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Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can't Wait to Make by Melissa Clark

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Notes about this book

  • wester on September 10, 2013

    I agree with Jane. I really like this cookbook. The recipes are not too complicated for everyday use, but there is always something about them that makes them special. I also like the month-by-month arrangement - it's not necessary to stick to it strictly, but if I want it to, it does narrow down the question "what do I cook tonight?" to just a few recipes. I also am very happy that many recipes have a version with cheese and one without, as I like cheese and my husband hates it.

  • Jane on December 08, 2011

    This is definitely my favorite book of 2011. I don't think I have ever cooked so much from a new cookbook (and I get a lot). I love that I'm cooking my way through each month. The recipes are all very practical, explained well and most importantly they work and the results are delicious.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • White bean stew with rosemary, garlic, and farro

    • Breadcrumbs on April 04, 2012

      p. 8 Yuk, I really disliked this, and I never say that. This sounded like the perfect dish to make-ahead for a weeknight meat-free meal. I had high expectations for this stew that’s chock-full of ingredients we love. I found the cooking liquid to be fairly bland, even with the addition of the Parmesan rind. Once I seasoned with salt and Aleppo pepper it was still flat. MC says if the stew tastes a bit flat swirl in some lemon juice at the end to perk up the flavors. Sorry MC, even doing this in conjunction w topping w parmesan being sure not to skimp on the oil, salt and red Aleppo pepper when serving couldn’t save this bor-ring dish for me. I’d even added the kale suggested but to no avail. I served this over whole wheat Israeli couscous. On top of being uber-bland, I really disliked the texture of this dish, which reminded me of pabulum or some sort of baby food. Pretty disappointing. It did look pretty though! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/841840#7257062

    • we10mom on January 13, 2014

      I really like this dish. Perfect thing to make on a cold, snowy day. The farro works well with the beans, giving it a nice "chew". I did add kale, but it would also be delish without it.

    • aberne on March 20, 2012

      This is pure comfort in a bowl, and I could eat it every day.

    • Jessm on June 10, 2012

      Really enjoyed this recipe. I used wheatberries instead of the farro and it worked well.

    • MelissaM0223 on February 09, 2015

      I thought this was very tasty - I soaked the beans for an hour and a half beforehand, and they only took a little over an hour to cook.

  • Tuscan kale with anchovies, garlic, and pecorino

    • Emily Hope on May 29, 2013

      This was fantastic tossed with some whole wheat spaghetti and toasted chopped walnuts. I dolloped some ricotta on top, but in the end don't think it needed it. Even the leftovers were great!

    • adrienneyoung on January 02, 2012

      a keeper!

  • Crisp roasted chicken with chickpeas, lemons, and carrots with parsley gremolata

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      I used a turkey roasting pan and rack. Instead of chopped carrots, I used a bag of baby carrots. The directions state to rub the garam masala, on the chicken first, and then rub it with softened butter. The garam masala coated the chicken beautifully, but when I rubbed on the butter, the spice and the butter just knobbed up in cold clumps. I ended up melting the butter lumps with garam masala mixed in, and brushing that on the chicken. While the chicken cooked, and the house filled with a delicious aroma, I prepared the gremolata used to finish the dish. This was a perfectly cooked chicken! Crisp and golden brown on the outside, wonderfully tender and moist on the inside. The lemons in the cavity impart a lot of lemon flavor to the chicken. And the carrots and chickpeas were very flavorful. I could munch on them endlessly. This dish grew on Mr. NS. He started with "this is good." Moved to "I really like this." And ended the meal stating "make this again!"

    • amraub on June 05, 2012

      This is good. The skin crisps up nicely and the chicken is juicy, but the chickpea and carrots are not nearly as tasty as the mustard crouton chicken at the back of the book. I served with the bulgur pilaf from the same book.

    • Barb_N on March 14, 2016

      This was just ok. Like amraub, I did not think the chickpeas enhanced the dish. The butter/garam masala did result in a moist bird but I found the flavors muted. There are lots of roast chicken recipes out there- I'll be making Judy Rodger's...

    • stockholm28 on March 05, 2016

      This has been on my list for a while and I thought it was a very satisfying, weeknight-friendly, winter meal. My roast chicken was super moist. The chickpeas that were along the edge of the roasting pan got crispy while the ones directly under the chicken were still creamy. Cooked with the chicken drippings, spice, and lemon, they were quite flavorful. I wish I'd read L. Nightshade's report before I made this as I had the same problem with the butter and garam masala. Next time I will use her suggestion to mix the spice with the butter. The leftovers were great. I re-heated the chickpeas up in the oven in a single layer and they stayed crispy.

  • Whatever greens you've got salad

    • westminstr on February 20, 2013

      Super easy but it makes a great salad - my new go-to method.

  • Whatever greens you've got salad with mustard and garlic vinaigrette

    • westminstr on April 18, 2014

      I don't often take the time to make a real vinaigrette, but last night I did, and we really enjoyed this. I made it with the mustard and garlic, but without the anchovy. It was very tasty. I think the anchovy variation would be great on bitter spring greens like dandelion.

    • BlytheSpirit on September 12, 2013

      I have now made this dressing a couple times. My garlic was on the strong side, so of course, I reduced the amount to 1/2 of a small clove. I loved the inclusion of anchovy and mustard - and thought this was very easy and tasty. The proportions are easy and perfect for serving one or two people.

    • aeader on March 14, 2014

      This has become our favorite salad dressing - we use it on all types of salads - greens, grains, etc.

  • Sesame soba salad with roasted shiitakes and tofu croutons

    • sarahcooks on May 15, 2012

      The tofu takes longer to brown than she says. I found this salad to have too many noodles compared to the other ingredients and though we usually love flavors like this, it just didn't work for us. I really loved the roasted shiitakes though, definitely a technique to remember.

  • Skillet-roasted potatoes and golden turnips with smashed garlic

    • westminstr on April 07, 2014

      I made this with potato and rutabaga and the rutabaga definitely took longer to cook. The veg turned out well and it is nice to have a guideline for cooking them at a lower temp, since I normally roast veg at a much higher heat.

  • Baked apples with fig and cardamom crumble

    • Lepa on January 24, 2017

      I thought this was okay but I didn't love it. I always compare any apple crumble to my favorite Apple Betty from the Rose Bakery book and this one required more effort and the result wasn't as good.

  • Double coconut granola

    • rdspring on February 08, 2014

      This has become my go to granola recipe switching out the nuts and fruits with each batch. It's delicious!

    • sck on March 29, 2014

      Hands down the best granola I've ever made.

  • Grilled sausages with celery root salad with hazelnuts and arugula

    • amraub on January 09, 2012

      Quick and easy. Perfect for a weeknight meal.

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      This was a perfect dinner to whip up after work. Mr. NS did the sausages on the grill (instead of in a pan under the broiler as the recipe states). This made for an easier clean-up, so this dinner was even more ideal for the end of a long day. For the sausages, I chose half bratwurst, half Italian, from our great local deli. While they were on the grill, I grated celery root in the FP, then made the dressing with dijon mustard, garlic, sherry vinegar, and olive oil, and seasoned it with salt and pepper. The celery root was tossed with arugula and toasted hazelnuts, then dressed. This is basically a recipe for the salad that more or less states "add grilled sausages on the side." The salad would certainly be a nice standalone, or work with other meats, but it did go very well with the sausages, especially with the mustardy dressing. I don't think Mr. NS appreciated this as much as I did. He said I could make it "once a year" and it would be fine.

    • westminstr on March 24, 2013

      Like others, we liked this.

    • Cheri on January 09, 2012

      Excellent, bistro style meal. Quick. Used TJ's Chicken garlic sausages, grilled them and served over the salad with artisan bread on the side. Nice weeknight meal. Hazelnuts are a nice compliment to the mustard vinegarette.

    • wester on April 23, 2013

      This was a nice salad, fresh and summery (my husbands words) at a time of year when fresh produce is not that abundant yet while you do want it to be. The hazelnuts work really well with the celeriac. I used butter lettuce and a handful of parsley instead of the arugula, which worked fine. I do think I wouldn't mind some mustardy mayonnaise instead of the vinaigrette. I did not think the sausages had any special interaction with the salad, I think any meat would work as well. Or cheese or eggs. I liked it very much that she said how large the celeriac should be. I had suspected for a while that Dutch celeriacs might be bigger than American ones, and now I'm sure. One Dutch celeriac should count as two or three foreign ones.

  • Chile-coconut braised beef short ribs

    • Breadcrumbs on March 01, 2015

      p. 46 – I made the dish early enough in the day to allow enough time to refrigerate it so I could remove the fat prior to serving. Instead of increasing the liquid I opted to keep the sauce ingredients the same and reduce the volume of meat. I chose 4 bone-in short ribs that weighed a little over 2 lbs. MC offers an alternate prep using Madras Curry Powder for a Curry-Coconut Rib dish and that’s the route I took. If I had one nit with this recipe it would be that the curry flavour wasn’t as pronounced as I would have liked it to be. My curry powder was newly purchased. I’ll definitely up the ante next time around. When I removed my dish from the oven I thought the sauce had too much tang though things did seem to mellow out somewhat later in the day after the dish had rested in the fridge. With more curry (and maybe less lime?) I could love this. I’ll make it again. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/841840?commentId=9368636#9368636

    • westminstr on March 25, 2013

      One of my favorite recipes from the book. T loved it!

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      My bone-in ribs were only two pounds total weight. But there were just two of us, so that was fine. I used the full amount of all the other ingredients, in a somewhat smaller pot, in order to bring the liquid up halfway on the meat as suggested. The only slight modification I made in the ingredients was with the chile peppers. I used a combination of jalapeno, serrano, yellow, red anaheim, thai bird, and a smidge of habanero, to equal the approximate bulk of two jalapenos. All else went in as written. The small amount of meat was quite done at the end of two hours. I separated the meat from the liquid and refrigerated both. The following day, the fat was lifted out in a smooth, hard disc, and the meat and liquid were reunited and heated. This is a fine and fragrant dish, the chiles mingle splendidly with the lime and coconut. It is brown, as beetlebug states, but the red chiles, cilantro, and scallions livened it up quite enough. Definitely repeatable and guest-worthy.

    • Emily Hope on October 31, 2016

      I've had this on my "to try" list forever and am so glad I finally got around to it! As others have said, it's delicious--though with the caveat for me that it really needs the optional overnight rest for its flavors to develop. On the day it was made, the sauce was a bit sharp (even though I used the juice of 1 1/2 limes instead of 2), and the beef wasn't super flavorful. But the next day it had integrated and mellowed--delicious! I did add a splash of fish sauce and a little brown sugar to give it a bit more oomph--which I would do again--and I used all coconut milk instead of part water for the sauce, since I had some extra that needed to be used. Served with brown rice and stir-fried bok choy.

    • amraub on April 22, 2012

      This was excellent and is a definite repeat. I had a bag of spinach that I needed to use up, so I cooked it over low on the stove and wilted the spinach into the sauce after the meat was tender. It added a nice bit of colour to the dish and made it more into a one-pot meal.

    • Trackypup on January 22, 2012

      Outstanding! The flavours are amazing. The only thing I did differently was thin the sauce after I took it out of the oven by adding 1/4 cup of water. The lime was a bit overpowering without it. Definitely going in the favourites file.

    • TheCulinaryLibrarian on June 04, 2015

      I love making this dish! It is great for a weeknight dinner with friends because you can make it the day before. I usually serve it over rice noodles.

    • wodtke on October 23, 2015

      Made 10-22-15. Like Breadcrumbs, I used the curry powder alternative (which is not noted in the EYB indexing), and like L.Nightshade, used bone-in short ribs. I think the curry powder worked fine, although next time I'll try the chile version. But the bone-in ribs I had were not so good, as they were very fatty. Combined with the rich coconut milk, it made for an excessively fatty sauce. Not MC's fault, of course, as she called for boneless, which at my butcher at least are trimmed closely. One to try again, this time as written.

