Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients by Ina Garten

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Notes about this book

  • sturlington on January 01, 2015

    This is beautiful cookbook, with photos of every dish and lots of helpful entertaining tips. The recipes seem easy and accessible, without having to make ridiculous quantities of food, although they do seem more geared toward entertaining than everyday eating. My favorites are the Oven-roasted Vegetables and Pan-Roasted Root Vegetables. The best chapters are Vegetables, offering several simple but tasty side dishes, and Breakfast of course. The Country French Omelet and Sunrise Smoothies earned rave reviews from my family. This is a keeper cookbook to break out for special family dinners and having guests over.

  • shknbk on August 29, 2013

    The French Apple Tart is fabulous.

  • PrincessK on October 09, 2010

    Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash, Herb-Marinate Pork Tenderloin, other books: Cauliflower Gratin (paris), 40 cloves garlic chicken (paris), pan fried onion dip (bcc), french onion soup (bcc), parkers split pea soup (bcc), Chocolate Buttercream Cake (bcc), outgrageous brownies (bcc-make half), pecan squares(bcc), coconut cupcakes (bcc), indonesian chicken (bcc), roasted brussels sprouts (bcc), potato-fennel gratin (bcc), szechuan noodles (bcc)

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Dinner spanakopitas

    • jaelsne on March 23, 2012

      This is a WONDERFUL recipe! My family loved the spanakopitas. My husband, who is never very exuberant, said that they were excellent. When asked to rate them on a scale of one to ten--he said TEN! This was my first time in 25 years of cooking for the man that my food ever received a perfect ten! Whoo hoo! Thanks, Ina!

    • anya_sf on March 28, 2019

      I assembled them ahead and froze them, which worked well. Making them was a lot of work. For the filling, I used 2 16-oz bags of frozen spinach and 10 oz feta (which was plenty). I needed the whole 16 oz package of phyllo and about 2 extra tablespoons of butter, and had a bit of extra filling. The spanakopitas were very good. I served 2 per person for dinner.

  • Baked sweet potato "fries"

    • sstewart on January 17, 2010

      Awesome! Made with DARK brown sugar and finished with MALDON sea salt. Took longer to cook than recipe instructs, but were nice and crispy!

    • HunyBadger on December 12, 2010

      No need for sugar, these are sweet enough. Add a bit more cooking time and a bit less oil as well. Yum!

    • sturlington on April 07, 2013

      At such a high temperature, potatoes tended to burn rather than crisp up.

    • eBrowner on October 27, 2012

      How did you get them crispy?

    • anya_sf on April 02, 2020

      Pretty good but sweet. I would omit the sugar next time. Not that crispy.

  • Coq au vin

    • mabeysmom on January 14, 2010

      Made 1/14/2010. Not great won't make again.

    • Kojak on December 05, 2016

      Very good. Served with mashed potatoes and the whole family loved it.

    • anya_sf on August 06, 2018

      I usually make 1/2 recipe (serving 4), but with 12 oz mushrooms. I like this best with all chicken thighs, so it can stay in the oven longer - maybe an hour - without drying out. I add peas at the end and serve over mashed potatoes or noodles. My family loves this dish. Great flavor for relatively little effort compared with other coq au vin recipes.

  • Italian wedding soup

    • Breadcrumbs on October 17, 2010

      p. 72 - 2010 - First attempt w this rec that will now be a fave. I made meatballs in advance and froze so I can make portioned soup on demand w little fuss. Just added required amt into broth to defrost and heat through. Used 1 box chx stock and 1/4c ditalini for 2 servings. Topped w parm. Soup was extremely flavourful. K-9/10.

    • jodies on May 17, 2018

      The meatballs themselves are delicious!

    • Delys77 on March 25, 2013

      The meatballs in this are very very tasty and the soup itself is quite good. I do think you need homemade stock though as the broth is very simple otherwise.

    • jnetlw on October 20, 2012

      Italian Wedding Soup is one of my favorites. This soup is hearty enough for a meal. Use it for my annual Christmas ships dinner, a crowd pleaser.

    • Kojak on December 05, 2016

      I have made this recipe more times than I can't count--it's a classic.

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      I made the meatballs a few days ahead and froze them. The meatballs were fairly easy to make, but required 2 sheet pans to roast. Since the meatballs were frozen, I simmered them longer while the pasta cooked, which worked well. Canned chicken broth tasted fine to us. The soup was delicious! There were tons of meatballs - could use fewer. We added lots of cheese.

  • Herb-marinated loin of pork

    • Laura on April 05, 2019

      Pg. 126. This was a very nice way to cook pork tenderloin. I marinated my 1-lb tenderloin for about 6 hours, rather than overnight. I was pleasantly surprised that the lemon flavor really came through in the grilled pork. I grilled the tenderloin for 15 minutes on high and that produced perfectly cooked meat. Served with sauteed broccoli rabe and grilled pineapple. I'll definitely be making this again!

    • rebecca1july on June 12, 2011

      Serve with Greek Panzanella from Food Network 'What friends are for' episode.

    • Delys77 on May 13, 2018

      Grilled this for about 25 minutes and it was delicious. You could up the herbs and mustard a touch but otherwise tasty as written, with a nice uncomplicated flavour.

    • bktravels on January 10, 2018

      Although the title of this says "loin of pork", the recipe is actually for a pork tenderloin as specified in the ingredient list.

    • bktravels on January 16, 2018

      Leftovers were wonderful in a Cuban sandwich -- Swiss cheese, ham, sliced tenderloin, Dijon mustard/mayo, and pickled pepper rings grilled in a panini press.

    • anya_sf on November 19, 2019

      Due to a change of plans, the pork marinated 2 days (not recommended, but still OK). Grilled over medium heat (gas grill) 30 min (internal temp 140-145). Let rest 1 hour and served at room temperature. Flavor was very good. The pork was cooked perfectly and was very tender. Extra salt and pepper weren't needed.

