This Will Make It Taste Good: A New Path to Simple Cooking by Vivian Howard

Search this book for Recipes »

Notes about this book

  • nicolepellegrini on January 10, 2021

    Got this book as part of a quarterly cookbook club - otherwise I doubt it would have been a title I picked on my own. It's one of those books where all the recipes rely on having pre-made some master condiment/sauce/element - so it's not good for last-minute recipe inspiration. Also probably better suited for restaurants/large families if you don't want to keep eating things with the same flavor profile for weeks/days on end. Will have to see how I feel about this one in a few months, there aren't a ton of recipes jumping out at me as the kind of dishes I like to prepare (Southern food isn't high on my list of favorites) except for some of the vegetable sides - and maybe for party entertaining once that's possible again. (Also: the over-saturated photography wasn't super appealing to me. Neither were all the "glam shots" of Vivian, but I was never a fan of "A Chef's Life" so I may be biased.)

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Little green dress

    • SheilaS on November 02, 2020

      Lots of flavorful ingredients in this condiment but it's an ensemble performance - none of them put on a solo act here so I'd encourage people to give it a try even if you're not sure of any particular item. Once it's in your fridge, it's so easy to add a punch to lots of dishes.

    • southerncooker on October 26, 2020

      So good. We are not big mint fans so I used basil instead off my plant. Already used in three recipes and more coming up.

    • Rinshin on November 07, 2020

      Amazing taste, but wow this took bit of an effort. But then I had to go to the backyard and cut and stem mint and and parsley. Followed this recipe completely and I would recommend getting out a mini food processor as the author suggests because it takes effort and time using full food processor like I did. I bought the olives recommended for this recipe and my olives were not pitted so it was a chore removing the pits. If they sell pitted Castelvetrano Olives, definitely get that. This lasts 1 month in the fridge. Very excited to use this sauce in the recommended recipes.

    • inflytur on February 06, 2021

      I swapped preserved lemon for lemon zest and reduced the amount of salt. Excellent. After living with Little Green Dress for a week, I find it a bit too acidic. Next time I will reduce the lemon juice.

    • Plumberful on December 13, 2020

      Very flavorful! I found it easy enough to make in my regular food processor and it is so satisfying to have a bowl of this in the fridge. Can’t wait to use it!

    • jimandtammyfaye on March 14, 2021

      The idea behind the recipe is excellent, but I will continue tweaking the recipe toward the flavors my family likes. I subbed basil for mint but followed the rest of the recipe. I liked the briney quality of capers and olives. The sauce reminds me of a chimichurri sauce but with different flavors. I will explore using a loved chimichurri recipe in the different ways Howard used LGD- a great flavor bomb to have on hand!

    • allisonsemele on March 09, 2021

      Made this over the weekend, summoning my mini food processor from retirement. This is really good! It took about an hour for me to make, but a lot of that was sorting through sad winter herbs. I've used this on eggs, crackers with goat cheese, avocado toast, in quesadillas, and the naked burgers. Will definitely make again. Editing this note to say that this recipe definitely mellows--the day I made it, I thought the pickled shallot flavor was too loud, but everything blended together after a day or so in the fridge. Will make it again as written.

  • Jammy eggs dressed in green

    • SheilaS on November 02, 2020

      Love that this made my eggs taste very fancy with almost no effort. 6.5 minutes is exactly the way I do my soft-boiled eggs but I agree with the previous poster that they are a little more runny than jammy.

    • southerncooker on October 27, 2020

      Middles didn't get jammy after following directions, so after I put on LGD I microwaved abt 25 seconds and it was perfect.

    • inflytur on February 06, 2021

      Little Green Dress does complement eggs well. I took this recipe to the next logical step and added LDG to egg salad which was delicious.

    • allisonsemele on March 09, 2021

      I agree with the other two posters who said that 6.5 min leaves you with a more runny than jammy egg, but I prefer them this way.

  • LGD goes ranch

    • SheilaS on November 02, 2020

      This dressing/dip is WAY more delicious than anything that comes out of a packet of dried ingredients and assuming you've got the Little Green Dress prepped, it's just as easy. Excellent.

    • Jviney on November 21, 2020

      I made this with the last of my LGD and can’t stop eating it with Club crackers. It’s really delicious.

    • Plumberful on January 08, 2021

      Very good dressing or dip. We liked it a lot on a fresh green salad with lots of crunchy veg.

    • jimandtammyfaye on March 14, 2021

      What a great idea! Even though the flavor combination wasn't my preference, as I noted in my review of Little Green Dress, I will explore different flavors to be part of my LGD. LGD "Chimichurri style" will be the next thing I try adding to a creamy ranch base. Ratio of LGD to creamy ingredients is perfect.