    • clcorbi on August 15, 2017

      I've had this braise on my to-make list forever, but unfortunately, I didn't love it quite as much as everyone else. It wasn't bad, but I've just made other braises I enjoyed a lot more. My coconut milk seemed to sort of "curdle" in the pot, even though I stirred the braise frequently. So there wasn't really any nice, creamy sauce to enjoy, like I was expecting. I'm not really sure how this happened, or if it was my fault, but it was weird. I do agree that the flavor was better by the second day. We served this tossed with rice noodles and edamame which was nice. I just don't think I would take the effort to make it again.

  • Coconut curry beef

    • aberne on March 20, 2012

      meh. Just not as amazing as I was hoping for. Good, but wouldn't make again.

  • Coconut rice and peas

    • Lepa on June 27, 2017

      My kids loved this rice. I made it with white rice because I didn't have much time and it turned out well.

    • westminstr on April 29, 2013

      I made this to go with the Vietnamese Steak and Cabbage Salad from the April chapter. I thought it was just OK. I used white rice instead of brown, about 13/4 cups water and 1 tbsp of frozen creamed coconut. Usually I cook rice covered by the absorption method or in lots of boiling water and I find both methods superior to this one, which resulted in some grains soggy and some crunchy at the time I expected the rice to be done. (Note I just added a bit more water and cooked it longer, and all the grains did eventually cook through -- but the rice was not as fluffy as I like.) I will keep looking for my perfect coconut rice. I have to say my spouse and daughter loved it though.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 03, 2012

      p. 49 I’m a sucker for anything coconut so this had immediate appeal. A very simple prep. Coconut milk and water are brought to a boil before adding brown rice and simmering until tender. Mine took about 50 mins. The idea is to add green peas at this point and stir in to incorporate and heat through. I made the rice on the weekend and left the pea adding for tonight so I just heated up the rice in a wok and tossed in the peas prior to serving. I should note that I couldn’t seem to resist my urge to add a little Thai flavour to this dish. I added 2 chopped Thai bird chilies to the coconut/water mix along with a little garlic and the zest of a lime. I spritzed lime juice over top prior to serving (alongside some grilled chicken). This was good but not outstanding. I found the rice to be a bit stodgy, even when it was freshly made. My coconut milk was very thick so this may have been a factor.

  • Fragrant lentil rice soup with spinach and crispy onions

    • Laura on August 20, 2012

      Pg. 51. My husband loved this soup and I liked it. Given how aromatic it was while cooking, I didn't feel the flavors came through in the tasting. It felt a bit flat for me, despite the addition of lime juice and more salt. The crispy onions and the mint were really key to elevating this beyond ordinary. And, while I didn't find it exquisite, I have to love how healthy it is.

    • Lepa on January 08, 2017

      My seven year old proclaimed that the soup, "looks like vomit but tastes good." I agree that the color was off-putting. I might add a touch of turmeric next time to warm the beige to a warm gold. We liked the warm, gingery flavor of this soup and found that the fried onions really put it over the edge. Don't be tempted to skip them!

    • stockholm28 on March 13, 2016

      This is a very hearty lentil soup and the carmelized onions make it reminiscent of French Onion. This soup was just ok for me. I love Melissa Clark's red lentil soup with lemon and this had a very different flavor profile.

  • Sliced oranges with olives and red chiles

    • westminstr on March 24, 2013

      I made a variation with oranges, red onion, sea salt, fresh parsley & olive oil. Quite good, and maybe one day I'll try the recipe again as written.

  • Creamy parsnip and leek soup with pumpernickel croutons

    • Laura on April 11, 2016

      Pg. 56. Left-over parsnips lead me to this recipe. It's quite good and easy to put together. I had originally thought I'd make the version with bacon, but decided to go with the original. The only change I made was to use olive oil instead of butter. I'm sure it'd be far better with butter. Also, I didn't bother with the pumpernickel croutons as I'm keeping things non-carb for now.

    • WFPLCleanEating on September 29, 2016

      Very good! I thought the quantity of celery would overpower the dish, but it balanced nicely with the sweetness of the parsnips. Yummy and easy to make. (Rachel S-K)

  • Creamy parsnip and leek soup with crispy bacon

    • westminstr on April 01, 2013

      I had completely skipped over this recipe in the book many times -- I just had no interest. However, this NYT recipe for Any Root Vegetable Soup caught my eye the other day, and I decided to make it. http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/11/vegetable-soup-with-any-root/ This soup turned out great! It was very simple -- I sauteed a small onion and chopped fennel stalks (instead of celery), added garlic, thyme (instead of rosemary) and bay leaves, then 31/2 pounds of chopped mixed root vegetables. I used regular potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and turnips. When the vegetables were soft, I pureed them with my immersion blender, added a healthy dose of lemon juice and seasoned with s&p. This was a great soup! Soothing, creamy (but with no cream) yet with a refreshing tartness from the lemon. Comforting, but not boring. Everybody in the family liked it (even my son ate it, and he's usually not big on soup or root vegetables).

  • Buttery, garlicky, spicy calamari with Israeli couscous

    • westminstr on March 25, 2013

      I've made this several times, served over quinoa twice and with polenta. NEver have tried the cous cous! This is a good fast way of cooking squid and it is very healthy over quinoa. ETA: finally did try the cous couse and liked it. The squid gets very watery if you don't dry it carefully, which makes the sauce bland. Next time if that happens scoop out the squid and reduce the sauce before proceeding.

  • Lemony olive oil banana bread with chocolate chips

    • westminstr on March 25, 2013

      Made this banana bread and liked it quite a bit. We omitted the chocolate and added chopped nuts, also skipped the lemon glaze. Thought the sweetness was perfect (not too sweet). For a relatively healthy banana bread, this was great.

    • Breadcrumbs on March 16, 2013

      p. 62 A very nice loaf. Finally we had some over-ripe bananas hanging around and I actually remembered this recipe! I decided to forgo the chocolate as I wanted to use this for weekday breakfasts to-go and we’re not big on chocolate in the morning. I used whole grain spelt flour in place of the whole-wheat flour and this imparted a pronounced nutty flavour. We were really impressed with how moist and light the loaf turned out to be. Not overly heavy like some banana breads. I also skipped the glaze as I didn’t see any need to add any further sugar to the bread. That said, the lemon was not discernable and next time I think I’ll use the zest of a whole lemon to up the ante. A nice, tasty loaf. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/841840#7957836

    • clcorbi on May 03, 2017

      This is a really nice banana bread. I used sour cream, 4 bananas, and omitted the glaze. I also used semisweet rather than bittersweet chocolate because that's what I prefer in a banana bread, and I wish I would have added in some chopped walnuts or pecans as well. I had to bake this for a few more minutes than directed, and eventually I took it out even though the knife was still coming out covered in dough. I'm glad I did, because it firmed up nicely. Next time I'd probably just bake it for the max allotted time and assume it'll firm up just fine, because I prefer banana bread to be on the moist side. I agree with the below comment that the lemon zest isn't really noticeable in the finished loaf, so I'd double the amount next time.

  • Gingery split pea soup with toasted coriander

    • sfcarole on March 25, 2013

      It seemed a bit bland even though I added a bit extra coriander. So I doctored it up a bit with a 1/2 teaspoon each of ground ginger (there is fresh ginger in the soup), cumin, dried thyme and dried oregano. I would have used fresh thyme and oregano if I were starting at the beginning. The final result was quite nice.

    • sarahcooks on December 04, 2012

      Just okay. The lemon does go really well with the coriander, but I doubt I'd make it again when I have similar recipes I like more.

  • Butter lettuce and clementine salad with brown butter vinaigrette

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      I almost made this with olive oil instead of butter. I am SO glad I didn't. What a compelling salad! The browned butter, with the almonds and oranges (I used Satsuma Mandarins instead of Clementines), creates such a rich flavor. The bright taste of the oranges and zest are a great complement for the buttery feel. Unlike TxnInMtl, I felt that the mint in the salad was quite pronounced, and it added a lot. The only drawback to this salad is that you can't have leftovers. I know salad doesn't make the best leftover in any case, but I do usually manage to enjoy any remains for lunch the next day. In this case, the idea of hardened bits of butter on lettuce does not appeal. So just make the amount that you plan to eat.

    • westminstr on January 05, 2015

      I made this salad for christmas eve and also used satsumas instead of clementines, otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I had always been curious about the salad and am glad I tried it. I probably won't make it again, though. Though I liked the flavor at first, I found it a bit cloying by the end of the bowl. I think I am just too wedded to olive oil and vinegar.

  • Braised pork shoulder with tomatoes, cinnamon, and olives over polenta

    • westminstr on April 09, 2013

      This was good the first night and leftovers were amazing. Aromas while cooking were incredible. On day 3 of leftovers we shredded the leftover pork into the tomatoes and added extra olives for a wonderful pasta sauce. Loved this dish.

    • L.Nightshade on April 02, 2012

      This was a simple one, and only one pot was used for cooking. The house filled with wonderful aromas while it cooked. I used green beldi olives, and, the flavor of olives and rosemary predominated. The anchovies were not evident, but they lent their usual oomph to the flavors. The polenta is the perfect foil for the strong flavors. A lovely dish for a cold evening.

    • amraub on April 10, 2012

      Excellent braised dish with incredible aromas. I love the olives with this dish. Used anchovy paste because that's what I had on hand.

    • Barb_N on September 19, 2014

      I chose this recipe for pork shoulder because it had several favorable notes. The ingredients sound like they would result in a very flavorful sauce but I did not think so. There was the barest hint of cinnamon and the occasional bite of olive- otherwise it was a one-note of tomato.

    • aeader on May 27, 2012

      This was great on a cold evening, and very simple to make. I used anchovy paste and served it over barley. I accidently added the olives along with all the other ingredients right before putting it into the oven, instead of waiting until the end, but it still came out fine.

  • Mustard greens salad with anchovy croutons and Gruyère cheese

    • amraub on April 21, 2012

      The croutons alone make this salad worth it, but the addition of mustard greens makes it even better.

    • sfcarole on March 25, 2013

      Great salad. The croutons could be served alone as an hors-d'oeuvre!

  • Spicy black beans with chorizo and jalapeños

    • Lindalib on October 04, 2013

      We liked this one. Didn't bother with the rice, but did serve it with fried eggs on top.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 28, 2012

      p. 81 Another tasty weeknight dish from Ms Clark. Prep is indeed quick and easy. In addition to the red pepper and jalapeno pepper I tossed in a poblano. I didn’t need to add any hot sauce as my chorizo was very spicy. I served this over steamed brown rice and opted to go with the egg but, to save having to dirty another pot, I just poached my eggs right amongst the beans. While there wasn’t much liquid, there was just enough for poaching. I liked this dish, mr bc LOVED it. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/841840#7303498

  • Wilted collard greens with lemon and extra-virgin olive oil

    • westminstr on November 18, 2014

      I used this recipe for Brussels sprout tops, which I'd previously found too tough to sauté. This cooking method was great! The sprout tops were tender and very tasty and the only change I would make is to slice them into ribbons before cooking. They don't cook down much. I think this recipe would also work well for cauliflower leaves.

  • Baked stuffed potatoes with corned beef and dill butter

    • Jane on March 23, 2012

      What an easy recipe! After sticking the potatoes in a hot oven (resulting in lovely crisp salty skin) there isn't anything to do apart from mashing up some butter, dill and corned beef. Mix that up with the baked potato centers, top with some Parmesan, then back in the hot oven for 10 mins. So simple and very tasty.

  • Crispy roasted cabbage

    • westminstr on January 20, 2015

      For me, this was not a mind-blowing way to eat cabbage. Maybe thinner slices would have worked better for me.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 09, 2012

      p. 88 Oh so delicious!! Tonight our protein of choice was MC’s Quick Grilled Flanken (or Flank Steak in our case). I took my inspiration from that Asian-inspired marinade and basted my cabbage with sesame oil that I’d infused with garlic and a little Sriracha. This made for such a perfect pairing. Truth be told I could have feasted on this cabbage alone. Totally tasty! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/841840#7265872

    • Laura on December 19, 2014

      Pg. 88. This could not be simpler and it results in a really delicious dish. I've been nibbling at the leftovers all evening.