    • Skamper on January 20, 2020

      This is a favorite in our house. There are two of us, so I only use one tenderloin and a half batch of marinade. I often just sear in a cast iron pan, then pop into a 375F oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on size. I usually use the leftovers to make pork udon. Despite the rosemary, thyme, and Dijon, it somehow works!

  • Mustard-roasted fish

    • Laura on January 20, 2016

      Pg. 136. I made this with halibut and we enjoyed it. I loved how easy the prep was and it took almost no time to cook and was perfectly done in the time called for. I'd definitely make this again.

    • Delys77 on April 15, 2013

      Pg. 136 For us this was just ok. The sauce could do with some more capers but was generally quite good, the challenge is that the fish doesn't brown so it remains a little bland despite the punchy sauce.

    • kayanelson on January 17, 2015

      I made this as an individual serving for myself and it turned out well. I did add more capers as suggested by another reviewer. I would make again.

    • stef on October 05, 2016

      Instead of creme fraiche I used sour cream. Two adults loved it, one didn't. My fish could have been thicker

    • Lepa on November 30, 2019

      This is delicious. The sauce is lovely and the fish is perfectly tender. I broiled it for a couple of minutes at the end to brown the topping, as it seemed too white and runny when the fish was done. I served it with a plain rice pilaf, which was great with the tasty sauce.

    • anya_sf on March 15, 2018

      My family loves this recipe. I have made it with thawed frozen sole, folding the fillets in half to make them thicker, and it turns out great - makes a bland fish very tasty. It's so quick and easy too. Serve with rice or something similar to sop up the rich, flavorful sauce.

  • Parmesan-roasted broccoli

    • HunyBadger on May 09, 2010

      On pg 172

    • Delys77 on March 25, 2013

      Pg 172 This is a real winner. The broccoli gets just a touch smokey from the roasting and the garlic is delicious, but then the final sprinkling of seasonings is the clincher with the buttery pine nuts, umami parm, and assertive lemon. Very easy and just delicious. Just be careful with your proportions, it can easily have too much salt and lemon.

    • Lepa on December 03, 2019

      I loved this broccoli. It is lemony, salty and delicious!

    • anya_sf on April 02, 2020

      This recipe is similar to garlic-roasted cauliflower, which I thought was too lemony, so I reduced the amount of lemon juice and zest, and also oil. It was good and would be fine without the extras (basil, pine nuts, parmesan, lemon) at the end, although the parmesan added a nice flavor.

  • Easy sole meunière

    • HunyBadger on May 22, 2010

      Really simple ingredients: butter, lemon, sole, salt and parsley...can't get much easier than that! Very tasty too, just go easy on the lemon juice or taste the reduction in case it gets too tangy. Add more butter or perhaps chicken broth to thin out if needed.

    • Lepa on December 10, 2019

      This was good and easy to prepare but heed the other reviewers' advice and reduce the lemon a bit (@anya_sf's recommendation of 2 TBSP seems perfect) and be sure to finish with salt. Before we added the final salt it seemed a bit too tart but after some salt and pepper it was lovely. We ate this with Lidia's chard and potatoes sauteed with garlic and olive oil, which was an excellent combination.

    • anya_sf on November 19, 2019

      I made this for 3 people, using petrale sole (3 oz each). There was plenty of flour. I used 2 Tbsp each butter and lemon juice per person, which seemed like enough. Wipe the skillet between fillets. This was good with rice to soak up the sauce. Use plenty of salt to finish and help balance the tartness of the lemon. Quick and easy to make for no more than 4 people.

  • Homemade granola bars

    • IvyManning on October 22, 2013

      This recipe doesn't work! They fall apart and taste of nothing but honey. Blech.

    • anya_sf on April 05, 2020

      I made 1/2 recipe in an 8"x8" pan. I added 2 Tbsp chia seeds, substituted raisins for dates, and used unsweetened coconut. The bars were plenty sweet. My son loved them.

  • Roasted shrimp cocktail

    • Gio on December 26, 2012

      Made this 12.24.2012. Halved the recipe. Used colossal Gulf of Mexico wild caught blue shrimp from TJ's. Delicious. Will definitely make again.

    • lorloff on November 10, 2013

      Careful when you roast the shrimp they over cook quickly check regularly the roasting time was too long in the recipe

    • anya_sf on November 30, 2018

      Easy and delicious. Made 1/2 recipe. My shrimp were a bit smaller (15-20 count); roasting time of 8 minutes was perfect. Roasted shrimp *are* tastier than boiled.

  • Date nut spice bread

    • DJM on December 24, 2011

      Made a written, this bread is extremely dry and requires the orange cream cheese spread included to keep it from sticking in the throat. An additional egg and an additional 2 tablespoons of butter would probably solve the dryness.

    • anya_sf on April 05, 2020

      I used half white whole wheat flour. The bread was pretty good, but we didn't love it. There was a lot of nutmeg, but the flavor was pretty well balanced. I didn't make the cream cheese spread but imagine it would be good on this.

  • Roasted pears with blue cheese

    • ellabee on February 11, 2013

      Regretted ignoring instruction to cut slice off outer curve of pears so they lie steady, which also insures good contact & bigger surface between pears and liquid and pan; my omission made the pears take much longer to soften. Still completely delicious.

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      Very good. I served these with venison steaks, which went well. The pears were fairly sweet; I'd reduce the brown sugar next time. It was hard to fit all the filling into the pears, but I was able to mound the filling fairly high.

  • French apple tart

    • Digitoes on August 09, 2010

      This is so easy and delicious. I like her way of slicing the apples; easy-peasy. I used Myer's Dark Rum in the Apricot Glaze and everyone loved it. Most people said they liked this better than apple pie!