  • Naked burgers with a cheese toupee & spinach crown

    • SheilaS on November 24, 2020

      These are pork burgers, distinctively seasoned with cumin, topped with Swiss cheese, charred red onion and spinach that's sautéed in olive oil and butter with garlic, mushrooms and mixed with a scoop of LGD before it goes on the burger. The recipe makes 8 oz burgers and serves them on a plate. I went with 4 oz and put mine on a bun. I forgot to buy mushrooms so I melted a slice of the double-mushroom butter from Six Seasons into the pan with the garlic before wilting the greens. I subbed arugula for spinach as it needed to be used. I really enjoyed this. Loved the charred onion. The combination of LDG and butter is just as green vegetable-friendly here as in the asparagus recipe. The cumin in the burger was interesting and made me think these would be good made with lamb. Vivian suggests turkey or beef as alternative meats.

    • southerncooker on October 27, 2020

      I used the ground beef and cremini mushroom options. Made half recipe for daughter and I. We enjoyed them.

    • allisonsemele on March 09, 2021

      Made a half recipe to make four smaller burgers, but other than that as written. The burger is very cumin-forward, which I liked but my husband was a little less fond of. Very tasty and a one-pan meal. Liked the onions. Next time will serve with a bun. Used the leftover burger patty, spinach, and mushrooms as the filling for a quesadilla the next day and that was good too.

  • Asparagus bathed in green butter

    • SheilaS on March 21, 2021

      Love, love the green butter. It's delicious on the asparagus and other vegetables, too. I made up extra of the compound butter to keep in my freezer so I can easily slice off a pat to use. I've even slathered some on my toast. I put a jammy egg on top of the asparagus to make a meal.

    • allisonsemele on March 10, 2021

      So quick and simple--the little green dress butter goes incredibly well asparagus, and I can't wait to try it with other vegetables. Served this with some mushroom-stuffed ravioli, and it all went fantastically well together.

  • Cherry tomato baked feta... surprise!

    • SheilaS on November 12, 2020

      Vivian serves this over swordfish but the header notes suggest toast, grits, puréed cauliflower, couscous, fish or chicken as good partners. I chose polenta and roasted cauliflower. Coming out of the oven, this smelled amazing and it was all I could do to avoid eating it all with just some crusty bread. Another case where a scoop of LGD adds a ton of flavor without having to assemble a dozen separate ingredients. Excellent! Edited to add that I've made this several more times & served over pasta, over shrimp and on its own with crusty bread.

    • southerncooker on November 02, 2020

      The surprise is it's served over fish. It was really good.

    • allisonsemele on April 02, 2021

      Served this as a dip with crusty bread and it was fantastic. Skipped the fish. Will definitely make again.

  • Roast chicken toast

    • SheilaS on March 21, 2021

      The very idea of roasting chicken on a bread "pillow" with the intention of consuming the dripping laden bread seemed extremely naughty but the flavors are excellent. The warm chicken picked up the herb flavors nicely but I found the slab-o-toast awkward to eat as it was VERY crunchy on the bottom. 50 minutes in a 400°F oven will do that but my choice of bread could have contributed, too.

  • Mussels work

    • SheilaS on March 21, 2021

      If you've got Little Green Dress in the fridge, this only takes a couple of minutes to throw together and it's delicious. Vivian right about having plenty of crusty bread to sop up the juices. So good!

  • R-rated onions

    • SheilaS on November 02, 2020

      I didn't need Vivian to tell me how to caramelize onions but I love her ideas for using them so I had to do it. My yield from ~ 4 lbs of yellow onions was 1.5 cups.

    • southerncooker on November 08, 2020

      Good method for caramelizing onions. I got about a cup and half from 4 pounds of onions.

    • Rinshin on November 09, 2020

      Since I was using medium sized onions, my yield was also 1 1/2 C and like SheilaS, I did not need Vivian’s instructions, but some uses are new to me like in beans and in hummus. I always have caramelized onion in the freezer for using in sauces, burgers and and for no. 1 use, in Japanese style curries. It is indispensable.

  • Pinch me, Frenchie

    • SheilaS on November 18, 2020

      Per the suggestion in book, I made these in muffin tins instead of a bundt pan. Half of the dough was the right amount for 12 standard-sized muffins. I found the dough wet, sticky and difficult to work with. I ended up adding a lot more flour to get something I could handle. In the oven, butter bubbled up and over the edges of the muffin tin so best to set it on a baking sheet. Very tasty result but very annoying dough!

  • Sloppy Joe shirred eggs with spinach

    • SheilaS on March 21, 2021

      I made some tofu/mushroom chorizo and subbed that in for the ground turkey. I love the way the eggs are set in little spinach nests floating in the "meat" sauce. Delicious!

  • Upstairs party dip

    • SheilaS on November 02, 2020

      In my book, this is titled People Pleaser Party Dip. Either way, it's a delicious dip. A little on the sweet side for my taste but it did grow on me. Next time, I might try sherry vinegar instead of balsamic as I do in another onion dip. I recommend running a knife through the onions to avoid a stringy dip...unless that's what you like!

    • southerncooker on November 08, 2020

      Not our favorite onion dip but it was ok. Wasn't fond of the cream cheese addition. Should have chopped up the caramelized onions a bit. Also the name in the book is People Pleaser party dip.