  • Whole wheat Irish soda bread with raisins and caraway

    • we10mom on April 11, 2012

      I love this recipe and make it often, although I omit the caraway. The ww flour gives it a nice nutty taste.

  • Olive oil-almond cake with vanilla mascarpone

    • aeader on February 12, 2012

      I made this for a large family dinner and everyone loved it. The olive oil and almond flour give the cake a sophistocated flavor. I did not have any buckwheat flour but substituted whole wheat pastry flour and it turned out very nicely. I didn't make the vanilla marscapone but did make the cranberry compote, which was excellent with the cake. The cake was quick and easy to make - will definitely make this again.

    • Lepa on October 02, 2017

      We did not like this at all. It had a dank, funky taste that was unpleasant. The marscapone was okay but not particularly good. I would not make this again.

  • Creamy leek gratin with Parmesan

    • WFPLCleanEating on October 04, 2016

      This was essentially a sauce made for mac & cheese poured over boiled leeks and baked. It was weird. It was the first and last time I will boil leeks. It was a soggy mess. The recipe indicated leeks be cut in half length-wise. This resulted in a long stringy mess on the fork. While eating it, I was wishing something more substantial was under the cheese...like, broccoli, cauliflower...even pasta! (Rachel S-K)

  • Pot-roasted lamb with Meyer lemon

    • wodtke on January 04, 2015

      Although I usually roast lamb shoulder, thought I'd try a braise, and it was a great success. The author has an optional defatting step, the usual "cool over night, then remove the hardened fat" approach, but I'd say it isn't optional -- there was lots rendered fat, even from a well-trimmed shoulder. If you can't wait until the next day, use a fat separator, as I did. I also reduced the sauce to thicken it a bit. The cooking time given in the recipe was about perfect for a 3 1/2 lb boneless roast. Internal temp was 200.

  • Curried coconut tomato soup

    • Barb_N on May 28, 2017

      I love this recipe and don't find that the spices get lost. It is a rich soup but delicious.

    • Barb_N on March 29, 2014

      An easy soup but the spices were lost with the addition of the coconut milk- if I make it again I will increase them significantly.

    • Lepa on May 29, 2017

      This tasted good. I like the flavor combination of tomato/coconut/curry. I do think I prefer this combination in a lentil soup as a main course. This soup was light and good but didn't feel substantial enough for a main course.

    • mzgourmand on May 25, 2017

      I love this recipe and don't find that the spices get lost. It is a rich soup but delicious.

    • monica107 on January 26, 2014

      I used coconut oil instead of butter and opted for a red curry powder. I left the coconut milk as an optional mix-in.

    • amraub on April 26, 2012

      Soup was too thin for my tastes and needed a bump up on the spices.

    • westminstr on March 25, 2013

      I basically halved the recipe, using a smallish onion, a box of Pomi tomatoes, and half the butter and spices. I added just a tiny bit of water (maybe 1/2 cup) and 3-4 oz of coconut milk (what I had leftover from a 5 oz can). I think more coconut milk would have been nice, but I didn't have it. Before blending, I was pretty doubtful about the soup (it seemed thin and bland) but after whizzing in my immersion blender and adding a bit more salt, it turned out to be pretty good.

  • Green-poached eggs with spinach and chives

    • Jane on April 13, 2012

      I loved this. It felt very healthy and virtuous but satisfying at the same time. I over-cooked the eggs (I like mine runny) as they looked very liquid after 3 minutes poaching so I did them a bit longer, but after 3 more minutes off the heat they were overcooked. So take them off the heat when they still look very undercooked. But I still enjoyed it very much - the lemon zest, chives and scallions with the spinach gave it lots of flavor.

  • Vietnamese grilled steak and cabbage with peanuts, mint, and chiles

    • Jane on April 15, 2012

      I marinated the steak for 24 hours (not intentionally, just found out my daughter was going out after I'd already started the marinade) and I thought it had great flavor. I also enjoyed the cabbage salad. I made it with regular green cabbage though I would like to try it with napa. And I would definitely like to try it with mango chunks as that would break up the rather repetitive flavors of a lot of cabbage. I had a lot leftover though I have kept the dressing and cabbage separately in the fridge so should be good for re-runs during the week.

    • westminstr on April 29, 2013

      Wow, we liked this a lot. I ended up marinating the steak for about 36 hours, and the steak was nicely flavored. Definitely not too limey or salty for us. I made the cabbage salad as written but I wasn't too fussy about proportions -- I used about 3/4 of a very small green cabbage and half of a huge carrot. My salad ended up more carrot than cabbage. We just loved the dressing. It was salty, garlicky, tart and tangy! Leftovers held up well also. I used cilantro and skipped the peanut topping. Served as suggested with the coconut rice and peas from the same book. My spouse loved this but I will probably do plain steamed jasmine rice next time.

    • amraub on April 05, 2012

      Flavours seemed a little one-note. Lime overwhelmed the marinade. Could've used some sweetness. The only flavour we got from the cabbage was the salt. Might've been better with suggested mango and some fresh chiles.

    • Barb_N on March 29, 2014

      I LOVED this steak marinade- it has supplanted my go to recipe that I have used for a decade (Pacific Rim flank steak from Saveur); made the salad with napa and not too many deviations. This is a keeper.

  • Roasted chicken legs with smoked paprika, blood orange, and ginger

    • elisarose on January 01, 2013

      I've made this twice and it's been a hit with my husband and son (I don't eat meat but cook chicken for them sometimes!). I think the cooking time is too long; 30 minutes was enough. I've only used regular oranges.

    • amraub on February 04, 2012

      It was great even with regular oranges.

    • monica107 on January 26, 2014

      I served this with the Bulgur "Pilaf" with Swiss Chard and Dried Apricots, as recommended in the recipe notes. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs and marinated for a few hours in the afternoon. The chicken baked perfectly in about 20 min. This was a super easy meal to make and I would recommend it as a weeknight dinner, esp. if you prep the ingredients in advance.

  • Bulgur "pilaf" with Swiss chard and dried apricots

    • monica107 on January 26, 2014

      I served this with the Roasted Chicken Legs with Smoked Paprika, Blood Orange, and Ginger. I took the suggestion of drizzling some pomegranate molasses on at the end and I highly recommend it. The whole meal came together really quickly and would be suitable for a weeknight esp if all the ingredients are prepped in advance.

    • amraub on June 05, 2012

      This was fantastic. So many flavours that work well together and such a simple side. As recommended, I substituted dried cranberries for the dried apricots. I also drizzled with pomegranate molasses which worked very well with the dish. Will make again and will try with quinoa at some point.

    • gastronom on January 28, 2018

      Great flavors. Sauteed chalk stems, 1/4” cut, with shallot and diced jalapeno. Added chopped chard leaves with Ana Sortun’s spice blend and raisins toward end. Microwaved already roasted pistachios with cumin. Served chard on bed of already prepared bulgur and drizzled with pomegranate molasses. A winner.

  • Quinoa "pilaf" with Swiss chard and dried apricots

    • Jane on June 15, 2013

      I loved this and didn't feel it was too subdued. I enjoyed the combination of soft grain, sweet apricots, slightly bitter kale, crunchy pistachios. I also thought it was a very pretty dish. I used lemon juice as the drizzle but next time I will try the alternative suggestion of pomegranate molasses.

    • Breadcrumbs on March 31, 2012

      Note: This recipe is listed as Bulgur Pilaf in the book's index. Quinoa is a suggested alternative.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 06, 2012

      p. 120 – Yum! I made this precisely as set out in the book with the exception of the inclusion of cinnamon. mr bc is not a fan of cinnamon in savoury preparations so I left it out. I chose to drizzle the final dish with pomegranate molasses. Big thanks to beetlebug for reviewing this dish as we loved it. I prepared the quinoa yesterday so all I needed to do tonight was toast the nuts and sauté the veggies. There’s so much going on in this dish. The flavours blend together beautifully. The sweetness of the dried apricots contrast nicely with the tart pomegranate molasses. The toasted cumin enhances the flavour of the nuts and is subtle in the finished dish. I’ll definitely be making this again. I imagine it would be delicious hot or cold and I’d love to try it topped with some pomegranate seeds and/or some feta cheese as well. Delicious!!

    • westminstr on October 29, 2013

      I made this with spinach instead of chard and lemon juice at the end. I liked it but would use fewer apricots next time. With the nuts, veg and fruit, this struck me as a good holiday dish -- if you replace the butter with olive oil, you have a very nice vegan and gluten free stuffing -- I would put it into squash halves, and there you have an amazing and easy holiday centerpiece for those at the table who don't eat turkey or bread stuffing.

    • sfcarole on April 02, 2018

      I've made this many times now and we both love it. I prefer it with bulgur, but with quinoa it's also very good. I cut back the dried apricots to one-third cup. And if chard is not handy I use one quart of baby spinach. Toasting and grinding cumin seeds adds more depth of flavor if you have the time. We've brought this to pot luck buffets and it always disappears quickly!

    • ctbrit on June 06, 2013

      Made this for dinner - increased the ratio of chard to grain. Served with grated beet and carrot salad. Wasn't a great success - flavors were a little too subdued. Hot sauce made a big difference. The concept is great but we prefer stronger flavors - up the spicing.

  • Quick-braised pork chops with spring greens and anchovies

    • amraub on April 05, 2012

      Sauce is excellent. Made with pea shoots.

    • mirage on July 18, 2014

      The pork chops were fine - nothing special - but the sauce was delicious.

    • westminstr on March 15, 2015

      I used dandelion greens and an extra anchovy. The greens were great but the chops were a bit tough.

  • Barley with carrots, scallions, and maybe Parmesan

    • westminstr on April 30, 2013

      I chose this recipe because I had carrots and scallions in the fridge that needed using. I used pearled barley and only needed to cook it for about 25-30 min. After tasting the dish with and without the parmesan, I elected to leave it out, though I did add extra olive oil to enrich it a bit. This was an easy, tasty dish. Not the star of the show by any means, and I wouldn't make it for a dinner party, but nevertheless it made for a very serviceable weeknight side dish that the whole family enjoyed.

    • Jane on April 11, 2012

      I liked this but not enough to rush to make it again, when there so many grains recipes in the world I want to try. I would say it definitely needs the Parmesan to give it a flavor boost.

  • Coconut fudge brownies

    • Jane on December 04, 2011

      This would be a good brownie if you are really into coconut. It looked good with the toasted coconut shreds scattered on the top but I found that the large amount of coconut, both in and on top of the brownie, detracted from the chocolate. And for me chocolate is the main point of a brownie.

  • Pan-roasted Pacific halibut with spring onions and honey balsamic

    • westminstr on March 25, 2013

      This is what I did: Sauteed my onions with thyme branches and s&p (I used extra thyme) for three minutes covered, three minutes uncovered (I actually let them go a bit longer to make sure they were soft enough for my son to eat). Then stirred in 1T of balsamic vinegar, let it reduce briefly, and turned the onions into a bowl. The onions were quite sweet done this way and I think adding honey would have been overkill. Added more olive oil into the pan, browned the fish (which took just a few minutes as my fillets were very small), and added 1T of balsamic and 1T of red wine vinegar to the pan. Plated the fish, poured pan juices on top along with the onions. I thought this was a very nice dish and not too sweet at all. It was a good use for spring onions, quick and easy, and I would definitely make it again.

    • sarahcooks on April 28, 2012

      This didn't hit the mark for me. I used haddock, my store never has halibut, and if they do I make a favorite recipe from 660 Curries using it. They both start with H, that's close enough, right? I also used vidalia onion. I love onions. I love caramelized onions. These are not what I'd consider caramelized. It takes way longer than 3 minutes to caramelize onions properly. So it cheats, using balsamic and honey to sweeten them up. I thought they were way too sweet and just overpowered the fish. The fish cooked in the pan with the leftover balsamic and onion bits was very good though. It was just enough to flavor it, without adding the splash of extra vinegar at the end.

    • aeader on May 27, 2012

      We liked this, but next time I would broil or grill the fish. I used vidalia onions and they were a nice compliment to the fish. As another reviewer noted, the onions are not really caramelized, but we did find them tasty with the basalmic vinegar, and I have since made them to accompany other dishes.

