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Cook Simple: Effortless Cooking Every Day by Diana Henry

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Notes about this book

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Notes about Recipes in this book

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

    • Jane on February 23, 2017

      This was a great dinner. Very easy to put together and manageable on a weeknight. The smoked paprika gives a lovely depth of flavor and the pops from preserved lemon, black olives and parsley and mint keep it interesting.

    • TrishaCP on December 14, 2014

      This is just delicious and completely easy to pull together. I used whole chicken joints (leg and thigh) from my CSA, so had to bake for an additional 20 minutes, but the potatoes still held together quite well (since they were in big chunks). I used a mix of sweet and spicy pimenton, and reduced the amount to 1 heaping teaspoon each since I had half the chicken- it was still plenty. Don't forget the olives- I used oil cured and they were scrumptious.

    • Foodycat on June 12, 2018

      I've made the other recipe on this page (chicken baked with red onions, potatoes and rosemary) many times but for some reason had never tried this. It's excellent. A couple of minutes putting together a marinade and then very simple to bake. I sometimes find sweet potato recipes too sweet and cloying, but the salt and acid from the olives and preserved lemon, and the fresh burst from the parsley and mint at the end are very well balanced.

  • Baked cod with a zesty crust

    • Jane on March 10, 2017

      Something wasn't quite right about this. Either there was too much oil or my bread was too fresh as the crust was very moist and never crusted up before the fish was cooked. It tasted good though. If I make it again I will use staler bread so the oil gets absorbed more or use less oil.

    • lilham on May 29, 2013

      So easy and delicious. I served it with a avocado, broad bean and quinoa salad from Ottolenghi's Plenty. The two really complimented each other.

    • Kitchenangel on October 15, 2015

      This is delicious and makes a change from the breaded fish I would normally do. I used Haddock as it's more popular here in Scotland.

    • LizzieLozza on August 20, 2017

      Same non-crustiness that Jane below mentions, I used fresh bread too so will try something else next time, though that's not say I didn't like the soft coating. Served with freezer sweet potato fries and peas - VERY EASY and children liked it. Winner.

  • Griddled chicken with thyme and sea salt

    • westminstr on August 29, 2014

      Departed from the recipe by cooking on outdoor grill, simple and delicious! Everyone gobbled it up. Used skin on bone in thighs.

  • Pomegranate and honey glazed chops with radish and cucumber tzatziki

    • westminstr on August 29, 2014

      This had potential, was certainly very easy, but the chops didn't have enough kapow for me. Perhaps because of a lack of salt in the marinade? I did like the way the chops and tzatziki worked together. Tried again 6/2/2015. This time added salt to the marinade and omitted the honey, added extra pom mol to compensate. I still didn't love the flavor but again we liked the tzatziki. I think I'll move on to another marinade recipe but will continue to make the salad.

  • Middle Eastern lentils and peppers

    • westminstr on October 23, 2017

      I had made this previously a few years back. Just made it again, this time in the instant pot! Very successful, tasty dish (kids didn't like, but it was a great lunch dish.)

    • lilham on September 18, 2013

      Simple and tasty. Very baby/toddler friendly too. I mixed the lentils with coucous and my 2yo wolfed it down.

    • Nichill on October 06, 2018

      Took this to a family buffet meal, where it went down well with children, vegetarians and meat eaters. I lacked leeks, so used onions and a banana shallot to provide the allium flavour. Leeks would be quicker. Will definitely be making this again.

  • Honey and mustard glazed sausages

    • Cati on January 29, 2017

      This recipe page 48 uses 12 sausages coated with a mix of 1 1/2 tablespoons of wholegrain mustard and 2 tablesponns of honey and baked 25 minutes. In comparison a similar titled recipe in her new book Simply, uses 8 sausages with a mix of 2 tablespoons of grain mustard and 6 tablespoons of honey. Baked 25 minutes. So the amount of honey has been tripled for less sausages.