  • Tuna salad snack crackers

    • SheilaS on November 02, 2020

      I loved the complex flavors the Little Green Dress provides here. Once that's made, there's no need to chop anything except celery and you get tons of punchy flavor. Per the recipe, I put this on Wasa crackers with sliced avocado but it could easily be scooped into an avocado or tomato or just served as a salad on a plate.

    • southerncooker on October 26, 2020

      Delicious. I used multigrain wasa crackers.

    • Plumberful on January 08, 2021

      I dearly love good tuna salad with just mayo as the binder, so I was skeptical, but wow is this good! Way better than simply mayo. Great on the Wasa crackers.

  • Tomato "pie" for dough dummies

    • SheilaS on November 02, 2020

      I love the tomato pie from DRR but these individual tomato slices are a great substitution. Make sure not to crumble the crackers too finely. You want them to add some texture not turn into a cheesy paste.

    • southerncooker on November 08, 2020

      Son and I love tomato pie and always enjoy trying new versions. This one was delicious. We also enjoyed the one from Deep Run Roots.

  • Here's to eggplant

    • SheilaS on March 21, 2021

      I subbed zucchini instead of eggplant. The recipe makes a chunky vinaigrette with caramelized onions, kalamata olives, feta, garlic, fresh herbs, lemon zest & juice. This results in a brown-ish sludge that you are instructed to spread on a plate and top with the grilled eggplant. The nicely styled photo instead shows the individual ingredients attractively scattered over the eggplant. Whatever, it tasted good and I'm looking forward to trying the vinaigrette with other things as Vivian suggests.

  • Steaks dripping in blue cheese-onion butter

    • SheilaS on March 30, 2021

      I substituted big portobello mushrooms for the steak and it was great. The blue cheese-onion butter is delicious stuff!

  • Anchovy gateway spaghetti

    • SheilaS on March 21, 2021

      I don't need a gateway to anchovies but I had a small jar of them in the fridge with a significant layer of anchovy sludge in the bottom and figured this would be a good use. Love the garlic bread crumbs and the flavors. The savory anchovy nicely balances the sweet onions. There could be vegetables like sautéed bitter greens or roasted Brussels sprouts but it's very nice as is.

  • Can-do kraut

    • SheilaS on November 12, 2020

      Using only one head of cabbage makes this a very accessible sauerkraut recipe for someone like me who is a newbie to kraut making. Citing a weight for the cabbage might be helpful. Mine weighed about 2 lbs and almost all of it fit into a 1 qt jar vs the 2 qts cited in the recipe. Per the recipe, I let it ferment for 2 weeks. I'm not an expert but it tastes very salty and a bit pickle-y. The texture is not as crisp as fresh cabbage but not mushy. So far, I've only used it in the Breakfast of Compromisers omelet and I liked it a lot.

    • southerncooker on November 08, 2020

      I made mine in a crock. After fermenting for a week I transfered to jars and put in fridge. Tasted good. Can't wait to try it in some of the recipes and on its own.

  • Picklesicles

    • SheilaS on April 05, 2021

      Holy moly, are these every salt bombs! Maybe my brine was more concentrated than Vivian's? I certainly wasn't able to ladle off lots of it from the top and had to save what I drained for other recipes.

  • Breakfast of compromisers

    • SheilaS on November 12, 2020

      This is a Swiss cheese & kraut omelet with a sprinkle of poppy seeds. I used 2 eggs instead of 3 and Jarlesberg instead of Swiss. Reading the recipe, I thought there should be some shreds of pastrami or something in there but like southerncooker, I found it surprisingly tasty as is.

    • southerncooker on November 12, 2020

      I used some of the Can-do kraut in this. After I started making it I realized I only had one slice of Swiss cheese so I used a little shredded mozzarella and provolone I had. It was surprisingly good.

    • Plumberful on January 04, 2021

      I already have home-fermented sauerkraut that I’ve canned, so I love Vivian’s creative ideas for using kraut. Who thinks about sauerkraut in an omelet? And yet, this is delicious! I used 4 eggs, making it a good size for 2, gruyere, and some Trader Joe’s “Everything but the Bagel Sesame” seasoning sprinkled on top. My sauerkraut has caraway seeds and like Sheila S., I found myself thinking about corned beef or pastrami layered in this!

    • allisonsemele on March 09, 2021

      This sounded interesting, but it didn't work for me--I think I didn't like the poppy. I did like the swiss cheese and kraut together, but maybe not with eggs.

  • Avocado toast on Coronation Day

    • SheilaS on November 13, 2020

      This is pan-fried toast topped with avocado (prettily sliced and fanned in the book photo, scooped out of the shell and mashed in mine) and a small pile-o-kraut. I thought this would be lacking compared to kimichi-avocado toast, but it was quite good. Because I liked the combo of cheese & kraut in the kraut omelet from this book, I shaved a little Jarlesberg to melt on to the toast before I mushed on the avocado. Perhaps not necessary, but I thought it was a good addition.