    • julesamomof2 on August 19, 2017

      Much lighter and more delicate than a heavy apple pie. People liked it but weren't raving about it like some of Ina's other desserts I've served (mocha ice box cake is one). I personally loved it.

    • Bryan on February 19, 2015

      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/apple-tarts-recipe.html

    • anya_sf on April 02, 2020

      The crust was very easy and good. Filling ran over the sides and burned the edges, but the rest of the tart was great. You could use less jelly on top. Next time I'd raise the edges a little.

  • Truffled filet of beef sandwiches

    • leisalow on July 25, 2010

      This sandwich looked delicious when I saw Ina make it on TV.

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      I made 2 larger sandwiches (1/2 baguette each) with about 1 oz truffle butter. There was, of course, leftover beef. Instead of arugula, I used leaf lettuce, which had to be torn in half to be tucked into the sandwiches since the baguette isn't sliced all the way through - harder to prepare, but less messy to eat. We didn't need extra salt and pepper at the end since the beef was so well seasoned. Fantastic flavors.

  • Pomegranate cosmopolitans

    • sck on January 10, 2018

      Don’t bother. You can’t taste much of the pomegranate flavor.

    • anya_sf on November 30, 2018

      Nice variation on a cosmo. I agree that the pomegranate doesn't stand out, but it does balance the sweetness of the cranberry juice cocktail. Recipe makes 6 huge drinks - could easily serve 8.

  • Raspberry sauce

    • Aggie92 on December 31, 2016

      Fabulous dessert sauce! Served with both an Amaretto cheesecake and a poppyseed cake. Cut the sugar in half and used frozen berries.

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      Same recipe as in Ina's other books

  • Tuscan lemon chicken

    • Aggie92 on December 28, 2016

      Used this on 2 spatchcocked Cornish hens. Marinated overnight and roasted them in the oven. Served for Christmas dinner. Everyone loved it!

    • lizcoates on April 15, 2014

      This is my go-to chicken recipe. I don't even look at the recipe anymore. I usually use chicken pieces instead of a butterflied chicken and definitely marinade for about 8 hours. Many people have asked for the recipe. It is so simple!

    • anya_sf on November 19, 2019

      The chicken marinated overnight. It needed an extra 5-10 minutes on the grill. The salt was definitely needed on top; the grilled lemon was good too. Quite tasty. Served 3 with leftovers.

  • Indonesian grilled swordfish

    • Waderu on September 16, 2012

      Great recipe, great flavor. I grilled it a little longer than suggested but followed everything else perfectly. Yum

    • anya_sf on May 09, 2018

      Nice flavor, easy. I have made it with both swordfish and tuna. For slightly thinner steaks (3/4" thick), 3 minutes per side was perfect.

  • Chive risotto cakes

    • manond on August 17, 2011

      These were delicious the night we made them, but they did not reheat well the next day. I doubled the amount of chives, and next time, I would add some Asiago or Parmesan cheese to the mixture.

    • anya_sf on April 02, 2020

      The cakes were time consuming to shape and fry in so many batches. My scoop must be smaller because my cakes were closer to 2" diameter (3/4" thick). My frying time was much longer for golden brown - not sure why - I used a cast iron pan. I wonder if the oil should be deeper. The risotto cakes tasted really good, but I won't make them often.

  • Cream of fresh tomato soup

    • bburciul on October 01, 2015

      Hold back a cup of chicken stock and add it as needed to adjust the consistency. With the tomatoes I used, 3 cups was far too much.

    • Rachaelsb on December 09, 2017

      So delish and I made it in the beginning of December. Imagine if I used end of summer tomatoes!!!

    • Lepa on July 22, 2016

      I made this with a huge bowl of fresh summer tomatoes and it was delicious. The croutons were essential.

    • GiselleMarie on November 24, 2019

      I’ve been on a 10-day detox and needed a side dish so I tried this soup (albeit with omissions so it would fit into my diet). I didn’t use the sugar, cream, or croutons, and I used my immersion blender to make it creamy. It understandably came out slightly tart but my husband and I both really liked it!

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      I prepared the soup one day ahead through the simmering step. My tomatoes were much smaller, so I needed 18 for 4 lbs. I had trouble with the food mill so the soup wasn't totally smooth, but I didn't mind. I added the cream after processing through the mill; 1/2 cup seemed like enough. I only added 1 tsp pepper, but the soup was still very peppery. The soup was rather thin (perhaps because I reduced the cream). The flavor was great, and was even good cold.

  • Buttermilk cheddar biscuits

    • MVitek on June 03, 2011

      very buttery

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      I mixed them by hand using a pastry blender. The biscuits leaked fat from the cheese a little bit, but not too badly, which made the bottoms crisp. I didn't sprinkle them all with sea salt in order to compare - the salt was OK but not necessary, especially if served for breakfast. Very rich, decadent, and delicious. I ate too many.

  • Garlic ciabatta bread

    • southerncooker on December 10, 2018

      I saw this and decided since I had Ciabatta buns I'd use this recipe and fancy up my bun to use for my burger for lunch. I pared the recipe down a bit to just make one bun. I used a few parsley and basil leaves (didn't have fresh oregano), a garlic clove, little EVOO, salt and pepper and butter for other side of bun. Continued with recipe. On my burger I used Dijon, tomato and onion. What a delicious but simple lunch

    • julesamomof2 on August 19, 2017

      My favorite garlic bread, period. Look no further, this is the one!

    • anya_sf on April 02, 2020

      I omitted the oregano (didn't have) and minced everything by hand. I used a brown and serve ciabatta, so baked it unwrapped a few minutes longer. There was a generous amount of garlic spread. Very good.

  • Company pot roast

    • ssdrabek on October 03, 2012

      Add more carrots because we love them! Super yummy!!