  • Frisée salad with bacon and eggs

    • westminstr on March 25, 2013

      I left out the blue cheese and also soft boiled instead of poached the eggs. Had to add a bit more olive oil and vinegar to make up for some loss of moisture in the eggs. Wow!!! Great salad. Would be good with blue cheese I'm sure.

    • sfcarole on June 13, 2013

      A great rendition of a Parisian classic. I may have added a bit more olive oil, but pretty much followed Clark's directions. A definite repeater.

    • wester on April 12, 2013

      This may be "more restrained" than the salad it was based on, it is still about "flavorful excess". Big bold flavors, not for the garlic-shy.

  • Garlicky mussels with white wine and ramps

    • westminstr on March 25, 2013

      Great use of ramps, yummy mussels! I doubled the mussels but did not double the broth.

  • Panfried asparagus with ramps, lemon, and fried eggs

    • westminstr on March 25, 2013

      This is an easy and tasty dish. Of course I had to try it because it features some of my favorite ingredients - I love just about everything that goes into this dish. To start, sautee chopped ramp stems and lemon slices in butter. Add a little more butter, asparagus (cut into 2 inch pieces), and finely chopped ramp greens, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes until the asparagus is done. Top with a fried egg. It all sounds pretty good, and it is, especially when you can get a lot of the sauteed ramps in a bite with the asparagus. However. One of my favorite ways to cook asparagus is to pan-roast it, then top with a fried egg and parmigiano reggiano. And I think I like that very simple dish even better than this one.

    • stockholm28 on May 04, 2014

      Very quick and easy and a delicious, simple combination of flavors. I used preserved lemon as she suggested in the "What Else?" section.

    • Lepa on May 02, 2017

      This was an easy, healthy dinner. It was a bit lemony, which I like and my husband doesn't, but I didn't get any complaints. The leftover juice in the pan gave the fried eggs a lovely flavor.

  • Roasted asparagus with gingered rhubarb sauce

    • amraub on May 25, 2012

      This is quick, easy, and delicious. The rhubarb works very well with the asparagus. A definite repeat whenever rhubarb is in season.

    • Laura on May 27, 2012

      Pg. 143. I really wanted to love this because I love rhubarb and its season is so short. This recipe is certainly easy and fairly quick. Unfortunately, the rhubarb sauce is unpleasant to look at (as Melissa notes in the book). And yes, I covered it up with lots of chopped chives as she suggests. And, it doesn't add that much taste-wise to the asparagus. I would prefer plain roasted asparagus.

  • Rhubarb ginger compote

    • westminstr on March 25, 2013

      This recipe is a variation of the asparagus with gingered rhubarb sauce on p. 143. I made a half recipe by combining 1 pound of chopped rhubarb, 1 tablespoon of grated ginger, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, and about 1/4 cup of water in a small pot and simmering, covered, until the rhubarb collapsed. I have really been enjoying this. My version is very gingery and quite tart, and I like to eat it straight with a spoon! I've also been stirring it into Greek yogurt with a bit of extra honey. I think it would be fantastic with pancakes or French toast or on top of vanilla ice cream.

    • Melanie on March 09, 2014

      This compote is fantastic - I made it a few years ago now and loved having this packed away in a jar. Tastes great mixed into yoghurt and topped with granola, or on top of pancakes.

  • Skillet chicken with green garlic and lemon thyme

    • stockholm28 on May 08, 2015

      Great weeknight meal. Delicious sauce.

    • sarahcooks on April 18, 2012

      This was very good! French inspired recipes like this are probably my weakest area in terms of cooking skills, but it turned out very well (just not as pretty as the picture). I actually skinned the chicken - probably a mistake, but we don't usually eat it and I like maximum flavor in the flesh, not the skin. It didn't stick too much, though it didn't brown as nice as if it had skin. The sauce was to die for, it had so much flavor. It was delicious spooned over the chicken and the quinoa. I would definitely make this again, but for our small family I'd probably do thighs, or even (sacrilege, I know) boneless skinless breasts.

  • Quinoa with black pepper, brown butter, and arugula

    • amraub on October 24, 2012

      A nice easy side. Not as outstanding as some of the other recipes in this book, but still good.

    • sarahcooks on April 18, 2012

      A good way to get more whole grains and greens in our diet. Soaks up sauces really well.

    • stockholm28 on May 23, 2014

      Simple quick dish. I used green garlic which was quite mild. Loved the brown butter.

    • westminstr on March 25, 2013

      This is a quick, easy and healthy side, and for that reason I have made it multiple times. Use a lot of arugula, because it really cooks down, and chop it to avoid it creating unpleasant clumps/tangles.

    • Laura on October 22, 2014

      Pg. 150. This was quick, easy, healthy, and fine, but nothing special. I made it with red quinoa and spinach. I agree with westminstr that the greens need to be increased significantly. I added 4 times what the recipe called for, and still I felt there weren't enough greens. I doubt I would make this again.

    • clcorbi on January 26, 2017

      Wow, we loved this! As per Westminstress' suggestion, we made sure to chop the arugula, which melted down to practically nothing (this was a plus for me as I am not a huge fan of cooked greens). This is an easy side that is just flavorful enough to be interesting on its own. We used it as the base for a grain bowl dinner, and it was perfect for that. I could also see this being good to take as part of a picnic spread.

  • Pasta with garlic scapes pesto, sugar snap peas, and ricotta

    • Breadcrumbs on June 23, 2012

      p. 165 The first time I made the recipe I substituted almonds for the pine nuts since we're a bit nervous about the latter w all the cases of pine mouth being reported. This pesto is almost identical to another I've been making for the past few years and we really enjoyed it on the pasta. Last night I decided to use the garlic scape pesto recipe from The Farm instead of MC's. I also added some shell peas (suggested in What Else?) and, since I had 4 big cremini mushrooms to use up, those went in as well. The main difference between MC's pesto and that in The Farm is that the latter calls for pistachios, which I would never have considered otherwise. In any event the garlic scape pistachio pesto wins out in our view and was absolutely fabulous. We served this pasta as a side w some grilled chops which I'd coated w some of the pesto. I think this pasta would be just fine without the ricotta btw. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/799537#7419689

    • westminstr on March 25, 2013

      Wow, we just loved this dish. A simple pesto is made with cilantro, garlic scapes, parmigiano, toasted pine nuts and olive oil. The pesto is tossed with pasta and thinly sliced sugar snap peas (snow peas in my case) that have been sautéed in butter. The whole thing is topped with a dollop of fresh ricotta. She recommends using cavatelli for the pasta. I used small shells instead, but I would go for the cavatelli if possible. So this cilantro-garlic scape pesto is probably the best pesto I've ever made. It was really, really good. I highly recommend making this dish before garlic scapes go out of season.

    • stockholm28 on June 01, 2014

      Very nice spring dish that made good use of things I bought at the farmer's market. Really liked the cilantro garlic scape pesto.

    • amraub on June 12, 2012

      Very good. Don't skip on the ricotta. Added prosciutto as suggested.

  • Seared wild salmon with brown butter cucumbers

    • amraub on April 21, 2012

      Quick and easy. The cucumbers make this dish something special.

    • westminstr on March 25, 2013

      The salmon itself came out well, but I thought the dish was only OK. Served with suggested accompaniment of soba noodles tossed with a bit of sesame oil and salt (and I added a spash of rice vinegar as well). I have to say that my toddler loved the fish and the noodles. We didn't save him any cucumbers, but he probably would have liked those as well. For me, the brown butter cucumber sauce was lacking a bit of excitement. Although in re-reading the recipe I now realize that I completely forgot to add the lime, and MC does say that the dish needs an acid component to bring it together. I'm sure it would have been better with the lime, but with lots of salmon recipes out there to try, I'm not sure whether I will be returning to this one.

  • Crushed new potatoes and pea salad with mustard seed dressing

    • westminstr on March 25, 2013

      I used frozen peas, black mustard seeds, included the yogurt, and subbed green shallots for regular. For the herbal garnish I used finely chopped shallot greens, which taste a lot like chives. I think the mint would have been good though. We liked this salad but weren't in love.

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      I used frozen peas for this one, and probably tossed in a few more than the recipe called for. I made the dressing as written, with yogurt (Greek) included. I used a combination of mint and chives for the herb addition. I loved the toasted mustard seeds in the salad, they add extra oomph to the mustardy flavor. I'll probably make this again when I can get fresh peas, but it was very nice with the frozen also. The only thing I might change would be to add a little squirt of red wine vinegar, but even that would depend on the taste of the prepared mustard in the dressing; mine seemed to want for a bit of acidity.

  • Honey-roasted carrot salad with arugula and almonds

    • amraub on April 26, 2012

      A nice combination and a very pretty salad. My almonds burnt because I wasn't watching them closely enough and my carrots didn't caramelize. I think next time I will follow the suggestion of adding Dijon next time. Am curious to try the squash variation next winter.

  • Whole wheat pizza with the very first cherry tomatoes, olives, and tuna

    • wester on April 20, 2015

      The main part of this recipe is the pizza itself, but I only made the topping. Good, and it also works as a salad.

  • Buckwheat pancakes with sliced peaches and cardamom cream syrup

    • amraub on August 26, 2012

      Great flavour combination. Next time, I would take her suggestion and add some ground cardamom to the pancake batter. I wanted just a bit more cardamom. The syrup is fantastic.

    • stockholm28 on March 01, 2015

      The cardamom syrup is excellent and the pancakes have a great nutty flavor. It is winter, so I skipped the peaches, but would love to try this again in summer.

    • Melanie on March 09, 2014

      These pancakes had a great nutty flavour. I served them with grilled peaches and some yoghurt with cardamom and honey mixed through. Keen to try the original recipe as directed though.

  • Obsessive twice-baked sour cherry pie

    • stockholm28 on July 05, 2014

      Great crisp pie crust. Also, really thought the ground tapioca helped the pie set up nicely.

    • stockholm28 on December 29, 2014

      Just a follow up to my first post. This summer I pitted sour cherries, mixed with the other filling ingredients (sugar, tapioca, etc.) and froze. This week I defrosted the filling and made a pie and it turned out great. The ground tapioca really works well to set up the filling.

  • Shrimp scampi with Pernod and fennel fronds

    • stockholm28 on July 09, 2014

      Really liked this. I used ouzo instead of pernod. The anise flavor was quite mellow. Really nice quick dish (except for prepping the shrimp). I server with the fennel salad she recommends and it was a great combination.

    • Lepa on September 10, 2016

      The flavor was very subtle. I think I messed up by putting a cover on the frying pan so the shrimp would steam a bit. If I had left it off, I think the juices would have reduced and become more flavorful. We liked this but not as much as I expected to.

    • amraub on February 19, 2012

      Subtle flavours, but delicious. Quick and easy.

    • Laura on July 21, 2012

      Pg. 201. Made this for lunch today and I agree that this is a quick and easy dish, so would be perfect for a weeknight dinner. Beyond that, I didn't love it as much as previous reviewers. Since there were only 2 of us, I halved the amount of shrimp called for, but kept everything else the same, so of course there was quite a bit of sauce/broth. I should have made pasta or rice to serve it over, or had some bread to sop up the liquid, but I was trying to keep the meal light. I found the flavors to be quite muted, not nearly as bold as I was hoping. I didn't dislike it at all; I just didn't love it. And when I'm making something with THAT much butter, I really want to LOVE it!

    • Breadcrumbs on April 06, 2012

      p. 201 As anise-addicts, of course this dish had immediate appeal. The fact that it was quick and simple to prepare just sealed the deal. This comes together in no time and the only change I made was to use MC’s alternative preparation, which includes some chopped tomatoes. I happened to have a handful of grape tomatoes that were getting a little wrinkled so I tossed them in as well. This dish was absolutely delicious. So fast and so flavourful. A perfect weeknight recipe that yields restaurant quality results. This dish, a salad and some crusty bread and you’re all set. Wonderful! I’ll definitely make this again. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/841838#7261121

    • westminstr on July 19, 2013

      In the middle of a heat wave, I turned to this quick and easy dish. I had no white wine so subbed a splash of sherry and a bit of water. We just loved this dish! Barely any prep or cook time but big, bold and bright flavors to wake up the palate on a hot day. Served with crusty bread and a shaved fennel and arugula salad (not the one from the book). Yet another winner from this book.