  • Krautcakes with fried apples & Dijon

    • SheilaS on November 13, 2020

      These would make a great side for grilled sausages or roast pork or chicken. I wish I'd spread them out more to get more lacy, crispy bits but they were still very good. If you use a 1/4 cup measure for these, you'll probably end up with 8 rather than the 6 that the recipe indicates.

  • Bloody & pickled Marys

    • SheilaS on March 21, 2021

      This came out way too salty for me to enjoy.

  • Macaroni hot dish

    • SheilaS on April 05, 2021

      I made this without the ground beef and upped the broccoli a bit. I cooked 6 oz pasta to get 3 cups, I think the 4 oz specified in the book is low. The kraut was an interesting pickle-y addition to a broccoli mac & cheese casserole. Macaroni hot dish isn't something I care for so while it was interesting, I won't repeat it.

  • Sweet potato, kraut, & bacon chowder

    • SheilaS on November 18, 2020

      Great soup! Due to the kraut, it was a bit salty for my taste so I'll watch that next time. It looked really good before I puréed it so next time, I might cut the potatoes smaller and run a knife over the kraut and skip the blender part for some or all of the soup.

    • meggan on December 12, 2020

      I actually only had 1 sweet potato and no leeks so I just used mostly potatoes and an onion. I thought the sauerkraut ( I used a nice store-bought) made it interesting.

  • Beets meet reuben

    • SheilaS on March 21, 2021

      Roasted beets get sliced, lightly marinated and served with a Russian-ish dressing that includes Can-Do Kraut. Rye bread croutons add texture and the Reuben connection. Not the prettiest dish I've made but I loved the flavors and textures.

  • Does not disappoint breakfast casserole

    • SheilaS on November 02, 2020

      Aside from the crispy bits on top, I'm not a huge fan of the breakfast casserole but this is a good one and the Red Weapons add a great vinegary punch. I'll add them to the egg mixture next time I make a frittata. In fact, I'd switch out the bread for potatoes and turn this into a frittata. I also liked the cheese cut into 1/4" dice rather than shredded. I made a half-batch baked in an 8-inch pan and baked ~ 45 min instead of a full hour.

    • Plumberful on December 03, 2020

      This was simply delicious! Certainly lived up to its name. I made a full recipe in a well-seasoned, 12-inch cast iron skillet, which was perfect. I will use Vivian’s method of cubing the cheese in other similar dishes. This was even more delicious on the second day!

  • Red devils

    • SheilaS on November 18, 2020

      Like the deviled eggs in Deep Run Roots, these use both butter and mayo so they are too rich for me. I also wanted to add more acid (there's no mustard or vinegar, save for the Red Weapons liquid) but the yolk filling was already pretty soft so my options were limited. Maybe I should have drained the chopped Red Weapons better? Glad I tried them but won't repeat.

    • allisonsemele on April 03, 2021

      I skipped the butter and thought these were plenty rich without it. Used the dregs of my red weapons so it was mostly peppers. Would make it this way again.

  • Do try this at home

    • SheilaS on November 24, 2020

      Made this with fresh black cod from the farmers market and served with homemade whole grain crackers. It was delicious and I'd certainly make it again.

  • My citrus shrine

    • SheilaS on February 01, 2021

      I used 2 small Oro Blanco grapefruits, 2 large Cara Cara oranges, 1 blood orange, 2 Meyer Lemons, 4 tangerines and a bunch of small Bearss limes in a 2.5 liter jar. Next time, I will not combine them as it's annoying to fish through the jar for the type of citrus you want. I cut the fruit all the way through in quarters. Sixths or eighths for the bigger fruit. Basically, the size of pieces that I tend to use at one time. In my experience, it's necessary to "burp" the jar every day or so in the beginning, especially when sweeter fruits like oranges are in the mix.

  • Fish in a bag

    • SheilaS on March 15, 2021

      This is an oven-baked fish in parchment paper with spinach and quinoa to make it a complete meal in a bag. The tahini sauce that looks completely smooth in the book photo (and was, going into the oven) is rather more baked and slightly broken here but still delicious. Honey makes the sauce a little on the sweet side. I figured the salmon I used would be able to handle the sweetness but would dial it back with a more delicate fish. Likewise, 12 min at 500°F, in my oven was a bit much and I'll likely lower the temp a bit next time but the parchment keeps things moist so it was still good.

  • Autumn's crunch factor slaw

    • SheilaS on March 10, 2021

      The Cosmic Crisp apple I used was quite sweet so I reduced the sugar to 1/4 the amount specified. Unless I was using a super-tart apple, I'd leave it out entirely. After tasting, I doubled the amount of pickled ginger and preserved orange rind. I skipped the salt and added some of the orange pulp, chopped up, and a few drops of the brine to taste. I liked this a lot. Should be good with other vegetables like kohlrabi, jicama, radish, carrot, etc.