    • texannewyorker on September 25, 2016

      This is fabulous. I made it, froze it, then ovenighted it to my mom when she was sick; she defrosted it and reheated it for a group a family and they couldn't give enough raves. I sneaked a bite before I sent it and was extremely impressed. Will probably have to make this again just for me :)

    • Kojak on December 05, 2016

      Delicious--sauce was the best

    • averythingcooks on January 27, 2020

      With a 2.5 lb sirloin tip braising roast staring me down in the freezer, I came here & cut the recipe in half. I made NO ingredient substitutions but after removing the falling apart chunks of meat, I pureed all of the liquid with an immersion blender which resulted in a thick, luscious sauce with some nice chunky bits. This was a delicious Sunday dinner with Ina's oven roasted carrots & Jamie Oliver's crispy/fluffy roasted potatoes on the side. A definite repeat.

    • anya_sf on November 19, 2019

      I couldn't find tomatoes in puree, so I used tomatoes in juice and added some tomato paste. Since I used canned broth, I reduced the salt by 2 tsp, which seemed just right. When pureeing the sauce, I included all the tomatoes since I prefer a smooth sauce. Baking it at 300 degrees the whole time worked fine. We enjoyed it with mashed potatoes, and turned the leftovers into pasta sauce. Fabulous!

  • French bistro steaks with Provençal butter

    • Delys77 on March 25, 2013

      Pg. 122 I was unable to find onglet so I used a rib eye. The butter is very nice, with all the flavours you would expect and the stead itself was very nice with the herbes de provences. I could imagine it would be even better with onglet since the butter would pair nicely with the leaner meat.

    • anya_sf on November 19, 2019

      I grilled 2 hanger steaks and 1 NY, 4 minutes each side (3 for a thinner hanger steak). They were perfectly cooked. Hanger steaks are full of flavor, but hard to find. Any steak would taste good prepared this way - so flavorful. Recipe makes extra butter.

  • Pasta with Pecorino and pepper

    • Delys77 on November 17, 2014

      Nothing could be simpler than this. Goes to show that you can make something very nice with just a handful of good quality ingredients. This is creamy and luscious with just enough bite from the pepper.

    • Kojak on December 05, 2016

      Rich, but easy and very, very good.

    • anya_sf on April 02, 2020

      Good, quick, and easy. I added peas and didn't measure precisely. De Cecco fettuccine worked.

  • Roasted butternut squash salad with warm cider vinaigrette

    • jbuchman on January 03, 2012

      Page 88; TC B didn't like.

    • Yildiz100 on December 15, 2017

      I omitted the maple syrup on the squash because I generally don't like to sweeten sweet vegetables. However, when I tasted the finished salad with the slightly sweet dressing the squash tasted super bland in contrast and I can see that it would have been better if they were sweeter. The dressing was a bit of a disappointment. Fine, but not appley or very flavorful. No better than a simple no cook dressing. Subbed pomegranate seeds for the cranberries. Quite good. Cant decide if I will repeat this or not.

    • texannewyorker on September 25, 2016

      One of my favorite fall salads ever.

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      I used 7 oz arugula, as I prefer a larger proportion of greens - otherwise it's just a lot of squash. Half the dressing was the right amount for my taste. The salad was very nice. It's better as a starter or side than a main course salad. Good combination of flavors.

  • Creamy cheddar grits

    • czechmate on June 27, 2013

      Our go-to recipe for cheesy grits!

    • mrsmadam on December 04, 2016

      These were great. They just simmered away as I prepped the shrimp and salad to go with. Husband asked "Where have these been all my life?".

    • anya_sf on March 28, 2019

      I used Trader Joe's coarse old-fashioned grits and they cooked longer initially. I did not have any scallions, but think the grits would have been better with them. I am not the biggest fan of grits, but these were pretty good, very creamy, possibly too rich. I served them with fried eggs on top, which was very tasty. Coarse grits added a nice texture.

  • Country French omelet

    • sturlington on January 01, 2015

      Made for New Year's Day brunch. Very easy to make and flavorful. More like a frittata than an omelet. The recipe says it serves 2 but we got 4 servings out of it.

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      Very flavorful omelet. Potatoes took longer to cook - next time I'd cut them smaller. Could cook in the bacon fat, rather than draining it and using butter.

  • Oven-roasted vegetables

    • sturlington on October 18, 2014

      Potatoes were delicious in this recipe. I only add the green beans and skipped the other vegs, but this recipe is nicely adaptable to what you have on hand.

    • eBrowner on October 27, 2012

      Not a big fan of fennel so I replaced with garlic. very good!

    • lizcoates on April 15, 2014

      I love this recipe! The roasted fennel is incredible! I often leave out the asparagus because the season is so short but really this is fantastic. I love to serve it with the tuscan lemon chicken from this book and a green salad.

    • anya_sf on April 02, 2020

      My small potatoes were done in 30 minutes. After adding the asparagus and haricots verts, the pan was so crowded that the vegetables weren't in a single layer and took much longer to roast (30+ minutes). It would be better to use 2 sheet pans with the vegetables separated, which would also allow you to remove each type of vegetable when done. The haricots verts were still underdone; the other vegetables tasted great.

  • Pan-roasted root vegetables

    • sturlington on March 26, 2013

      This is such a simple technique but results in a really good side dish. I used none of the vegetables called for, but substituted potatoes, sweet potatoes and green beans. It was still very good, proving that this is an extremely adaptable side suitable for everyday cooking. A little bacon thrown in also tastes great!

    • anya_sf on April 02, 2020

      I omitted the celery root and increased the brussels sprouts. The vegetables tasted fine but took about 30 minutes to cook. The celery could have been left in the pan the whole time.