    • Cheri on April 30, 2012

      Easy, nice clean flavor. Delicious. Served over pasta. Will definately make it again.

  • Shaved fennel salad with Parmesan and orange zest

    • westminstr on October 28, 2015

      I really liked this salad, will make again. I included the cheese, made a half recipe with one fennel bulb, and I did need to add a bit extra vinegar and orange zest.

    • Fiona on February 23, 2012

      Very simple way to use fennel. I sliced the fennel very fine, with a mandolin, so it lost it's crunchiness and strong flavor but absorbed the orange and Parmesan, to make a wonderful combination.

    • wester on April 15, 2013

      I made the variation without the Parmesan, as my husband doesn't like cheese. Simple and good.

    • stockholm28 on July 09, 2014

      Great combination. I served as side to shrimp scampi with pernod and fennel fronds as she suggests.

  • Panfried striped bass with anchovy garlic bread crumbs and basil

    • Lepa on December 12, 2016

      We liked this but I like a baked version from Diana Henry better. The fish always falls apart when I fry it. . .

    • sfcarole on November 09, 2012

      It's hard to find striped bass on the West Coast. No matter. I made this with black cod. The breadcrumbs are absolutely the best breadcrumbs I have ever tasted. And they keep in the fridge for quite awhile. I made an extra cup's worth to put on pasta, veggies, etc.

    • westminstr on May 21, 2013

      Loved these breadcrumbs. Used them on top of sauteed cod and asparagus. Will definitely make again, delicious.

  • Cucumber and almond salad with shiso

    • amraub on April 28, 2012

      Used English cucumber and served with tossed with arugula instead of garnished with shiso. Added grape tomatoes to my portion. Assertive flavours. Very good.

  • Lamb merguez burgers with harissa mayonnaise

    • amraub on April 05, 2012

      Quick, easy, and full of flavor. Loved the mayo. Served without the bun.

    • WFPLCleanEating on September 29, 2016

      Delicious and easy to make! (Rachel S-K)

    • stockholm28 on May 07, 2014

      Very flavorful and an excellent weeknight meal. I loved the harissa mayo. I used ground turkey.

    • westminstr on April 02, 2014

      What can I say, these were great. The whole family enjoyed them. I cooked them on a cast iron skillet and served as recommended.

    • wester on September 09, 2013

      Very easy, very tasty. The mayo really is the finishing touch (I used sambal instead of harissa).

    • Sally on April 01, 2012

      This made for a quick, after-work meal. We really liked the full-flavored and moist burger.

    • clcorbi on January 20, 2017

      Wow! These were SO good. I intended to halve the recipe for just the two of us, but had a mental lapse and used the full amount of all spices called for. Luckily, I realized my error before I had mixed in the salt or onions, so I was able to halve those ingredients. We actually thought these burgers had a perfect intensity of flavor, so next time, I'd use double the spices again! We had these on normal buns rather than pita, and topped them with the harissa mayo (do not skip the mayo), and thinly sliced cucumbers. I envision a grated carrot slaw being really good atop this burger. There will be a definite next time for this easy, flavor-packed recipe.

  • Corn salad with tomatoes, avocados, and lime cilantro dressing

    • westminstr on October 26, 2012

      Made with te last of the summer corn and grape tomatoes. Was short on corn and avocado so added a can of drained rinsed black beans. Wonderful salad! Loved the dressing and everyone gobbled it up.

    • Fiona on February 23, 2012

      This is my favorite summer salad, when corn and tomatoes are at their best. I usually add basil to it, but loved the cilantro and dressing that Melissa suggests.

    • Laura on July 16, 2012

      Pg. 215. This recipe uses many of my favorite ingredients, so it could hardly go wrong, and it didn't! It's a delightful summer dish. I added too much of the dressing and so it was a bit over-dressed. Properly dressed, it would be phenomenal. I'll be making this again very soon.

    • Lepa on September 10, 2016

      Quick, easy and delicious.

    • amraub on July 24, 2012

      Excellent summer salad. Will make again.

    • blintz on September 01, 2014

      This recipe is perfect for the end of summer, even without the avocado. Doubled the recipe and the leftovers were great.

  • Maple blueberry tea cake with maple glaze

    • WFPLCleanEating on September 29, 2016

      This may be baker error, but I substituted a gf flour blend that usually subs easily. Instead, this dish was undercooked and under-salted. I would try it again as I love a recipe that uses maple syrup as the sweetener. (Rachel S-K)

  • Thai-style ground turkey with chiles and basil

    • amraub on April 21, 2012

      Doubled seasonings for the meat and used ground pork instead of turkey as suggested as a variation.

    • Laura on March 01, 2016

      Pg. 233. Made this for a second time, this time with ground pork and Italian basil rather than Thai basil. It made a very good dish that we enjoyed a lot. This illustrates the flexibility of this recipe. I know I'll be making it again many times, in various iterations.

    • Laura on October 01, 2016

      Since my last Note I've made this a few more times, with turkey, including today for lunch. We are keeping things low-carb, so each time I served it in a lettuce wrap and it has been a great choice. The hardest part is finding good lettuce for the wraps. Makes a really healthy and easy meal.

    • Laura on August 12, 2014

      Pg. 233. I've never much liked ground turkey and I was tempted to make this with ground pork instead. But, I decided to give the turkey a try and I'm really glad I did. We liked this dish a lot! I made it as written and served it over plain brown rice. It was very, very flavorful -- the Thai basil really shows up. I'd happily make this again with turkey, but next time I might try it with pork.

    • vinochic on July 16, 2015

      Definitely a lot of flavor. Made with regular basil instead of Thai. Will probably add a little more heat next time. Served with coconut rice.

    • Lindalib on July 13, 2012

      As well as being a good writer, Melissa Clark produces good recipes too. This one is no exception. We all liked this, (including the child who needs to know nearly the entire ingredient list before deciding whether or not to try it.) It could've been a little hotter, but jalepenos can vary so widely in heat, that it may have just been the jalepeno we used (fresh, from our garden.) We also used regular basil, not Thai, as we have an abundance of it right now. We served it with the suggested side dish of coconut rice (without peas) from the same book.

  • Southeast Asian tomato salad

    • Laura on August 12, 2014

      Pg. 236. I made this with red and yellow tomatoes and did add the sliced cucumber. I love all of the ingredients that went into this and it's definitely a different take on a fresh tomato salad. And it was quite good, and lovely as well. Still, I didn't love it as much as I do my usual tomato salad simply drizzled with EVOO, sprinkled with fleur de sel, pepper, and fresh basil. I'll stick with that from now on.

    • amraub on April 21, 2012

      Added cucumber per suggested variations. A nice alternative to the usual tomato and basil salad. Avocado also works wonderfully in this.

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      I absolutely loved this salad! I alternated the sliced tomato with slices of English cucumber, poured the dressing over, and topped with the basil and cilantro. The flavors in the dressing are familiar, similar to marinades or dipping sauces for other Asian foods. They are absolutely splendid over the tomatoes and cucumbers. I'll definitely make this one again.

  • Sautéed scallops with tomatoes and preserved lemon

    • westminstr on August 01, 2013

      This dish was very quick and easy to prepare (little chopping and it cooks in a flash) yet full of flavor. The whole family enjoyed it. I used juicy ripe summer tomatoes and garlic and I think that must have made the difference. Couscous would work well for serving.

  • Grilled cumin and chile veal meatballs

    • wester on September 15, 2013

      Not bad, but not brilliant either. The cumin was hardly noticable.

    • chefdiane on September 14, 2015

      I really like these - thought the flavor was balanced - light but that's what I was looking for in a summer dish.

    • amraub on March 31, 2012

      A tiny bit dry. Cooked on broiler. Used mint and 3/4 lb veal, keeping the other seasonings the same and increasing chile flakes to 1/2 tsp. Would make again and want to try with lamb next time.

  • Shaved zucchini and avocado salad with green goddess dressing

    • westminstr on June 30, 2014

      I made this with a few tweaks -- didn't have cilantro so used 1/2 parsley and 1/2 basil. Didn't have buttermilk so used yogurt thinned with a bit of milk and a bit of extra lemon juice. I thought the dressing was yum ... but it went best with the avocados. The shaved zucchini didn't thrill me. Tried leftover dressing on a green salad but it was too heavy for garden lettuces. Needs a hefty leaf like romaine. Tried leftovers also on chickpeas mixed with chopped tomato and avocado. This was pretty good. I like the concept and its a good way of using parsley and basil when you have a lot in the garden. I think I'll continue to tweak the components though.

  • Israeli couscous with fresh corn, tomatoes, and feta

    • westminstr on July 23, 2013

      Made this recently as a side for simply cooked fish. We liked but didn't love it. I had to amp up all the flavorings considerably and I wished I had used two ears of corn. I also went with the rosemary option which I regretted. I would have liked basil much better, and even mint or parsley would have been nice. On the plus side, my toddler ate it and it made a very nice leftover for lunch. I actually think the flavors improved overnight and the Cous Cous was fine the next day. Despite this somewhat lackluster review, this was an easy and handy little side dish that I'm sure I'll be repeating with different tweaks and variations.

    • sfcarole on September 10, 2012

      Fabulous! I made it with quinoa since husband is going gluten free these days. One-third of the recipe is enough for two, in which I used 1/2 cup of quinoa before it was boiled for about 10 minutes.

    • amraub on July 22, 2012

      Quick, easy, and excellent. I used grape tomatoes instead of chopping up a whole tomato. This was a perfect light summer meal.

  • Upside-down polenta plum cake

    • sfcarole on July 17, 2017

      Yes, with the crunchy polenta, butter and plums a real winner. I made half the recipe which fit nicely in a 6" springform pan. I cut a large circle and lined the entire pan with it, pleating it as necessary on the sides. I had over 2 pounds of plums to use up, so I made extra to serve over ice cream. The 6" cake would easily serve 8 with some ice cream on the side.

    • Fiona on February 23, 2012

      Absolutely delicious - love the texture of the cornmeal and the sticky sweetness of the plums. Well worth doing for an impressive dessert when plums are in season. Make sure you line the tin well, or it will seep through and create a big mess.

  • Stupendous hummus

    • Sally on April 01, 2012

      I made this with cooked, skinned garbanzos. The hummus was light and creamy and we enjoyed the extra bit of cuminy-salty goodness from the cumin salt. This hummus is not too garlicky or lemony. I liked the restraint compared to some of the other recipes I've tried.

  • Pasta with bacon, rosemary, and very ripe tomatoes

    • westminstr on September 18, 2013

      This was pretty easy. I also increased the tomatoes a bit, plus I took the extra step of peeling them to improve the texture of the sauce. We thought it was good but at the same time with so many excellent pastas in the world I don't know if I'll rush to make it again.

    • westminstr on October 06, 2015

      I made this dish again because I had to use up some bacon and a partially used box of tomatoes. This time I liked the sauce a lot, it was better and easier with canned tomatoes. Wasn't crazy about the texture of the bacon though, next time I think I will not bother to remove it from the pan before adding the tomatoes.

    • amraub on September 06, 2012

      Quick and simple. I increased the tomatoes slightly to make it a bit saucier (I used 4 medium) and was very glad I did.

  • Green bean salad with walnuts and walnut oil

    • westminstr on September 18, 2013

      I made the version described in the headnotes -- walnut oil and a squeeze of lemon. I liked it. The walnut oil (which I have and want to use now and then) is not overwhelming flavorwise so I can see how toasted walnuts make a good addition. You could easily use EVOO if you don't have walnut oil.

    • wester on September 10, 2013

      A good robust salad, with well-balanced flavors. I'm not that sure the walnut oil adds much, but all the other flavors complement each other very well. With rice, tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs this made a nice vegetarian dinner.

    • Laura on March 16, 2016

      Pg. 265. I found this underwhelming. Made it exactly as written and it just wasn't very satisfying at all. I wouldn't bother to make it again.