    • Emily Hope on January 06, 2021

      I have mixed feelings about this slaw--I like that it is inventive and isn't the typical combo of slaw ingredients, and it is juicy and fresh-tasting (it skews sweet but not in a cloying way). However, the combo of raw beets, raw sweet potatoes, and pickled ginger gave it an undeniably earthy undertone--so much so that C, who is more tolerant of dirt-flavored foods like beets than I am, mentioned it. I think if I made it again I might omit the beets and/or the sweet potatoes (perhaps swapping for a more savory veg like tokyo turnips or cabbage), and possible swap the pickled ginger for (a smaller amount of) fresh. Used pickled lemons rather than oranges because that's what we had on hand, but I don't think that substantially changed the nature of the dish.

  • New Leaf pilaf

    • SheilaS on March 10, 2021

      I used Rancho Gordo midnight black beans instead of the canned beans specified so I had to cook them first but once the beans are ready, this is super easy. I liked drizzling a bit of olive oil around the edge of the pan plus a few minutes on the stovetop to crisp up the rice on the bottom. Will certainly make again.

  • Margaritas with salt inside

    • SheilaS on February 01, 2021

      I'm not a fan of salt on my margarita glasses but this version that incorporates the salty, funky preserved limes into a syrup to sweeten the drink was great. Also not fan of blanco tequila so I made one with reposado tequila and one with mezcal. I liked both but give the edge to the mezcal version.

  • Collards break character

    • SheilaS on February 08, 2021

      More of a collard/coconut soup than a bowl o'greens. Could easily be a main with some shrimp added at the end. Excellent flavor but has the potential to be a salt bomb. I used Mae Ploy green curry paste, which @ 610 mg sodium/2 t, ends up to be 930 mg sodium/serving and that's before we even get to the salt-preserved lemons! I rinsed thoroughly and only used the pulp from 2 quarters, holding the rest of the pulp back to add if needed. NOT! Vivian calls for another 1t salt that I also skipped. The collards get a quick sauté/wilt with seasonings and two 5-min simmer periods, less than my usual. They have a bit of a chew to them but I really liked them. My recommendations are to check the salt level of your green curry paste, consider backing off on the amount of preserved lemon, definitely reserve the pulp and only add it at the end if you want more salt. The flavors are really wonderful but use caution if salt is something you are sensitive to.

  • Party in a can

    • SheilaS on January 24, 2021

      I made this bean dip substituting Rancho Gordo Vallarta beans for the canned ones and reducing the olive by half. It seemed like a bunch of disparate ingredients that I wouldn't think to combine but the flavor was great and really came together the next day, as Vivian says. Since writing the above, I've made most of the variations except for the one with Sweet Potential and enjoyed them. Since quantities aren't given, you need to play around to suit your taste, but I figure that's part of the fun.

  • Rock me don't shake me lemon pie

    • SheilaS on March 15, 2021

      This is a mixed-citrus, chess-style pie that uses the salt-preserved citrus rind that Vivian calls "Citrus Shrine" p 140. Fresh orange and lemon juice add brightness to the mellow, slightly savory flavors of the preserved rind. The header notes tip us off that this is not a super tart & tangy lemon pie but it's also not overly sweet like some lemon desserts - we're supposed to be rocked but not shaken. I made a half recipe in a six-inch pie pan. The blind bake time/temp given was insufficient for me to get the bottom crust cooked. The photo in the book shows tons of thick chunks of rind on top while the directions say to cut it very thin and fold it into the custard so mine doesn't have the caramelized bits on top but still tasted good. I think this is best after sitting a bit to let the flavors of the rind diffuse into the custard.

  • OG peas (or beans)

    • SheilaS on January 18, 2021

      I made this with Rancho Gordo black eyed peas and was impressed at how much flavor the Community Organizer added since it was just stirred in near the very end of the cooking time. I'll be using it in lots of beans.

    • southerncooker on January 01, 2021

      I used Black Eyed Peas. I love tomatoes in BEP so though would be perfect. It was good but little sweet. I think if I'd added more tomatoes in the peas after cooking to tone the sweetness down a bit I'd have liked even better.

  • Bake beans again

    • SheilaS on January 24, 2021

      With the Community Organizer already made and some cooked Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye beans on hand, this was super easy to toss together and bake. Very flavorful. Since baked in individual serving sizes, I probably should have baked them for less time or used more of the bean cooking liquid for a more saucy result. I'll watch out for that next time. Between the diced country ham, the beans and CO, I'd say the serving size is very generous.

  • Nacho normal

    • SheilaS on February 20, 2021

      Never thought of nachos as a meal but with the spinach, cauliflower and beans - it works. A half batch on a quarter sheet pan was absolutely a full meal for 2. Next time, I'll add something pickle-y like pickled jalapeños. Like most things I've made with Community Organizer, there's a sweetness that surprises me but wins me over in the end.

  • Community organizer

    • SheilaS on January 18, 2021

      Peeling 20 tomatoes then dicing them, along with 8 bell peppers, 3 onions and slicing 10 cloves of garlic felt like a lot of chopping but I think it will be worthwhile. At first taste, I thought it might be too sweet but so far, I've enjoyed it with both eggs and beans and it's going to be a great addition to my pantry.