  • Sunrise smoothies

    • sturlington on January 01, 2015

      I omitted watermelons and peaches because they are out of season and used frozen berries instead. This was delicious and easy to make. Besides varying the fruit, I'm sure the flavor of sorbet can be varied or use different juice, i.e., cranberry juice for a cranberry shrub. This is a nice breakfast addition for a holiday.

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      I used a bit less sorbet. The consistency was good; no extra orange juice was needed. Refreshing and not too sweet with less sorbet. The recipe could serve 3.

  • Easy sticky buns

    • Sarobin on November 28, 2012

      These are absolutely disgusting. At first I thought there must have been a print error in the amount of butter specified, but apparently this is correct. These come out swimming in butter - Check the online recipe reviews. Strangely some people appear like this which is a little worrying.

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      I didn't bother trimming the ends of the roll. When the buns were quite brown on top, they were still a bit underdone in the center. Some pecans and raisins got too dark. The pecan/sugar/butter stuck in the cups and was too chewy to eat. The recipe was easy but just so-so.

  • Baked blintzes with fresh blueberry sauce

    • lauries1000 on December 22, 2013

      Pages 230-233

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      I made 1/2 recipe in an 8" square pan. It turned out great and was good warm or cold. Frozen berries worked fine for the sauce. The blintzes would also be good with jam.

  • Roasted butternut squash soup and curry condiments

    • ksg518 on September 24, 2015

      Great easy recipe. The curry is fairly subtle so I might add a little more next time. I loved the idea of adding bananas as a topping.

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      Watch the roasting time, as my onion and apple burned a bit and were done before 35 min. I cut the squash in half and roasted those, then scooped out the flesh, which was easier than peeling and cutting large squash. The color of the soup was a dingy yellow-brown, which was not so appealing. The curry flavor could have been stronger; usually curry powder gets bloomed in oil. Still, the soup was good overall and quite healthy. The condiments complemented the soup.

  • Parker's beef stew

    • pattwilson on March 29, 2015

      Page 124

    • anya_sf on November 19, 2019

      Quite good. I added rutabaga since I had some. I didn't make it ahead, but would next time. There was way more flour than needed to coat the meat, and too much flour prevents the meat itself from browning; more can be added at the end if needed to thicken the stew. Frozen petite peas were fine. I was skeptical about the amount of salt, but it was needed.

  • Cape Cod chopped salad

    • sldoug on November 29, 2015

      Made for Thanksgiving 2015. I used spinach instead of arugula and smoked blue cheese instead of Roquefort but otherwise followed the recipe. One mistake I made was measuring the vinaigrette by weight instead of volume and even though I should be able to do that, the vinaigrette never turns out right. The salad was fine, but I wonder whether wispier arugula might have been better for catching all the ingredients. I'd potentially make it again.

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      I made this as a dinner main course salad for 2 people, but only used 6 oz bacon and 4 oz cheese. One-third of the dressing was enough for the salad. We loved the combination of flavors.

  • Bay scallop gratin

    • Lepa on April 10, 2018

      This was pretty good but I think it would turn out better in shallow gratin pans like those pictured in the book. I used ramekins and they were too deep. The topping cooked but didn't brown and form a crust, even after some time in the broiler. Nevertheless, the sauce was delicious with bread.

    • anya_sf on November 19, 2019

      Delicious. Definitely broil to crisp the topping. Serve with lots of bread to mop up the sauce.

  • Baked shrimp scampi

    • Lepa on November 16, 2018

      This didn't turn out so well. I love garlic but the time in the oven didn't fully cook the garlic here so it ended up feeling a bit undercooked and overpowering. The shrimp were perfectly done so I don't think it could have gone on longer. This is probably an issue with execution and not the recipe but I'm still not super impressed.

    • kateiscoooking on March 27, 2017

      Used size 31-40 and they were really too small. So, will use bigger shrimp next time. Flavor is fabulous. Served over pasta.

    • anya_sf on November 19, 2019

      Best shrimp ever! I made 1/3 recipe for 2 people, using jumbo shrimp (15-20 ct), and omitted the rosemary. The shrimp took 18-20 minutes to cook through. Served with bread to dip in the garlic butter, this was fabulous.

  • Creamy cucumber salad

    • Lepa on June 17, 2017

      This was okay but we weren't crazy about it. I suspect there are better cucumber/sour cream salad recipes out there.

    • Kn1tgrl on August 24, 2017

      I liked this recipe because it did not contain sugar. However, I made this and forgot to drain the yogurt. This made entirely too much dressing because of that. Flavor is good but there is way too much dressing for the amount of cucumbers. Must remember to drain the yogurt.

    • anya_sf on May 14, 2017

      I made 1/4 recipe and it was plenty for 4 people, as it's not the kind of salad people would eat in large portions. I used 2% Greek yogurt and only drained the yogurt and vegetables for about 5 hours, but it seemed to work OK. It was pretty good, but the dressing is rich and there is a lot of it. Nevertheless, the flavor is refreshing. But I'm not sure I'd make it again.

  • Roasted potato leek soup

    • Lepa on December 22, 2019

      This recipe is much more involved than the one I usually make and it has much more cream and creme fraiche and cheese so I expected it would be delicious but I was disappointed. I think I will stick with the simple one I usually make.

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      I roasted the vegetables one day ahead. Pay attention while roasting, as leeks burn easily. The puree was pretty chunky. I used 6 cups canned chicken broth, but only 1/2 c cream and 1/2 c creme fraiche - seemed like plenty. Half the salt was enough for my taste. Good, not great - perhaps better with more cream, but awfully rich.

  • White pizzas with arugula

    • averythingcooks on January 13, 2018

      This is the pizza dough recipe I use for everything (pizza , calzone etc) . It is delicious and it works every time. A 1/2 recipe fits my large pampered chef stoneware bar pan perfectly.