  • Baked salmon with mustard and honey

    • Cati on December 02, 2014

      Very simple and quick, and I found it absolutely delicious but my daughter was taken aback with the sweetness on the fish. I will be making again for myself and leaving her fillet plain.

    • Pamsy on March 29, 2018

      Quick and easy, this was really tasty which is surprising from someone who doesn't like honey or mustard! Served with steamed broccoli - (good) and Cracked Potato Salad - (not good) by Mindy Fox from The Perfectly Tossed Salad.

  • Greek baked chicken in yogurt

    • TrishaCP on April 06, 2017

      This was a rare miss for me from Diana Henry, and I wish I had seen the note below before I made this. I had the same issue with the custard becoming separate and dense, which tasted good anyway and didn't bother me so much, except that I had to pour off about 1 1/2 cups of liquid from the bottom of the dish (the custard was basically floating on top of it). It was very strange. I had huge chicken breasts, but even they were overdone in the baking time called for (I should have known better).

    • BasicStock on March 22, 2017

      This recipe came out differently than I had anticipated. The custard became a separate and rather dense entity, rather than a silky cocoon around the chicken breasts. This may be caused by what our Canadian dairies call greek yogurt as compared to the English version. Ms. Henry seems to have a real calling for poultry, so I am going to try some of her other recipes.

  • North African spiced poussins

    • TrishaCP on March 23, 2016

      I used dark meat bone-in chicken thighs and legs instead of poussins. This was really simple and flavorful.

  • Pork chops Lyonnaise

    • TrishaCP on May 03, 2016

      Flavorful, but watch the cook time. My chops were on the thinner side, and the cook time called for resulted in well-done chops.

  • Pork chops with plums and Chinese spices

    • TrishaCP on August 07, 2014

      This tasted fine, but probably is not a repeater. I used a combination of plums and pluots, and I liked the pluots better (my plums were very ripe, and you don't want ripe fruit with this recipe). I also reduced the amount of honey called for to 3 tablespoons out of fear it would be too sweet otherwise, and I am glad that I did. Finally, the ginger to me in ground form was pretty non-existent- I would use fresh instead.

  • Italian pork chops with fennel seeds

    • TrishaCP on January 10, 2015

      A simple and versatile recipe that packs a lot of flavor with few ingredients.

  • Maple and mustard glazed sausages

    • TrishaCP on January 10, 2015

      Not bad but not great. I liked the technique of roasting the sausages but the whole grain mustard I used (per the recipe) had many many seeds and didn't adhere to the meat- it ended up on the bottom of the pan. I assume the issue with the mustard prevented the promised sticky glaze to the sausages, because mine didn't have any. Anyone giving this a go should definitely consider using Dijon mustard instead.

  • Spaghetti with parsley, chilli and garlic

    • TrishaCP on December 20, 2016

      This saved dinner tonight as I forgot to defrost the chicken. It was good, but I probably would only make this again in a pinch when low on provisions. Too many other ways to serve pasta out there!

  • Rhubarb cake

    • TrishaCP on May 03, 2016

      A great choice for when you are pressed for time. My rhubarb was frozen and only partially thawed, so it took an extra 25 minutes to bake.

    • lilham on June 10, 2015

      One of the best fruit cake recipes around. Henry suggested stoned fruits and pears as alternatives. I have made it with rhubarb and loved it. Today I tried it with nectarines, using only 2.5 tbsp of sugar to toss with the fruit (instead of 5 tbsp). I didn't peel the nectarines and the skin went very soft so didn't detract at all. The nectarines were so soft and sweet. I liked it better than with rhubarb. The best cake I've had for a long time.

    • eeeve on April 09, 2017

      This is indeed a really nice cake! Very moist from the huge amount of rhubarb used. I love how some of the pieces sink deep into the cake to keep it moist, and some others sit on top to make it look lovely. I found it a bit difficult to get out of my cake tin, as the cake is so soft.