    • southerncooker on January 01, 2021

      My store was out of dark brown sugar so I used light brown. I ended up 3 pints. It smelled delicious when cooking.

  • Fast road to fancy

    • SheilaS on March 24, 2021

      As noted by Plumberful, this is indeed quick to make, assuming you've got Community Organizer at the ready, and very tasty, too. I served it over orzo. My Castelvetrano olives had pits so I had to butcher them to get the pits out. Just as well since it was nice to get a bit of olive in every bite. I think any type of olive would have been fine, as would any salty, tangy thing like capers. I'd make this again.

    • Plumberful on December 22, 2020

      Made this today with a jar of Community Organizer that I canned in November. Once you have C.O. on hand, this recipe is simple and delicious. I would add a bit more acid than the recipe calls for; next time I’ll include some good capers. We liked this very much!

  • Egg in a cup in a microwave

    • SheilaS on January 18, 2021

      Flavorwise, I loved this. Community Organizer is clearly a great companion for eggs and I look forward to trying it in other dishes. My microwave is pretty feeble so it took more than 2 minutes and was tedious to take it out and stir every 30 sec. I could have scrambled this in a pan in half the time.

    • southerncooker on January 02, 2021

      This was delicious. I used turkey bacon crumbles instead of a crumbled cooked bacon strip.

    • Plumberful on January 02, 2021

      Made this for breakfast today, but instead of the microwave, I used vintage porcelain egg coddlers. The addition of the C.O. flavor hero was wonderful in cheesy, creamy, coddled eggs.

  • Barbecue potatoes

    • SheilaS on March 28, 2021

      The potatoes get par-boiled, smashed, roasted then tossed with puréed Community Organizer and back into the oven. I suspect my potatoes were bigger than Vivian's and I smashed them enough that they fell apart when I tossed them with the CO but they tasted good. The salty feta is a nice contrast to the sweetness of CO.

  • Herbdacious

    • SheilaS on November 11, 2020

      This is very reminiscent of a pesto except that instead of basil as the primary note with a bite of fresh garlic, this one uses a lot of mellow, slow roasted garlic and a mix of fresh herbs with lemon juice and zest to brighten it up. In addition to the basil and parsley, I used a mix of mint, cilantro and dill. Should be fun to play with the mix of herbs to vary the flavor. The first thing I used this in was mixed with mayo on a BLP (bacon, lettuce & peach) sandwich that Vivian mentions on the "No Brainer" page of ideas for this item. Delicious!

  • Tomato gravy to me

    • SheilaS on November 25, 2020

      This is a tomato/onion gravy that features Herbdacious p 206. All those herbs add a lot of flavor to something that's otherwise pretty quick and simple. The combination of brown caramelized onion, red burst tomatoes and bright green Herbdacious make a color like baby poop but it tastes just fine. I served this over white grits cooked per Vivian's Foolproof Grits recipe in Deep Run Roots. Delicious!

  • This is 40 fettuccine

    • SheilaS on November 15, 2020

      This was a nice pasta dish but, in my book, it's only worth frying things if they are going to end up crispy and that's not the case here. Half of the "golden brown" fried zucchini goes in the blender with the Herbdacious where it dulls both the color and flavor of that brilliant green sauce. The other half of the fried zucchini gets tossed in at the end. 1/4" slices of zucchini fried to golden brown are pretty soft so there's not much textural contrast with the pasta. I love the Herbdacious and think its a perfect for a veggie pasta dish but I'll try steaming a mix of colorful veg and adding a squeeze of lemon juice to accent the bright flavors.

  • Juicy & bright citrus salad

    • SheilaS on March 15, 2021

      I used a mix of pink grapefruit, blood and navel oranges with some kumquats thrown in for fun. I wasn't sure how a roasted garlic-based herb pesto was going to work as the main ingredient in a dressing for a citrus salad but Vivian did not steer me wrong. It works very well. I will repeat this one for sure.

  • Herbdacious chef's mix

    • SheilaS on January 18, 2021

      Nice variation on the classic snack mix. I had to make some ingredient subs based on what I had on hand - pretzels instead of bagel chips and other crackers instead of Saltines - but it still came out fine so I think this is very flexible.

  • Caesar me convinced

    • SheilaS on November 16, 2020

      Great Caesar-style dressing, flavored with Herbdacious. I made a half batch of the dressing. My Herbdacious is more of a paste, not really something that can be "drizzled slowly" into the processor but I did my best to spoon in little dabs and it worked fine. For the croutons, I followed one of of the "No Brainer" notes and tossed torn bread with a bit of Herbdacious before toasting them. Very flavorful, not heavy or oily as some croutons can be. Vivian says the dressing is best the day it's made but I found it acceptable on the 2nd day, when I made a version of the salad with grilled romaine.

    • allisonsemele on March 23, 2021

      A creamy Caesar dressing with great flavor, and so quick to make if you have the Herdacious sitting around. I second the recommendation below to add Herbdacious-coated croutons. I made a half batch, which was enough for at least three large salads.