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      This time I cheated and used store-bought pizza dough. There was a lot of cheese, although I'm not complaining. The arugula only needed 1/4 of the dressing.Tasty pizza, nice with a sprinkle of fleur de sel.

  • Affogato sundaes

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      Delicious, especially with hazelnut gelato (my favorite). Eat quickly because it melts fast.

  • Apple dried cherry turnovers

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      These were a disaster. The apple chunks seemed too large and there was overall too much filling for the pastry. The apples should probably be drained because the juice made the pastry not stick together. I had to throw away 2 turnovers because they got mangled upon transfer to the baking sheet. I used Golden Delicious apples and the sweetness was just right. Although the turnovers were hard to assemble, the ones that survived tasted delicious.

  • Baked potatoes with yogurt and sour cream

    • anya_sf on March 28, 2019

      I baked the potatoes at 400 degrees because I had something else baking at that temperature, but it's also the temperature I'd normally use for baked potatoes. The topping was nice and tangy. We didn't need butter.

  • Bagels with smoked salmon and whitefish salad

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      One-third of the whitefish salad was enough for 4 bagels. I added dill since I had some. The salad was very good; it didn't really need extra salt. However, the strong flavor of the whitefish salad overpowered the salmon. I'd go with one or the other, not both.

  • Blueberry streusel muffins

    • anya_sf on April 05, 2020

      I got 12 muffins from half the recipe. Mixed the topping by hand. Used white whole wheat flour in the muffins, added 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal, and increased the berries by 50%. They turned out great.

  • Brownie pudding

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      I made 1/2 recipe in a 9"x6" oval dish. I used 1 tsp vanilla extract instead of bean and Frangelico instead of framboise. The pudding seemed done after 45 minutes, so I took it out and it was perfect. Delicious, but soooo rich - requires ice cream.

  • Bruschetta with peppers and Gorgonzola

    • anya_sf on September 07, 2019

      I made these for a party, so I sauteed the peppers and toasted the bread ahead of time, then assembled and warmed the bruschetta at the last minute. Good flavor.

  • Caramelized onions

    • anya_sf on November 19, 2019

      I added some salt after sweating the onions to help draw out moisture. The onions got very soft after 30 min, but didn't brown much; some sugar might help. They were good on the burgers.

  • Celery root and apple puree

    • anya_sf on April 02, 2020

      I made about 1/2 recipe but with the full amounts of fennel and potato. I pureed the mixture in the food processor as I despise my food mill. The vegetable exuded a lot of liquid so there was no danger of burning or drying out. The puree was okay, but the apples/cider made it sweeter than I'd prefer.

  • Campari orange spritzer

    • anya_sf on November 30, 2018

      Nice and refreshing, not too bitter, light on alcohol. One recipe required a very large glass, but it's easy to cut the recipe in half.

  • Confetti corn

    • anya_sf on March 28, 2019

      I just used basil and halved the amount of butter and oil. Easy and good.

  • Chocolate-dipped strawberries

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      I made 1/2 recipe using chocolate chips over an extra-low burner rather than a double boiler, which worked well. Really good and easy! Deep chocolate flavor, but still enjoyed by kids (messy though).

  • Chicken bouillabaisse

    • anya_sf on November 19, 2019

      I made it a day ahead and reheated it, which worked well. My chicken was only 3.5 lbs, but still served 4 people. The sauce was fairly thick and tomatoey compared to traditional bouillabaisse, but was very flavorful and great with the chicken. Overall, excellent.

  • Easy strawberry jam

    • anya_sf on April 05, 2020

      I tried to make half the recipe, which may be why it burned after 20 minutes. When I tasted it part way through cooking, it was good, but very sweet. Next time (if there is a next time) I'd stir much more often and reduce the sugar.

  • Crispy shallots

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      The oil and butter exploded and made a huge mess. Shallots cooked over an hour and just got soggy and kind of fell apart, never got crisp and brown. I imagine the heat was too low, but I would not try this method again.

  • Fresh lemon mousse

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      One-third recipe served 3 people amply. I didn't use a double boiler, just cooked it over extra low heat and strained it afterwards; it was plenty lemony even though the zest was strained out. Very good!

  • Fresh raspberry gratins

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      This didn't work for me. The sabayon took 20 minutes to thicken. The gratins browned after 15 seconds under the broiler. However, the sabayon separated after broiling and left a boozy mess that was no longer creamy. It was awful. I had to fish the berries out and throw the sabayon away. Not sure what went wrong.

  • Fruit salad with limoncello

    • anya_sf on April 05, 2020

      The yogurt topping was delicious. For the fruit, I used strawberry, banana, kiwi, and mango. They were good, but the limoncello was a little strong, like lemon Pledge - next time I would use half the amount or maybe even omit it.

    • Kinhawaii on August 25, 2019

      Lovely, easy, fresh - as a summer dessert!

    • Skamper on May 15, 2018

      This was too sweet for me. (and I never thought I'd write those words!) The berries in limoncello were delicious, and I cut the sugar to 1 tbsp. Next time, I'd just use the plain greek yogurt to top, perhaps with a bit of honey added, but skip the lemon curd and vanilla.

  • Gravlax with mustard sauce

    • anya_sf on September 07, 2019

      The salmon marinated 2 days. We had it on whole grain cocktail bread. It was perfect with the sauce. Everyone raved.

  • French chocolate bark

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      I made 1/2 recipe using 3 oz of each chocolate. There was a lot of topping. I started sprinkling it on, but ended up individually placing fruits and nuts to distribute them evenly. I diced the ginger smaller (don't care for big chunks of it). Tempering worked fine initially, but stirring vigorously introduced air bubbles, which didn't seem desirable. I had to refrigerate the bark, as it was too soft otherwise, which discolored the chocolate a bit. The bark tasted good, with a nice combination of flavors.