    • Kitchenangel on October 15, 2015

      This cake is delightful. I used tinned pears and my food processor and had this cake in the oven in the time it took to boil pasta for my main course. This is the perfect standby pud for those unexpected guests!

    • raybun on May 13, 2017

      I used my last precious bag of rhubarb from last summer to make this as the new harvest is about to arrive. A great cake for teatime on this Mothers Day weekend, lovely and moist. I added some lemon zest to the batter too.

  • Pacific lime chicken

    • lilham on May 29, 2013

      A total winner. Great serve with plain rice and sautéed greens. I reduced the marinade by half. The original recipe specifies a very large amount of marinade. I put the chicken into the roasting pan without the marinade and simply baste it with the chicken juices. I heat the reserved marinade in a small saucepan, and use it to flavour the plain boiled rice.

    • Kitchenangel on August 12, 2014

      Been cooking this for the last 7 years at least. Even the children love it!!!

  • Penne with roasted onions, Gorgonzola and walnuts

    • lilham on May 29, 2013

      I found this a bit bland but my husband likes it. It will taste better if I double the roasted onions. I won't make this again.

  • Pappardelle with Ligurian walnut sauce

    • lilham on November 24, 2014

      I served this with a haloumi and tomato salad as a simple dinner. This was fast to put together and tasted very good. It was creamy as you could guess from the amount of double cream in the recipe. My 3yo loved this a lot and the adults approved too.

  • Fettuccine with goat-cheese pesto and roast tomatoes

    • lilham on May 29, 2013

      A nice variation on the standard basil pesto.

  • Salmon ceviche with avocado and mango

    • lilham on July 08, 2013

      Such a simple and easy summer dinner. And full of flavour too. I served it with the warm potatoes and beans with avocado.

  • All-in-one chocolate cake

    • lilham on January 24, 2015

      A delicious chocolate cake. Put everything in a food processor, mix and bake for 30 minutes. Perfect for baking with my preschooler.

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

    • lilham on August 20, 2013

      Another winner from Ms Henry. A very simple one dish meal with very little actual cooking. I have made a few minor changes to make this a one-dish meal on its own. I doubled the red pepper and the chickpeas to make it more substantial. I made 1.5 times the sauce to compensate. Since I'm already using the oven to cook the pepper, I put the chicken in the oven too instead of cooking on a griddle pan.

  • Warm potatoes and beans with avocado

    • lilham on July 08, 2013

      I break up the potatoes with a potato masher as per the instruction in Potatoes with Olives and Lemon from the same book.

  • Potatoes with olives and lemon

    • lilham on July 08, 2013

      I loved the suggestion to break up the new potatoes slightly with a potato masher. What a huge difference does it make. The increased surface area means the potatoes soak up more dressing, and it's so much more flavourful.

  • Strawberry and passion-fruit mess

    • lilham on June 21, 2015

      A lovely twist to the classic Eton mess. I love the addition of passion fruit. Henry suggested 7 tbsp of sugar, I used 6 and still found it a bit on the sweet side. ( I forgot to take into account the meringues when tasting). I would go down to 4 next time.

  • Chicken baked with red onions, potatoes and rosemary

    • saladdays on September 15, 2013

      An easily prepared one dish meal using chicken thighs, the skin crisps up well and the roast potatoes are enhanced by the rosemary. Good rustic cooking.

    • Foodycat on July 09, 2014

      I call this "Jude's thighs" for the person who first introduced me to it. You'd think the balsamic would make it taste vinegary, but it doesn't - just sticky and delicious.

    • Frogcake on March 23, 2017

      I made the version with smoked paprika, olives and pickled lemons. Delicious! I used chicken breasts and two chopped pickled lemons. As well, just by chance, my chicken marinated for three days. A very simple recipe for a week night! Will be making this one again.

  • Trofie with bacon, peas, ricotta and mint

    • FJT on April 27, 2018

      A very easy and satisfying dish that would have been better had I been able to find proper ricotta rather than a very processed “creme de ricotta”. Will repeat when we finally get home and I can shop for decent cheese.

