Most recipes in the book can be prepared in 30 minutes or less using ingredients that can easily be rounded up in a local store.
Stuck for a seasonal weeknight supper idea? This book offers the solution. The book is broken down by season, the better to highlight favorite produce and flavors from each time of year. We loved both the Cod with Leeks and Tomatoes and the Asparagus Gruyere Tart from the spring section.
Guests said that the dinner cooked from this book tasted like "restaurant food" and we'll take the compliment. There is a fullness of flavor in these recipes that is not found in other quick fix recipes. Each recipe has a punchy full color photo, which helps cooks create picture perfect meals. Nutritional information is also provided for each recipe in the back of the book.
The book uses some short cut ingredients, like puff pastry, jarred salsa, and ketchup, but many of the recipes are completely from scratch. The book feels just a bit chicken-centric; nearly a third of the spring main dishes use chicken.
Beginner cooks and those of us looking for a speedy refresher (how many minutes does it take to hard boil an egg?) will depend on the Basics chapter and the notes through the book ("do not soak shiitakes in water, because they will become spongy").
We keep wishing this book was ring-bound. We'd love to pop out the spring section and take it to the grocery store or keep the whole book at work and pull out just the recipe we're ready to make tonight. We suppose producing books as binders costs more, but it would make the book even more a part of cooks' everyday lives.
The book is currently #7 in the New York Times Paperback Advice and How-To bestsellers list.
From our archive
Inside the Test Kitchens at Martha Stewart Living