good flavor. I used about 3 lbs of thighs and a full batch of marinade. I used red yuzu kosho that is quite spicy so only used 1 T. Marinated 24 hours. I blanked on buying parsley and cilantro, so didn't rest it on herbs - curious how much this adds. I rested the chicken on a layer of sliced lemon and orange as it roasted, then poured the reserved marinade over the chicken in the roasting pan and let it rest for 10 minutes.

  • Sungold pasta with lemony shellfish, garlic, and pistachios

    • anya_sf on February 13, 2020

      I used grape tomatoes, as they looked best this time of year. For the seafood, I used a 1 lb bag of small frozen mixed shellfish (shrimp, bay scallops, squid). I used a whole pound of spaghetti and added a pound of frozen haricots verts with the seafood for a one-dish meal - it made a ton. My son doesn't like things too spicy, so I reduced the red pepper flakes by half - he still complained, but I enjoyed the slight kick of spice. My husband and I loved this with both the chopped pistachios and some pecorino on top, our son not so much.

  • Swordfish with crushed olives and oregano

    • anya_sf on December 15, 2019

      I cooked 2 swordfish steaks, each about 12 oz. They ended up more medium to medium-well done, but that was fine with us, as they were moist and flavorful. I just had a few Castelvetrano olives left and had to supplement with "regular" green olives, which were quite briny, rather than buttery. My husband and I enjoyed the flavor anyway, but our son thought the brine was too strong. I do think it's worth seeking out Castelvetrano olives for this dish. This recipe was quick and easy to prepare; I'd definitely make this again.

  • Grilled trout with green goddess butter (a whole fish! yes, you can!)

    • anya_sf on May 02, 2020

      I grilled 3 trout (1 per person); cooking instructions were spot on. There was plenty of green goddess butter for the fish and some roasted vegetables as well. The trout skin did not stay crisp, so spooning the butter onto the skin didn't really make sense, as we wanted it on the meat, so I won't bother with that again, but will just serve the butter on the side. The fish and butter were just delicious.

  • Hard-roasted spiced cauliflower

    • anya_sf on December 03, 2019

      My cauliflower was huge, so it barely fit on the sheet pan, which probably caused it to steam a bit, but I left it in the oven long enough to char a bit, which is critical. I used half the red pepper flakes for less spice. Feta cheese was very nice with the cauliflower, but it would be good on its own. Everyone loved this dish.

  • The greatest creamed greens

    • anya_sf on July 15, 2020

      I used 1 bunch lacinato kale and 1 bunch chard. The kale took much longer to cook to an edible state and I had to add extra water to the pot. I also ended up chopping it much smaller. After tasting the cooked greens, I thought this was going to be awful, but the cream transformed the greens into something delicious. I didn't know whether to remove the garlic; I removed the larger chunks and smashed the smaller ones. The greens cooked down a lot - next time I will use 3 bunches. I only needed half the creme fraiche. I would definitely make this again, but only with tender greens like spinach and chard. I made the bread crumbs (with less oil) and enjoyed the crunch with the super rich greens.

    • Lucylew on November 22, 2019

      I had a pound of spinach that needed to be used so I made this recipe and served with eggs over easy topped with guanciale breadcrumbs (also from Nothing Fancy) - it was the most decadent and delicious breakfast I've had in ages! I will definitely make again!

  • Steamed broccoli: a love letter

    • anya_sf on December 04, 2019

      This recipe is really just a basic method to steam broccoli. I followed the suggestion to squeeze a whole lemon over the broccoli and sprinkle with flaky salt and the result was very good.

    • Beebopalulu on June 09, 2020

      Good instructions for preparing broccoli. The lemon juice and salt does make it a nice complement to most meals.

  • Roasted radishes with green goddess butter

    • anya_sf on May 02, 2020

      I made the green goddess butter in the food processor, so I didn't bother chopping the herbs, etc., much (if at all) by hand. I just had one bunch of radishes, but also roasted 2 bunches of baby carrots as well. After 15 minutes, the vegetables weren't fully tender or very brown; I ended up roasting them 25 minutes. They were delicious with the green goddess butter (and there was plenty of that for both vegetables and fish).

  • A very fine spritz

    • anya_sf on January 17, 2020

      I used Suze, cheap TJ's sparkling rose, and sparkling mineral water with an orange slice. The orange slice actually boosted the flavor more than expected. It was very fine and very easy to make.

  • Vinegar-marinated butter beans

    • pattyatbryce on January 07, 2020

      These were a big surprise for me. I didn't expect to enjoy them as much as I did. Simple nibble to whip up.

  • Citrusy cucumbers with red onion and toasted sesame

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      I am a little bit of a tahini convert. I was never a huge fan before, but fresh tahini in a salad like this one is actually really good!

    • Skamper on June 09, 2020

      I didn't soak the onions and simply mixed the tahini dressing in, rather than pooling it on the plate.

  • Crispy haloumi with honey and pistachio

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      I’m a big fan of anything haloumi! I was impatient, probably could have let the cheese go a little longer, but this was still great!

  • Garlicky beet dip with walnuts

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      I love beets and this made for a tangy and tasty dip!

    • Lsblackburn1 on December 02, 2019

      Easy to make and very delicious! I was thinking it’d be hard to match Ottolenghi’s beet spread, but this was equally yummy.

  • Smashed eggs and fancy fish on crackers

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      This was so easy and super good! She suggests it as a snack, but it’s perfect for brunch too!

  • Trout roe on buttered toast with lemony herbs

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      I made one of her suggested variations - using smoked salmon in place of the roe. Amazingly I had some on hand and I loved the combo with the herbs and lemon!

  • Tiny creamy pasta with black pepper and pecorino

    • BeckyLeJ on April 30, 2020

      Creamy enough to be a good alternative to mac and cheese, if you need a little shake up in your standard pasta picks.

  • Tiny peppers with yuzu kosho

    • Skamper on June 26, 2020

      These made a tasty snack. I only made 15-16 peppers, so eyeballed the amounts of everything else. I've always made shishitos this way, but without the yuzu kosho, which was a terrific addition. I used green yuzu kosho. Will definitely make again.

  • Spiced and braised short ribs with creamy potatoes

    • Jviney on January 01, 2020

      This recipe was finicky at the beginning - I felt I had to adjust the heat of the burners way down to avoid burning, I didn’t have enough fat in the pan to complete the process, the ribs weren’t submerged in the braising liquid. The house began to smell amazing, however, and when we sat down to dinner we loved it. My potatoes never crisped up, but the tenderness of the meat and the flavor were wonderful. I used water instead of broth and worked just fine.

  • Yogurt-marinated leg of lamb with spicy fennel and sumac

    • Lucylew on December 01, 2019

      I didn't love this recipe. Too much yogurt in the marinade, no directions on what to do with the roasted fennel and the sumac seems like an afterthought. A rare miss for Alison.

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Reviews about this book

  • Kitchn

    This one might be a notch up from beginner (I’m looking at you, whole grilled trout). But if you know a cook who can handle the basics, and is new to entertaining, it’s spot on.

    Full review
  • 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
  • Linked ISBNs
  • 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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