Cookbook Review: Fresh & Easy

I picked up Fresh & Easy when I was very pregnant. My thought was that the recipes might be perfect for a new mom.  For the most part, they looked simple, fresh and pretty, and I assumed they’d be fast.

This oversized volume is full of large, glossy photos and step-by-step instructions. The pictures of ingredients make cooking look simple and beautiful. Interesting combinations make for special dishes. Overall, I liked this cookbook, but have a few caveats.

The first is that some of the ingredients are hard to find. For example, I had planned to make the avocado and chorizo toast for breakfast last weekend, but could not find smoked chorizo sausage (only the raw variety). To make the wonderful, peach and mozzarella platter, I had to make a trip to a fancy grocery store. (That being said, the effort was well worth it. The dish was ready in minutes and took me back to Italy.)

The other issue I had was that although the recipes were simple some of them are very time-consuming. Long marinades and cook times meant that some of the recipes I planned to make were not feasible with our new baby-centric schedule. So, unfortunately, I never made the sticky BBQ chicken and slaw I planned to.

However, I did make these recipes:

  • Sticky Fig & Ricotta Toast – Ready in 5-10 minutes this was so pretty and delicious
  • Creamy Zucchini, Lemon & Pea Pasta
  • Peach & Mozzarella Platter – The flavors in this were wonderful. I’d never tried this combination before, and the flavors complement each other well. I can’t say enough good things about this.
  • Cobb Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
  • Steak & Artichoke Tagliata
  • Green Salad with Seeds & Crouton – The dressing was so easy and delightful.
  • Hasselback Sweet Potatoes – Notes of lime, maple syrup and chili flakes make these something special.

Dressing from the Green Salad with Seeds & Crouton

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 small clove garlic

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. honey

Crush the garlic, then put it in a small jar or container with a lid. Add the oil, vinegar, mustard and honey in a jar with a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk or shake the ingredients together to make a thickened vinaigrette.

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