  • Quirky furki

    • SheilaS on March 18, 2021

      I made a half-batch and used bonito flakes instead of dried shrimp. Per Vivian's suggestion, I kept some with bigger chunks and ground the rest more finely which smelled amazing from the toasted sesame seeds getting broken up. Putting salt & vinegar potato chips in here is pretty genius as they really add a punch of flavor.

    • southerncooker on November 08, 2020

      I used bonito flakes and nori. I tried some sprinkled in ramen soup and it was delicious.

    • Dannausc on February 07, 2021

      The nori burnt in the oven after a few minutes. Fairly quick and easy. Good accent flavor.

  • Scrambled eggs with tomatoes & more

    • SheilaS on March 18, 2021

      Very good. I loved the crunch that the quirky furki adds to this dish.

    • southerncooker on March 06, 2021

      This one uses the quirky furki hero and it was very good. I'd make again.

  • Inspiration strikes party rolls

    • SheilaS on March 24, 2021

      These little rolls use Quirky Furki in a buttery topping with mustard. I used Black Forest Ham instead of bologna and Fontina instead of Provolone but otherwise followed the recipe. Fresh pineapple gets cut into very thin slices and marinated in rice vinegar so they're almost more like a pickle than a hunk of fruit. I'll be stealing that idea for sure. These are surprisingly good but the butter certainly results in a greasy finger situation so be prepared with wipes or napkins!

    • southerncooker on November 18, 2020

      Where to begin -- I enjoy banana and bologna sandwiches with a glass of milk. Pretty weird right? So I thought I'd give this a try since I had some Quirky Furki left. The pickled pineapple that goes on these rolls tasted pretty good to me but husband, son, and daughter said not. I used beef bologna since that's what we eat. The Quirky Furki didn't go well with other ingredients in my opinion. To be fair we're not big Kings Hawaiian Rolls fans. These may be for someone but not for this family.

  • Please forgive me steamed rice

    • SheilaS on March 24, 2021

      This recipe adds finely ground Quirky Furki to the rice during the cooking time vs sprinkling furikake over already cooked rice, as one would usually do. Turns out, this is actually quite a nice way of making a quick seasoned rice. The flavors are much more embedded in the rice, rather than sprinkled here and there so it's more subtle and different. Nice trick.

  • V's nuts

    • SheilaS on January 18, 2021

      Sweet-spicy nuts have always been a flavor hero of mine to garnish soups, salads, vegetables and desserts. Homemade taste better and are much more economical than the expensive packets in the stores. I made a batch with some beautiful Georgia pecans I received as a Christmas gift and they are delicious. I'm looking forward to trying them some of Vivian's recipes ...if I can stop snacking on them!

    • Dannausc on February 07, 2021

      I used walnuts instead of pecans. Super easy other than whisking the egg whites. Good, tasty.

  • V's roasted-banana nut bread

    • SheilaS on February 08, 2021

      I made a half recipe and baked it in 2 small loaf pans. I liked the flavor added by the spices and orange zest and the sweet/spicy coating on the pecans adds interest. The texture is moist but not heavy, more like a banana cake to me.

    • Dannausc on February 07, 2021

      This is the first banana bread I’ve made that involved roasting the bananas first. Actually it’s the first recipe I think I’ve ever made that involved roasting bananas. I don’t think it really added much to the overall flavor. It was a good banana bread but not better than any other decent banana bread.

  • But-a-nut soup

    • SheilaS on February 07, 2021

      Really good. As Vivian suggests in the header notes, the garnish is what makes the But-A-Nut soup special. It's in the V's Nuts chapter so those chopped, spiced pecans play a role, but only a supporting one, I think. The garnish starts out by cooking sliced leeks in butter until it browns, then adding apple cider vinegar and maple syrup which turns them into a sweet, buttery, lightly pickled thing. That gets mixed with sliced fresh apple and the nuts to become the garnish so you've got tons of different flavors and textures in the mix.

  • Hot side of salmon

    • SheilaS on March 26, 2021

      I used pineapple & lime Sweet Potential and grilled a salmon filet rather than a whole side. Green onions aren't mentioned but appear in the book photo and were a nice addition. This was quite good. The glaze is vinegar-y enough to serve as a vinaigrette for the greens. I added a serving of rice although this would be fine on its own as a salad. Be warned that with the addition of the soy sauce, the glaze will be darker than what appears in the book photo. Still tastes great so don't leave it out!

  • A hero is born / back-pocket pan sauce

    • SheilaS on March 25, 2021

      This recipe is written for pork tenderloin but I'd use it for any meat or poultry that would work with a fruity sauce. I used the kumquat version of Sweet Potential. Instead of pork tenderloin, as in the recipe, I had some boneless pork loin chops so I cooked them sous vide and seared them off to get some brown stuff going for the sauce. Chicken, duck, venison, etc. should all work.