    • WFPLCleanEating on October 04, 2016

      Nothing special. (Rachel S-K)

  • Fresh corn polenta with roasted ratatouille and ricotta

    • WFPLCleanEating on September 17, 2016

      This is one of my favorite recipes from the book. Roasting the vegetables and then using a dressing with roasted garlic gives them a great flavor. And the fresh corn polenta is wonderful. As noted by others, use a ratio of 4:1 water:polenta rather than the recipe's 3:1. It will seem too thin at first but it really thickens up as it cooks. I make double quantities and then have leftovers for days (which shows how much I love it!) - it keeps very well. - Jane

    • Laura on September 01, 2014

      Pg. 268. I'm not normally a fan of zucchini or eggplant, but I do love them cooked in a ratatouille. But I don't love how oily it can be. This recipe solves that problem. The vegetables are roasted and then mixed with a small quantity of oil infused with mashed roasted garlic. I doubled the amount of garlic and oil and still the dish was not oily, but it was quite flavorful. I did not make the polenta. Instead, I served it over penne pasta and topped with grated parmigiano-reggiano.

    • sfcarole on August 25, 2012

      Fabulous vegetarian dinner. Loved the technique of roasting the veggies in the oven. This made the eggplant-pepper-zucchini-tomato mixture more interesting and less mushy than some recipes. I added some grated parm to the polenta, and I prefer a 4 to 1 (or even 5 to 1) water to polenta ratio unless a "set" polenta is called for. The dollop of ricotta on top was perfect.

    • gastronom on September 25, 2016

      Simple, flavorful ratatouille. Used very sweet local cherry tomatoes, really added to this dish. Served with millet and grated parm. Melissa rocks as usual!

    • westminstr on July 23, 2013

      First, let me say that this is the easiest ratatouille recipe ever. No chopping, no standing at the stove. Optional toppings are fresh ricotta and basil. I happened to have the ricotta but not the basil, so that's what I used. I think however that the ricotta was not necessary and basil would have been very good. this recipe didn't produce what I classically think of as ratatouille - it was a bit dry for that because of the roasting technique (and also probably bc I only had half the amount of tomatoes called for). I had to add a bit of extra olive oil to moisten things up and I also used an extra garlic clove and was glad I did. The technique of flavoring the pot with the mashed roasted garlic was clever and all in all it was a tasty pile of roasted vegetables. I didn't make her polenta but went with my tried and true method, and I really liked the combination.

    • Jane on July 06, 2013

      This sounds like it would be time-consuming but in fact it was a very quick and easy vegetarian dinner. You could use any combination of roasted vegetables - I didn't have eggplant or cherry tomatoes and it was still really good just with red peppers and zucchini. The roasted garlic dressing gives the veg a lot of flavor. The polenta with fresh corn was delicious - I agree with sfcarole that it needs a lot more water. Definitely a keeper.

    • Emily Hope on September 05, 2013

      This is a delicious ratatouille, as others have said--I love the depth of flavor added with the caramelization of the veggies and the roasted garlic. I doubled the recipe and spread the zucchini/eggplant/pepper mix over two trays, keeping the cherry tomatoes on one, and this worked well--a great way to use up a lot of late-summer produce. Not too time-consuming; about an hour from start to finish, with about half of that unattended oven time. We had it over white bean puree rather than polenta, which was nice, and I can see other uses for the ratatouille as well: put in a gratin pan with eggs and baked, over crostini, etc.

  • Roasted shrimp and ratatouille

    • Barb_N on August 03, 2018

      I feel like I’ve made many versions of this recipe. I prefer the oven roasting to the stovetop- less oil and more flavor. Other than stirring it a couple times this is ‘fix it & forget it’. Great way to use up summer produce.

  • Braised pork ribs with green tomato, orange, and thyme

    • amraub on April 28, 2012

      A nice change of pace from ribs slathered with bbq sauce. Marinated overnight and cooked in slow-cooker on low for 8 hours.

  • Spiced braised lentils and tomatoes with toasted coconut

    • DKennedy on October 25, 2015

      This is a Food 52 Genius Recipe on p. 159.

    • Lepa on December 21, 2017

      I thought this was fine, but nothing special. I prefer more spiced lentil dals and will make one next time.

    • stockholm28 on December 02, 2015

      This was certainly a weeknight friendly dish and it also a very flavorful vegetarian main. Each bowl is topped with 2 tsps of butter. I thought about omitting the butter, but it definitely added a little something something. The dish tasted richer and smoother. Yes, everything is better with butter. I don't think I've ever "braised" lentils before and this certainly had great depth of flavor. This also appears in "Food52's Genius Recipes". Is it genius? Not so sure, but I liked the dish.

    • Melanie on April 27, 2015

      Delicious - this dish has lovely layered flavours due to the way the dish is cooked, and it is so easy to make! Possibly too much tomato flavour for my partner, but I thought it was great as the coriander and yoghurt helps offset the richness of the lentils.

    • louie734 on January 21, 2019

      Made this recipe again (oops deleted my previous note). Using 3/4 of the lentils (1.5c) and keeping all other ingredients the same makes a big pot, enough for dinner for me and a few lunches. Both times now I've used a 15oz can of diced tomatoes, this time fire roasted with green chiles, nice spice. I think I actually prefer using boring flat brown lentils to the fancy, firm-textured French. The creaminess of butter/yogurt really adds an interesting dimension. Rice is nice, but naan or flatbread for the win!

    • wester on January 01, 2018

      This one definitely raises the bar for lentils. A lovely depth of flavor. And the technique looks like it does not need to be restricted to this recipe.

    • clcorbi on November 18, 2016

      Delicious. The second time we made this, we omitted the crunchy topping, and I didn't miss it. This dish absolutely requires naan. Love!

  • Pistachio shortbread

    • sfcarole on October 04, 2012

      This was so easy and so delicious. I didn't have an 8" square, so I baked it in a 9" square for about 35-40 minutes. The shortbread came out 1/2" thick, which I thought was just fine. I used a baker's bench knife to cut it into squares.

  • Celery salad with walnuts and Parmesan

    • Jane on October 23, 2011

      This was a quick and easy salad - nice mix of toasty walnuts, crisp fresh celery and salty Parmesan. My only quibble is that I found the vinegar a bit overpowering - next time I may use lemon juice or a less astringent vinegar than red wine.

    • westminstr on February 18, 2014

      I'm not a raw celery person normally, but I loved this salad. It was crisp and refreshing, factors in short supply this time of year.

    • stockholm28 on December 06, 2014

      This is a really tasty way to use up celery.

  • Cumin seed roasted cauliflower with salted yogurt, mint, and pomegranate seeds

    • WFPLCleanEating on September 30, 2016

      In my view this recipe would justify the price of the book on its own. In pomegranate season I make it about every 2 weeks. I love the combination of crispy, cumin-flecked cauliflower, the salty yogurt, the fresh mint and the crunchy sweet pomegranate seeds. I don't imagine I will ever tire of this recipe. - Jane

    • Lepa on September 24, 2018

      I expected to love this and ended up disappointed. I think I would have liked the flavor of ground cumin instead of cumin seeds here but with so many fantastic cauliflower recipes, I don't feel compelled to revisit this one.

    • sarahcooks on December 28, 2012

      Melissa Clark has such a way with roasted cauliflower! I love her cauliflower with cumin and almonds from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite too. This is just bursting with flavor and texture, and I didn't even have the mint.

    • westminstr on October 23, 2012

      Really liked the combo of cumin w salty yogurt. Good side as part of Indian meal (so as not to mess w multiple curries). Didn't think the pomegranate and mint were essential.

    • Jane on October 20, 2011

      This was so, so delicious and so, so easy. The combination of crunchy, charred cauliflower and cumin, topped by cool salty yogurt, fresh mint and sweet crunchy pomegranate seeds was inspired. I had it with a grilled lamb chop but would happily have eaten it on its own or with a grain, as Melissa suggests.

    • Deborah on November 05, 2011

      Ditto, Jane! Made it tonight with pork tenderloin, and my husband and I scarfed it up! He didn't care for the pomegranate seeds all that much but I absolutely loved the crunch. And the dish is so colorful -- would look great on a plate at the holidays.

    • Laura on November 14, 2013

      Pg. 294. After reading the 4 previous very positive reviews of this dish, I am stunned that I really didn't care for it all that much. I followed the recipe exactly, so it's not due to having made any changes. I just felt that I would have preferred roasted cauliflower on its own, that the yogurt and other ingredients actually detracted from my enjoyment of the dish.

  • Raw kale salad with anchovy-date dressing

    • Breadcrumbs on October 24, 2014

      p. 296 - Loved this! Took stockholm's lead and used baby kale. Huge hit at cucina bc! Wouldn't change a thing next time. Photos and more info here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/841835#9253413

    • sfcarole on November 09, 2012

      I had a beautiful bunch of organic curly kale that I wanted to make use of, so I tried that in the recipe, instead of the Tuscan, or Lacinato, kale. I cut across the entire bunch in about 1/4" slices. After mixing the dressing in, I let it sit in the fridge 30 minutes or so before dinner to soften the leaves a bit. It was amazingly delicious and, to my shock, my husband loved it. Served with the butternut squash risotto.

    • Emily Hope on March 07, 2012

      Although this salad combo sounded a little strange even to me, I decided to give it a go as we love kale in all forms and could use a little variation in our raw kale salads. This turned out to be a good decision, as the salad is delicious. The anchovies blend into the background, adding a deep savory note, and the dates provide a nice hit of sweetness. Even C, who doesn't usually like orange zest in his salads, thought it worked. Since I was using only one (large) bunch of kale, I cut back on the oil, but not on the dates, which was a mistake--for one bunch of kale 3 or 4 dates should be sufficient, otherwise they overwhelm the rest of the salad. I also added some finely grated manchego, which went well. Served with the artichoke hearts stuffed with ricotta and pine nuts from Verdura, and some w.w. toast.

    • elisarose on December 05, 2012

      This is so delicious. I cut way back on the oil -- only used 2 T instead of the half cup (!) in the recipe, and it was fine that way.

    • stockholm28 on October 08, 2014

      This was another good, quick recipe from this book. It is another recipe that doesn't look so exciting when you see the ingredients, but comes together in a very tasty way. I used baby kale and just removed the stems. I also added some almonds. I just made a single serving, so I did not add the dates to the dressing but rather tossed them in with the greens at the end.

    • Lepa on October 11, 2016

      We loved this salad! I blitzed the dressing ingredients in a food processor and was happy with the result.

    • anniemac on May 05, 2012

      After a winter of sauteed kale with olive oil and garlic, I was looking for something different, and decided to try this. The flavor combination is delicious, and it keeps for a few days--I bought some baby kale at the market today to make it again!

    • clcorbi on December 08, 2016

      Wow. I really wish I had mixed the dressing ingredients in a food processor. Instead I bashed the vinaigrette up in my mortar and pestle, and kind of scarred myself in the process. I couldn't really bring myself to enjoy this salad because I was thinking about how gross it was to mash up anchovies and dates. That being said, my boyfriend loved it, and went back for seconds! The flavor was definitely nice, but I psyched myself out with this one.

  • Roasted blackfish with olives and sage

    • elisarose on December 02, 2012

      This is very good. I made it with cod because I couldn't find blackfish or the suggested substitutions.

    • Laura on September 12, 2015

      Pg. 299. I made this with cod also. It was an interesting array of flavors, but I can't say I loved it. Normally, I like sage, but apparently not in this context. It was a little too 'perfumey.' The dish was very easy to prep and cook. Still, I don't think I'll make this again.

    • westminstr on October 29, 2012

      Loved, loved, loved. Used bluefish instead of blackfish, green olives (added extra), and skipped the pepper. Truly delicious, the sage was the best part.

  • Cinnamon roasted sweet potatoes and garlic

    • westminstr on January 02, 2018

      I really liked the roasted garlic w the sweet potatoes but not so much the cinnamon. I think the variation w bay and smoked paprika would be more to my taste.

    • Jane on October 30, 2011

      The cinnamon stick didn't seem to add much flavor though it's possible my sticks were past their best. But still a nice side dish - roasted sweet potato dice with sweet caramelized garlic cloves. I enjoyed the leftovers the next day over a spinach salad with a honey Dijon dressing.