  • Mechoui-style lamb

    • sharifah on March 28, 2016

      Excellent flavours for roast lamb. I didn't manage to marinate the lamb overnight, only half a day. Still lovely.

  • Turkish baked aubergines with chilli, feta and mint

    • sharifah on March 28, 2016

      This was easy and delicious! Lovely flavours which goes well with the Mechoui-style roast lamb in the same book.

  • Smothered pork chops with mustard and thyme butter

    • chawkins on April 24, 2018

      This was okay. There were not enough liquid left for a sauce, the potato absorbed it all. The mustard-thyme butter added richness and an interesting note to the pork chop.

  • Johanna's Swedish apple pie

    • k.a.g on June 07, 2013

      This recipe is a real winner - one where the end result (a beautiful warm, comforting baked dessert) far exceeds the effort required! It's something you can - really and truly - make at the last minute if friends turn up for dinner unexpectedly. Beautiful with pouring cream or home made custard.

  • Roast Catalan chicken

    • Kitchenangel on August 27, 2014

      Lovely dish. Had completely overlooked it for many years, in favour of pacific lime chicken. Served with Patatas bravas. Yum

  • Arroz con pollo y chorizo

    • Kitchenangel on August 12, 2014

      Love, love, love this!. As with many of her recipes I do lower oil content to what I would use normally. This has been a fixture on our menu for 6 years and recently, my young (fussy) kids have eaten it!!

  • Vegetables with bagna cauda

    • Foodycat on December 01, 2014

      Just gives the recipe for the bagna cauda sauce, not too much detail on suggestions for the accompanying vegetables. Very nice as a light vegetable-centric supper though.

  • Pork, cheese and Marsala

    • MmeFleiss on July 05, 2017

      Amazingly simple but company-worthy dish.

  • Agnello con patate arraganate

    • LizzieLozza on July 16, 2017

      Potatoes with cheese burnt if left for 1hr at 200C....add a bit later in cooking time and cut smaller.

  • Roast Mediterranean vegetables with anchovy pesto

    • LizzieLozza on July 23, 2017

      Used half pine nuts and half walnuts

  • Ginger, orange and honey roast parsnips

    • KateW on December 30, 2015

      Good balance of flavours, but reduced the amount of honey to half amount suggested, prefer it less sweet

  • Turkish chicken with oranges and warm spices

    • e_ballad on February 01, 2018

      Wow. This was terrible. The short cooking time failed to temper the bitterness from the orange zest which is intended to be eaten. I was the only one in our family to finish my portion & I would consider myself to have a fairly high “bitter” threshold.

  • Baked sausages with leeks, apples and cider

    • raybun on January 11, 2017

      So easy to make with such fabulous results! In my opinion this dish is the definition of comfort food. Everyone polished their plates and asked for it to be made again, soon. Served with creamy mashed potato. Note that the online link differs slightly to the one in the book. It omits the leeks, but adds thyme & bayleaves so I adapted my version to use these three ingredients but omitted the sugar, and replaced it with grain mustard as per the book's instructions.

  • Hedgerow crumble

    • BasicStock on March 22, 2017

      A really good crisp recipe and I'll be making it my go to crisp recipe mostly because of the name and the addition of the blackberries which give it that name. I've always picked blackberries but have recently been blown away by the size of the commercially frozen blackberries we have available.

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  • ISBN 10 1845330757
  • ISBN 13 9781845330750
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 30 2007
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 192
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Octopus Publishing Group
  • Imprint Mitchell Beazley

Publishers Text

Diana dedicates a chapter to each of 12 everyday ingredient groups: chicken; chops; sausages; leg of lamb; fish; leaves; summer veg; winter veg; pasta; summer fruit; winter fruit; and flour and eggs. There are more than 120 recipes, from a wide variety of countries, and each takes only minutes to prepare. Spice rubs, marinades, and flavoured butters feature heavily in the book's many roasts and bakes, but there are lots of other ideas for quick cooking, too.

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