  • I wish I was a cheese baller

    • SheilaS on March 28, 2021

      This is not a cheese ball but a baked cheese spread that includes some fruit preserves. It's luxurious and delicious. I used Whole Fig and Lemon Preserves from Deep Run Roots. They were thicker than the syrup that Vivian describes for Sweet Potential so I added water and simmered for a while to get them back to that consistency. I tested freezing the mix before baking in 2.5 oz and 4 oz portions and it's easy to take one out of the freezer, pop it into a ramekin and bake it for a quick treat for 1 or 2 people.

  • Watermelon mint gimlet

    • SheilaS on March 25, 2021

      I haven't made watermelon Sweet Potential yet, but I made a Blackberry mint gimlet using syrup from a batch of Blackberry Sweet Potential and it was delicious. I also tried a kumquat version but the flavor didn't really stand out and it just tasted like a lime mint gimlet

  • Cherry boulevardier

    • SheilaS on March 28, 2021

      I've made this with the syrup from both blackberry and fig preserves. Both were very good. 1/4 to 1/2 oz of syrup is my preference, a full ounce was too sweet for me.

  • Strawberry daquiri

    • SheilaS on March 28, 2021

      I made this with the syrup from pineapple Sweet Potential and Plantation pineapple rum and it's absolutely excellent. 1/2 oz of syrup was plenty sweet for me.

  • Gas station biscuits

    • southerncooker on October 26, 2020

      Pretty good.

    • Jviney on November 18, 2020

      These were really good. The tops of my biscuits slid off during baking, and maybe I would try baking them a little closer together next time. My husband doesn’t love the flavors of LGD, so I made a couple without it and they were very good also.

  • Deep Run summer in a bowl

    • southerncooker on October 26, 2020

      I could eat a gallon of this. It's fabulous.

  • Roasted butternut squash with miso mayo and quirky furki

    • southerncooker on December 07, 2020

      This uses the quirky Furki hero. It was pretty good but a bit on the salty side. I did accidentally mix the QF in with mayo mixture. I sprinkled a little more QF at end so that might have caused the saltiness.

    • Dannausc on February 07, 2021

      Quite easy. It was good but nothing special.

  • Fried dollar bills

    • southerncooker on November 14, 2020

      Collard green chips sprinkled with salt and Quirky Furki. Crispy, crunchy, and delicious. Even hubby liked them. Collards from Tumbling Shoals Farm share.

  • Where's my medal grits & chicken

    • clkandel on March 14, 2021

      This is very good, although a little plain tasting. Definitely recommend adding the sauce. We didn't have the Herbdacious sauce made, but did have Green Peruvian Dipping sauce on hand so used that - really made the flavors pop. Grits cook perfectly using this method.

    • Plumberful on January 03, 2021

      This dish is very, very good! The grits cooked perfectly and were so flavorful and rich-tasting. The chicken stays crispy on top and all of the flavors are nicely balanced. A definite winner in our household.

    • allisonsemele on March 26, 2021

      Delicious and pretty decadent tasting from the chicken juices. I added dollops of the optional herbdacious at the end, and I think the dish really does benefit from something green tasting. I served with louisiana hot sauce too.

  • Gingered cabbage in a quirky cream

    • Dannausc on February 07, 2021

      Quite easy once the quirky furki is made. I liked it quite a bit, but my wife didn’t care for it.

  • Feisty creamycado

    • allisonsemele on March 26, 2021

      A thicker version of this was utterly fantastic as a topping/dip for quesadillas.

  • Chicken salad worth discussion

    • allisonsemele on March 31, 2021

      A very light and refreshing chicken salad. Was great over lightly dressed greens.

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 0316381128
  • ISBN 13 9780316381123
  • Published Oct 20 2020
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 352
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Voracious

Publishers Text

Home cooking the Vivian Howard way, with 125 recipes based on ten simple "kitchen heroes" from caramelized onions to fruit preserves, from the New York Times bestselling author of Deep Run Roots, winner of an astonishing four IACP Awards including Cookbook of the Year and the Julia Child First Book Award

Vivian Howard is the decorated author of Deep Run Roots, a new classic of American cooking--as much a portrait of the South and its people as it is a collection of recipes. In her second book, Vivian's eye for storytelling and ingenuity in the kitchen turns homewards--into her home kitchen, and yours.

This is a book for anyone who likes to cook--but doesn't have all night to do it. Vivian's solution to cooking well when you need a shortcut is to rely on a handful of simple, powerful pantry staples that help even the simplest of dishes take on immense flavor. The MVPs give you the building blocks of excellent weeknight cooking at home--making healthy, everyday meals taste as rich and flavorful as a night out.

This Will Make It Taste Good is an essential work of culinary genius, solving everyday cooking challenges by upgrading your toolkit--not settling for less. And along with these 125 game-changing recipes, this book delivers the powerful stories that are the hallmark of cooking at Vivian's elbow: tales about the challenges, triumphs, and lessons that stock the pantry of who Vivian is.

An modern classic from a masterful author, this is a can't-miss follow up to the book that took the cooking world by storm.


Other cookbooks by this author