  • Fresh blueberry sauce

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      Delicious with the blintzes. Frozen berries worked fine.

  • Juice of a few flowers

    • anya_sf on November 30, 2018

      The drink was quite tart, but good with the sugar rim. Quite strong.

  • Mâche with warm Brie and apples

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      Simple, but delicious. Elegant presentation.

  • Mango banana daiquiris

    • anya_sf on September 07, 2019

      Tasty, but very strong - I made mine a bit weaker. Easy to drink like a smoothie (watch out). The drinks are generously sized.

  • Maple-roasted butternut squash

    • anya_sf on March 28, 2019

      Great! Like 2 recipes in 1 because you get the garlic bread. I used 2 Tbsp maple syrup and the sweetness was just right for me.

  • Mustard sauce

    • anya_sf on September 07, 2019

      Perfect with gravlax.

  • Homemade pesto

    • anya_sf on September 07, 2019

      This is the same pesto recipe as in "How Easy is That?"

  • Honey vanilla fromage blanc

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      1/4 of the fromage blanc mixture served 3 people with proportionately more fruit (apricot, peach, raspberries, strawberries). I omitted the vanilla seeds. The fromage was tasty but rather chalky like quark, so I didn't love it as much as Ina's honey vanilla creme fraiche.

  • Honey vanilla pound cake

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      I should have used a 9"x5" pan because the cake rose super high and took almost 1.5 hours to bake. It got too dark and I had to cover with with foil and lower the temperature after 50 minutes. The texture and flavor were great.

  • Homemade muesli with red berries

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      Old-fashioned oats worked. I used Ina's granola, which doesn't contain raisins - not sure why she called for that since you might get 4 raisins in 2 Tbsp granola - I added a few anyway. This was very satisfying and enjoyable with a pleasant level of sweetness. I ate the whole thing. It would be pretty small for 2 people.

  • Wild mushroom risotto

    • anya_sf on April 02, 2020

      I used 3/4lb cremini mushrooms. This served 4 as a dinner main course. It was pretty good, but I wasn't sure the saffron enhanced the mushroom flavor. Dried morels are super expensive; next time I'd use half the amount and supplement with additional fresh mushrooms. 2 Tbsp butter was plenty.

  • Warm goat cheese in phyllo

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      My goat cheese was taller and narrower, but it worked. Phyllo was tricky to wrap and turned out kind of ugly. It seemed a bit too thick; maybe 3 sheets would have been enough. For 5 oz greens, 1/4 of the dressing was enough. This was nice for a dinner party and quite good, but I'd use less phyllo in hopes of making the purses more attractive.

  • Savory palmiers

    • anya_sf on September 07, 2019

      They were good, not great. Although they looked misshapen when put in the oven, they expanded and ended up nicely shaped. I baked them about 20 minutes because the middle did not seem done, but maybe they overbaked.

  • Spring green risotto

    • anya_sf on March 28, 2019

      I didn't have fennel and chives, but I'm sure they would have been good in this. I used a bit less lemon juice - added to taste. The risotto was really good. We added extra parmesan.

  • Roasted tomatoes with basil

    • anya_sf on April 02, 2020

      I used smaller "strawberry" tomatoes. They started burning after 20 minutes, so check often. Good, sweet.

  • Roasted turkey roulade

    • anya_sf on November 19, 2019

      I used 2 turkey breast halves, which made it harder to roll, but it still worked. I worred that 150 degrees wasn't done enough and cooked it to 165 degrees (just over 2 hrs). It was still plenty juicy. Very flavorful, would make again. There was lots of extra stuffing on the side. The stuffing was good with the turkey, but just okay on its own; I didn't care for that much fruit.

  • Rouille

    • anya_sf on November 19, 2019

      I made 1/2 recipe (which is the smallest quantity that will work in a processor), using most of a yolk, one day ahead. The rouille was a great complement to the chicken and potatoes. The rouille separated slightly overnight but was easy to reblend.

  • Sweetened whipped cream

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      Good basic whipped cream recipe

  • Tagliarelle with truffle butter

    • anya_sf on March 28, 2019

      Serving 2 for dinner, this was fabulously rich and delicious. Truffle butter is pricey but worth the splurge. I used Bionaturae brand tagliatelle and added peas, which were a welcome counterpoint to the rich sauce. Served with a simple endive salad as a palate cleanser. I have also simply made this with spaghetti, using half the truffle butter but adding sauteed mushrooms, and it's still delicious.

  • Tomato and goat cheese tarts

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      I sauteed the onion a day ahead. I was serving 2 people for dinner and only used 1 pastry sheet cut into 2 larger rectangles so there was no waste. Easy and quite good.

  • Tri-berry oven pancakes

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      Easy, quick, and delicious. The recipe made 3 pancakes in my gratin dishes. The orange zest added a lot of flavor. I added blackberries along with the other berries. The only problem was that the pancakes stuck to the dishes a lot (mine are ceramic).

    • anya_sf on April 04, 2020

      Update to my previous review: I buttered the edges of the gratin dishes in addition to melting the butter on the bottoms and the pancakes did not stick this time.

  • Roasted tomato caprese salad

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      I made half the recipe, but accidentally used the full amount of oil, etc., on the tomatoes. Although my tomatoes were fairly anemic, they turned out quite tasty. I used burrata cheese. The final drizzle of olive oil wasn't needed, but a sprinkling of salt boosted the flavor.

  • Roasted parsnips and carrots

    • anya_sf on April 02, 2020

      Quite easy and good.

  • Pumpkin roulade with ginger buttercream

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      Quick, easy, and delicious. The only tricky part was turning the cake out of the pan. Next time I'd put the towel and a board over the pan, then turn it upside down. The filling looked curdled after beating, but still spread fine and tasted fine, although it wasn't as thick as in the photo. The roulade could serve 10.