    • elisarose on December 02, 2012

      Delicious and easy. It went nicely with the blackfish recipe on the previous page.

    • Emily Hope on December 09, 2012

      A nice variation on roasted sweet potatoes. Very quick prep, and then just needs half an hour or so in the oven. I added about 1/2 tsp or so of pimenton before putting them in the oven, used 1 1/2 cinnamon sticks, and doubled the amount of garlic. And, because I can't leave well enough alone, we made a quick dipping sauce using a couple of the mashed-up roasted garlic cloves, some mayo, cider vinegar, and more pimenton. Yum--a keeper (even C said that he liked them!). Served with a variation on the ham bone soup from the same book.

  • Stir-fried chicken with leeks, oyster mushrooms, and peanuts

    • Jane on October 30, 2011

      My review of this dish is a bit skewed as I sent my 18 yo son to do the grocery shopping and as a result got regular mushrooms rather than oyster and no cilantro. So I'm not really giving a fair representation of this dish. It was nice and had good flavor but wasn't spectacular - not that an everynight stir-fry needs to be spectacular. I think cilantro and oyster mushrooms would have given it that edge so I should try it again with those.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 22, 2012

      p. 304 - Happy to report this recipe delivered a quick and tasty meal. I didn’t veer far from the course other than to use a mix of wild mushrooms since some of my shitakes had seen better days and looked more like wizened apple dolls than they did mushrooms! As always, I upped the ante w the garlic and subbed Italian parsley for cilantro due to an allergy. I made this in a skillet as my old wok isn’t suitable for my new induction cook top however I do find a wok to be more serviceable because of the high sides. MC suggests you splash some rice vinegar atop your plated dishes. I elected to do this after first tasting the dish alone. I thought the vinegar enhanced the flavours of the dish. mr bc didn’t use the vinegar and just loved the stir-fry as is. I thought the dish was good but not great. I would have enjoyed it more without the peanuts I think. (and I usually like peanuts but I found their flavour to be somewhat overpowering).

  • Carroty mac and cheese

    • Jane on October 11, 2011

      I'm not a big fan of mac and cheese but I loved this whereas ironically my daughter who loves it, didn't like this so much - she said it reminded her of kugel. I thought the combination of whole wheat pasta with carrots, eggs and lots of cheese, but no white cheese sauce, made for a much more interesting and tasty dish.

    • westminstr on December 05, 2012

      Loved this! Nice and cheesy and I actually liked the texture of the carrots (though T didn't). O scarfed it down and didnt notice the carrots, just like Dahlia!

    • amraub on January 18, 2012

      I generally prefer rich bechamel mac & cheeses and wasn't too sure about this the first night I had it. It reheated nicely and worked well though. A great way to use up an overabundance of CSA carrots!

    • urmami on November 07, 2016

      Love love love this. Since I don't have a child to appease, yet, I also like to add roasted broccoli, but it's so great without that, too.

  • Quick and homey mac and cheese

    • westminstr on February 18, 2014

      I made this for my kids on Valentine's day, since they love mac and cheese and rarely get it (and when they do, it usually has hidden vegetables). This was very straightforward, just pasta, cream, and shredded cheese. As promised, it was almost as easy as opening a box, but a lot better. I thought it could have been creamier/cheesier and overall I prefer the texture of the baked versions. However, as an exceedingly simple approach to mac and cheese in a hurry, this is pretty hard to beat.

  • Whole wheat peanut butter sandies

    • Jane on October 30, 2011

      These are tasty cookies and very easy to make. I like that you can keep the cookie log in the fridge and just slice off a few whenever you want fresh baked cookies. Next time I'll try them with regular brown sugar rather than raw sugar - Melissa describes those as denser and chewier which I think I'd prefer.

  • Ham bone, greens, and bean soup

    • Laura on October 08, 2013

      Pg. 318. I was lucky enough to procure a ham bone with a lot of meat attached from my local butcher. Followed the recipe almost exactly except I used collard greens in place of the kale. Added the collards along with the cabbage, since it needs more time than kale to cook. Added a lot of ham meat from the bones. Topped with the crispy bacon and grated parmigiano reggiano. This was a really nice, comfort food meal.

    • Emily Hope on December 09, 2012

      Made this with several modifications owing to what was in the fridge. Left out the bacon, used a smoked turkey leg in place of the ham bone and used collards instead of kale. Beans were quick soaked, which meant they took quite a lot longer to cook than specified (were also last year's crop, I think). By the time they were done, the cabbage had melted in to the soup, not a bad thing, and the collards were nice and soft. Added shredded beet greens at the end to provide some color and freshness. Overall, a very nice wintery soup. Would definitely make again with either turkey or ham. Served with roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon from the same book. A good match.

  • Butternut squash risotto with pistachios and lemon

    • lilham on January 15, 2017

      I used unsalted pistachio and dried rosemary. Also I cooked it using the no stirring lazy method Ms Clark described. (Checking every 5 min to see if more liquid is needed instead). Mr Lilham loved this. My 5 and 2 year old both ate this enthusiastically without any complaints when they would not normally eat leeks and butternut squash. I didn't like the spiky texture of rosemary so would leave them out next time.

    • Lepa on January 10, 2018

      I have to admit that I had doubts about this flavor combination and almost chose another recipe but the positive reviews on here pushed me to make it. I'm glad I did. This is a unique dish and the flavors work well together. The pistachios are a great finishing touch. We also found that it benefited from a generous showering of Parmesan.

    • Breadcrumbs on October 24, 2014

      p. 321 Lovely. Let me start by saying that historically, neither mr bc nor I have been fans of risotto. Reminds me of rice pudding and I usually get tired of eating it...same texture, same flavour bite after bite. That said, we were recently served a great risotto as part of a tasting menu so I thought I'd give a home version a try. MC's appealed for its use of fall ingredients (I'd searched risotto/leeks/butternut squash in EYB) and for its ease of preparation. The squash is grated (using a food processor) and cooked along with the rice. This was really nice. The leeks and squash imparted a perfect amount of sweetness to the dish. The parmesan balanced that with its salty tang. We served this (well, mr bc had his with...) grilled chicken that I'd basted with a balsamic/roasted garlic glaze. I'd make this again. photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/841835#9244156

    • Jane on November 15, 2011

      Great risotto for midweek as she makes it as easy as possible. The squash is grated in the processor rather than being cubed and roasted first as in other risottos. The aroma from the sauteed leeks was very enticing and the final result with a zing of lemon and crunch/salt from pistachios was delicious.

  • Spicy three-meat chili

    • Jane on November 06, 2011

      I don't make chili very often as I've never been very impressed with the recipes I've tried. But this one was really good. The three meats and lots of chopped peppers, crushed and whole canned tomatoes, made for contrasting textures, rather than the one-note chilis I've tried before. I didn't add enough spice as my daughter doesn't like it so I just used 1 jalapeño and 2 rather than 3 tbl of chili powder. But it needed more so next time I'm going full on with the heat. I served it with the Honey whole wheat corn bread which was also great.

    • Breadcrumbs on January 14, 2016

      p. 330 - I had some ground veal and ground pork in the freezer and an EYB search landed me on this recipe. With stockholm28’s feedback in mind, I tasted for seasoning and spice as I went along and I too needed to up the heat ante. I suspect the heat of the jalapenos plays a role here as I find the heat of fresh jalapenos here varies considerably. Though MC doesn’t mention to do so, I drained the fat from the meat before cooking the veggies. In MC’s “What Else” section she mentions adding hominy so I added that in as well. My chili ended up simmering for about 1.5 hrs before serving. We enjoyed it but it wasn’t as good as some of the other recipes I’ve made, including MC’s Beef, Bean and Hominy Chili from ITKWAGA which we love. We found this a little too acidic and not as flavourful as other chilies, this was easy to rectify but will deter me from making this again. Photo here: http://www.chowhound.com/post/april-2012-cotm-melissa-clark-month-cook-autumn-841835?commentId=9793478

    • stockholm28 on October 18, 2014

      I liked this chili, but I thought it needed more spice and heat. I used Penzey's medium hot chili powder and 2 serranos (instead of jalapenos).

  • Honey whole wheat corn bread

    • stockholm28 on October 18, 2014

      This was a very rich cornbread and it was so sweet that it really seemed like dessert to me. I liked the flavors of the honey and wheat, but prefer a buttermilk southern style cornbread as a side with chili.

    • monica107 on January 26, 2014

      This is a more indulgent cornbread, in my opinion. I love how the butter melted in the cast iron skillet makes the cornbread pull away from the skillet as it cooks, but a stick is definitely not necessary - I used 6 Tbsp and would probably try even less next time. (I also unintentionally browned my butter and I think it's worth trying on purpose if you like that flavor.) There is no sugar in this recipe, the honey does not sweeten it quite as much as I would have liked, so I would probably add a few tbsp of sugar if you're used to a sweeter cornbread. As is, it's good for a savory side and would probably handle mix-ins well.

    • Jane on November 06, 2011

      I made this to serve alongside the Spicy three-meat chili and it was a great accompaniment. I've used the same corn bread recipe for years but I think this is going to take over. It was tender, moist, just the right level of sweetness. I slightly undercooked it at 25 minutes, even though the test skewer came out clean, so next time it's going to be 30 minutes.

  • Shredded Brussels sprouts with pancetta and caraway

    • Jane on December 04, 2011

      Another very quick and easy vegetable dish from this book that is so much easier than plain steamed veg. The pancetta is fried then the shredded Brussels sprouts, done quickly in the processor, are added and quickly sauteed. Caraway seeds add extra crunch and flavor. I loved this hot but it was also good cold the next day, which rather surprised me with the pancetta.

    • Laura on March 15, 2015

      Pg. 335. Great way to cook brussels sprouts! Shredding the sprouts in the food processor with the slicing attachment is genius. Loved the autumnal flavor added by the caraway -- I think I would increase the amount next time. My only issue was that I felt the pancetta brought a bit too much salt to the dish, so might reduce that next time. And there will be a next time!

  • Roasted acorn squash, honey, smoked paprika, and sage salt

    • Jane on December 04, 2011

      This was so quick and easy to make but really worth it. I brushed the oil/honey/smoked paprika mix onto the squash slices rather than tossing them as I felt it was easier and more even. The sage salt was great - I still have a pot of it next to my hob and as Melissa suggests, I have been using it on eggs and sometimes taking a pinch just to eat - it's that good!

    • westminstr on December 04, 2012

      This is the first recipe from this book that didn't work for me. I wasn't crazy about the honey-paprika marinade. I would have preferred the acorn squash halved and baked - for sliced squash I like delicata or kabocha since they don't require peeling. The sage salt didn't have enough sage flavor for me. I used the leftover salt with roasted cauliflower and I just didn't get enough sage flavor for my taste in that preparation either.

  • Spiced maple pecan pie with star anise

    • Jane on November 25, 2011

      I made this for Thanksgiving and it was truly magnificent. The pastry was really easy, rolled out perfectly and was deliciously buttery and flaky. The star anise/maple syrup combination really tranformed a basic pecan pie into something wonderful. Don't be alarmed at how strong the star anise flavor is if you taste the syrup. It really mellows after baking with the toasted nuts, eggs and rum. But it adds extra interest to the finished pie so I wouldn't skip it.

  • Beet and cabbage borscht with dill

    • westminstr on March 17, 2015

      I really loved this soup, both freshly made and as leftovers. Unfortunately I won't get to try it again for a while since the kids weren't really fans.

    • sfcarole on December 16, 2012

      Bright red beet soup with bright green dill garnish---the perfect holiday-looking soup. So easy and so delicious. I used the roasted beets I had on hand, although the recipe says you can shred raw beets in a food processor for the same results. We each had a small bowl of the soup and loved it. Then I added about 2/3 cup of instant mashed potatoes to the remaining soup, cooked it a few minutes and pureed it fairly smooth with an immersion blender. We loved that too, although it wasn't as pure a beet flavor as in the original recipe. Today I tried some cold. It was like a cold beet vichyssoise!