  • Raisin pecan oatmeal cookies

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      I omitted the pecans because I prefer oatmeal cookies without nuts. The flavor was good. The cookies didn't spread as much as I expected, and they ended up kind of cakey inside, but were crisp around the edges. I was out of parchment, which may have affected the texture.

  • Prosciutto roasted bass with autumn vegetables

    • anya_sf on April 02, 2020

      I made half the fish and butter but all the vegetables, plus an extra pound of brussels sprouts, and 3 people finished it all. I couldn't find thick, flaky fish, so I used thinner black cod folded in half, which needed an extra 5 minutes to cook. Nice flavor, the prosciutto really adds. Don't skip the lemon butter plus extra lemon and sea salt at the end.

  • Parmesan & thyme crackers

    • anya_sf on September 07, 2019

      I made the dough one day ahead and baked the crackers at 350 convection for 20 min. My slices were not so even, but the crackers were easy to make and very tasty, like gourmet Goldfish.

  • Plum crunch

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      I scaled the recipe down to use 2 lbs plums (2/3 recipe), but only 1/4 c brown sugar in the filling. Substituted framboise for cassis. Half the topping recipe was definitely enough. The crisp was delicious and just the right sweetness with vanilla ice cream. The topping was super good. There was plenty for 6 people.

  • Niman Ranch burgers

    • anya_sf on November 19, 2019

      I used 85% lean grass-fed beef. The burgers were quite juicy and flavorful even when cooked through. We had them on regular buns and added Gouda cheese, lettuce, and tomato (in addition to the onions). Nice recipe.

  • Old-fashioned carrot salad

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      My carrots did not have greens attached, but were still pretty sweet. I made the salad about 40 minutes ahead. The salad was quite good for this type of thing (which isn't my favorite). The flavors were well balanced.

  • Old-fashioned gingerbread

    • anya_sf on April 03, 2020

      Good version of gingerbread, but a bit dry, even with the glaze. Great with vanilla ice cream. I only used 1/4 c crystallized ginger since I normally dislike it, but it was good in this.

  • Orange pecan wild rice

    • anya_sf on March 28, 2019

      Nice, not too sweet despite the grapes. My rice needed extra time to cook. Served with creamy chicken and morels. I was serving 7 people, so I made 1.5x the recipe (just in case), but there were leftovers.

  • Lobster corn chowder

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      This recipe was easier than I'd realized. I reduced the butter by one third. The broth was fairly thin, but that was okay since the chowder was fairly chunky. I might add a bit of flour to thicken it next time though. I'd also use less sherry at the end since it was rather sweet. Otherwise, this soup was awesome.

  • Pappa al pomodoro

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      Making this a day ahead worked well (adding croutons at the last minute). Half the olive oil was plenty. I used a mixture of chicken broth, beef broth, and water, which worked fine. Stale sourdough Italian bread was perfect for this soup. The overall flavor of the soup was too tomatoey for my taste though. The croutons were tasty.

  • Parmesan toasts

    • anya_sf on September 08, 2019

      Easy, good, basic recipe. Nice complement to soup.

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Reviews about this book

  • Chef Talk by T. Susan Chang

    I like this book. New cooks will learn helpful techniques...while seasoned cooks might glean inspiration from the more unusual entries.

    Full review
  • Boston Globe by T. Susan Chang

    ...has some perennial favorite tastes - lemon, prosciutto, Parmesan, shrimp - but what could be better?

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • Pumpkin roulade with ginger buttercream

    • Lisa Is Cooking

      ...roulades are much easier than they look, and they tend to store really well. It’s everything you could want in a dessert for fall, and you can make it the day before you plant to serve it.

      Full review
  • Parmesan & thyme crackers

    • Lottie and Doof

      They would be great served with some wine or snacked on any time... A really good thing to have on hand when quests are over. These are easy to make and quite delicious.

      Full review
  • Cream of fresh tomato soup

    • Lisa Is Cooking

      Crunchy, parmesan croutons take the place of a grilled cheese sandwich here, and they are a delicious topping on the soup along with some fresh basil.

      Full review
  • Roasted shrimp cocktail

    • Running With Tweezers

      Let me tell you – shrimp cooked this way have so much more flavor and sweetness.

      Full review
  • Savory palmiers

    • Running With Tweezers

      For this recipe, you can make your own pesto or used pre-made for an even easier time of it.

      Full review
  • ISBN 10 1400054354
  • ISBN 13 9781400054350
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 28 2008
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 272
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Clarkson Potter

Publishers Text

For Ina Garten, creating a successful meal has nothing to do with what's in vogue; it's all about what's readily available, in season, and easy to prepare. In Back to Basics Ina explores how to bring the best out of ordinary ingredients for delicious meals that have that extra wow factor we've all come to expect from the Barefoot Contessa.

Which ingredient unlocks the purest chocolate flavor in brownie pudding? What twist makes an old favorite like tomato Caprese salad truly unique? How can you amp up the impact of butternut squash soup without overpowering the true butternut squash flavor? It's not always about finding the most exotic or costly ingredients--it's about finding the methods and flavor pairings that unlock the essence of good food.

Newcomers and longtime fans alike will love Ina's insights on building a menu, finishing a dish, and setting the scene for dinner, and an inspired roster of all-new recipes--ranging from Lobster Corn Chowder to Fresh Lemon Mousse and Easy Sticky Buns--demonstrates Ina's talent for transforming fresh, easy-to-find ingredients into an elegant meal without fuss or complications.

Ina's five previous bestselling cookbooks have sold an astonishing 6 million copies, and have inspired a show seen daily on Food Network and a line of packaged food products. Her new Foot Network series, also called Back to Basics, debuted October 2012.



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