  • Sautéed bay scallops with rosemary, capers, and Israeli couscous

    • amraub on May 29, 2012

      Quick, easy, and delicious. The only thing I might change is omitting the parsley. I didn't think it added much and at times took away from the rosemary for me. I used medium scallops and served with a sunflower sprout salad.

  • Winter salad with fennel, radicchio, walnuts, and Manchego

    • westminstr on April 09, 2014

      My salad was very heavy on the radicchio and definitely on the bitter side. Also I had to sub parmesan for manchego. It was still good but I'd like to try it again -- I think it could be better.

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      This salad starts with an interesting dressing, that's just a bit different from the usual. Lemon juice is whisked with kosher salt, ground pepper, and chopped garlic. Then olive oil is whisked in. Next comes finely grated manchego cheese, and toasted, finely chopped walnuts. It's a dressing with substance, thick and flavorful. Radicchio and fennel are thinly sliced and tossed with the dressing. The salad is topped with shaved manchego. Clark says you can also add greens if desired. I had a very few leaves of cress sitting around, and tossed them in. I loved this salad; the sweet and bitter "greens" pair so well with the rich and nutty dressing.

    • Emily Hope on December 09, 2012

      We liked this salad quite a bit. The strong flavors in the dressing were well matched to the radicchio and fennel, which had a nice crunch. Only addition was one chopped up date to the dressing, per her suggested modification in the notes. This added a nice sweetness since the radicchio was especially bitter. Served with butternut squash ravioli with sage butter, and sautéed chard and spinach.

    • Lepa on January 10, 2019

      I loved this salad and could have eaten the entire bowl by myself. So delicious!

    • anniemac on February 02, 2013

      This was a really refreshing winter salad. Incorporating the grated cheese into the dressing makes for a robustly flavored counterpoint to the bitter greens. I did not put the walnuts into the dressing, but sprinkled them on top so they stayed crunchy. I will definitely make this, or some variation thereof, again.

    • stockholm28 on March 24, 2014

      I loved this salad (manchego and walnuts ... what's not to love)

    • stockholm28 on February 07, 2016

      Just a follow-up to my earlier review of this dish ... I served this for a dinner that I hosted (11 guests). I needed to triple the recipe, so I used one of her suggested variations and used a blend of baby arugula and spinach to supplement the radicchio (2 heads) and fennel (2 bulbs). This variation was also delicious. I prepped the greens in advance. I mixed the dressing (leaving out the walnuts) in advance also. Just before serving, I tossed some greens with the dressing and then added the walnuts and the additional shaved manchego. This really is a great winter salad.

  • Roasted rutabagas with maple syrup and chile

    • elisarose on December 04, 2012

      I had some rutabagas from the CSA and no idea what to do with them. This recipe was very easy and tasty. I will not be scared of rutabagas in the future!

  • Red chard with pine nuts, garlic, and golden rum raisins

    • L.Nightshade on April 02, 2012

      Red Chard with Pine Nuts, Garlic, and Golden Rum Raisins, page 363. In this recipe, chard is elevated to a special side. Golden raisins are simmered in rum and water, until they're happily plump and inebriated. Pine nuts are toasted until golden. Then the chard is quickly cooked in oil and garlic, and raisins and pine nuts are tossed in. This was an attractive dish, with interesting flavors. And, obviously, quick and easy. A hit with the braised pork shoulder that was our main course.

    • amraub on April 10, 2012

      This was a nice variation on chard. As suggested, I substituted sliced almonds for the pine nuts. I've never been a big raisin fan, so I was a bit suspicious of their inclusion, but I loved them in this dish.

  • Sweet and spicy candied nuts

    • vinochic on December 23, 2013

      Very easy to make. I would add more of the spices-A little bland for my taste.

  • Pan-roasted asparagus with fried eggs and anchovy bread crumbs

    • Breadcrumbs on April 29, 2012

      This recipe originally appeared on p. 46 in Ms Clark's In The Kitchen With A Good Appetite. My review and link to photos are there.

    • Barb_N on August 21, 2014

      Skipped the anchovies (I have a thing about them)- still tasty and a great way to serve spring asparagus.

  • Roasted eggplant with basil green goddess dressing

    • wester on September 09, 2013

      Quite basic, but good.

  • Shrimp for a small kitchen (shrimp with capers, lemon, and feta)

    • westminstr on February 26, 2016

      The feta melted and created A LOT of sauce, which I didn't expect somehow. O loved it, but E didn't like the sauce or shrimp. Also between the feta and capers I think no additional salt is needed. I think I could have improved the dish by defrosting the shrimp overnight in the fridge and patting them dry before cooking, and by including the cilantro garnish. Served with bread, I think basmati rice would have perhaps been better. Sauteed greens made a good side, the sauce was good with the greens.

    • Barb_N on March 09, 2018

      My feta did not make a 'sauce', perhaps because I used the pre crumbled type. The most time consuming part of the recipe was peeling and deveining the shrimp, and it was on the table in 30 minutes. Served with GF chickpea pasta which soaked up or muted the flavors in spite of using the juice of a whole (large) lemon. I would tweak the sauce and choose another side.

    • stockholm28 on May 29, 2015

      Loved this. Another one of Melissa Clarke's high value recipes ... minimal effort with great flavor. I've had recipes similar to this, but they've generally had a wine sauce with feta added at the end. Using feta as the base of the sauce was delicious.

    • amraub on April 26, 2012

      Quick, easy, uses ingredients I usually have on hand, and delicious. Makes an amazing sauce. Be sure to have pasta or rice on hand to soak up the sauce.

    • Astrid5555 on August 21, 2016

      This was delicious and so quick to make. The addition of feta created a perfectly thickened sauce with just the right acidity from the lemon juice and the capers. Added the suggested cilantro and served over basmati rice. A winner!

  • My mother's garlic and thyme-roasted chicken parts with mustard croutons

    • amraub on April 27, 2012

      Simple and very good. Made with 2 chicken thighs instead of the whole bird.

    • stockholm28 on April 13, 2014

      Chicken was good but mustard croutons (smeared with the roasted garlic) really made the dish.

    • Cheri on January 02, 2012

      This is really good, rustic. Cut bread slices to match sizes of chicken pieces. Serve with simple green salad. Used dijon mustard and spread roasted garlic cloves on bread to serve. Bread is crusty on the bottom, and sops up mustard and juices on top of each slice. Nice flavor and texture combination.

    • sfcarole on May 30, 2012

      Incredibly easy and delicious. My husband loved it. I tossed the garlic cloves (for four it takes a whole head) in some oil and put them in a loosely sealed foil pouch in the oven while it was preheating. This gave them a head start. Then I added them to the chicken. Made recipe with thighs and legs only, and took Cheri's suggestion and served with a butter lettuce & red wine/sherry vinaigrette salad.

  • Quick-braised chicken with Moroccan spices, lemon, and olives

    • wester on June 17, 2013

      This was really good and quite simple. At first it looked like it was just going to be a curried chicken but the lemon made it special. I don't think the olives add much, I might leave them out next time.

    • amraub on April 25, 2012

      Left off the optional dried fruit and used mint instead of cilantro because the mint was on its last legs. Also skipped the lemon boiling step and just used preserved lemons. Excellent dish. Easy with so much flavour. Poured the extra sauce over some Jerusalem artichokes. A definite keeper.

  • My mother's lemon pot roast

    • stockholm28 on December 27, 2015

      This was first time cooking brisket and I didn't realize that it had so much fat. My seemingly huge slab of beef cooked down to very little. After I sliced it and trimmed off the fat, I ended up with very little of the roast. Similarly, the sauce was mostly fat so more than 2 cups of liquid yielded just over 1/2 cup of sauce once I skimmed off all the fat. The beef was very moist and the lemon is fairly pronounced in this sauce. This was very tasty, but I'll probably stick with a traditional pot roast in future as all the trimming and skimming was a bit much for me.

  • Kate's impossibly fudgy brownies with chile and sea salt

    • Melanie on March 09, 2014

      Delicious. I substituted a few spoons of some chilli cocoa that I own for the cayenne pepper and some of the cocoa. It worked really well - not spicy, just a gentle warming flavour. I loved the texture of these brownies, by sprinkling the sea salt over the top there is a nice slightly crunchy layer topping the fudgy brownie. These were a winner.

    • Jane on November 06, 2011

      Although I feel I've found the perfect brownies in Nick Malgieri's Supernatural brownies, I still like to occasionally be unfaithful. And these were worth cheating over. They really are very fudgy - warm they are like a chocolate fudge pudding and cold they are like candy. Great chocolate flavor from unsweetened chocolate and cocoa. I skipped the cayenne and only put Maldon salt on a small section of the brownies (fussy kids) but I did actually prefer them without the salt.

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Reviews about this book

  • Bibliocook

    I’ve always enjoyed Melissa’s A Good Appetite columns in the New York Times: Cook This Now makes it easier to bring her right into your kitchen.

    Full review
  • Food52 by Ina Garten

    The 2012 Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks vs. Nancy Silverton's The Mozza Cookbook

    Full review
  • The Kitchn

    Melissa seems to have a genius for devising recipes I just want to make right now, and this book is no different. It's also a great book for learning to cook without recipes and to take chances...

    Full review
  • Rozanne Gold

    ...brings one of my favorite Japanese proverbs to life "If you can capture the season on the plate, then you are the master"...her writing style, is personal,...and seasoned liberally with brilliance.

    Full review
  • Culinate

    Clark’s most personal work, revealing her hands-on experience in her own Brooklyn kitchen...She may be Paula Deen’s BFF, but she’s yours, too.

    Full review
  • Food52 by Merrill Stubbs

    ...one of those rare cookbooks that you'd be just as happy curling up with before bed as putting to work on the front lines when the time comes to make dinner.

    Full review
  • Gluten-Free Girl

    ...a kitchen diary of sorts, one compiled by one of the smartest minds in food today. Melissa Clark? She knows food. She knows how to make homey food with sophisticated flavors.

    Full review
  • Boston Globe by T. Susan Chang

    The book’s subtitle is "120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can’t Wait to Make". But it could just as well be "Now Why Didn’t I Think of That?"...the highest praise anyone who cooks can give another.

    Full review
  • Three Many Cooks

    What I like about Cook This Now is that it’s divided, not just seasonally, but monthly. When you’re looking for inspiration...there are about ten recipes...perfectly suited for each month of the year.

    Full review
  • Publishers Weekly

    Even with a multitude of cooking-by-season titles... the author’s inspiring use of fresh ingredients and flexible attitude toward cooking make this a solid addition to any kitchen cookbook shelf.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • ISBN 10 1401323987
  • ISBN 13 9781401323981
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 04 2011
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 352
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Hyperion Books
  • Imprint Hyperion Books

Publishers Text

Melissa Clark, New York Times Dining Section columnist, offers a calendar year's worth of brand-new recipes for cooking with fresh, local ingredients--replete with lively and entertaining stories of feeding her own family and friends. Many people want to eat well, organically and locally, but don't know where or even when to begin, since the offerings at their local farmers' market change with the season. In Cook This Now, Melissa Clark shares all her market savvy, including what she decides to cook after a chilly visit to the produce section in the dead of winter; what to bring to a potluck dinner that's guaranteed to be a hit; and how she feeds her marathon-running husband and finicky toddler. In addition, she regales us with personal stories about good times with family and friends, and cooking adventures such as her obsessive cherry pie experimentation and the day she threw out her husband's last preserved Meyer lemon. In her welcoming, friendly voice, Melissa takes you inside her life while providing the dishes that will become your go-to meals for your own busy days. Recipes include Crisp Roasted Chicken with Chickpeas, Lemons, and Carrots with Parsley Gremolata; Baked Apples with Fig and Cardamom Crumble; Honey-Roasted Carrot Salad with Arugula and Almonds; Quick-Braised Pork Chops with Spring Greens and Anchovies; Coconut Fudge Brownies--and much more. Melissa delivers easy, delicious meals featuring organic, fresh ingredients that can be uniquely obtained during each particular month. It can be a real challenge to feed families these days, but Melissa's recipes and inviting writing encourage home cooks to venture outside of the familiar, yet please everyone at the table.

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