I’m smitten with this cookbook right now. I’m not sure how I missed Deb Perelman’s popular blog all these years, but it’s almost worth denying myself all of that goodness to stumble upon these recipes for the first time in this stunning book.
Everything I’ve made so far — Slow-Cooker Black Bean Ragout, Kale Salad with Cherries and Pecans, Harvest Roast Chicken with Grapes, Olives, and Rosemary — is mouth-watering. As you can see, the photos, which she took herself, are delectable.
But the very best part are her one-page introductions to each recipe, where she reveals morsels of her personality. It’s hard not to fall in love with her. For instance, here she is on zucchini:
Can we promise to never talk about the weather? For example, New York in July is hot. So very hot. Also humid. And unpleasant. And have I mentioned this heat? It’s unbearable. But tomorrow the weather will change, and you’ll have spent fifteen minutes talking about something that you don’t even remember. In my mind, this is infinitely worse than spending an evening discussing the finer points of different vegetable-roasting temperatures. (You are welcome to pity my husband right now. I understand.)
But if I were going to discuss the weather — which I won’t, I promise — on those days in July when the zillion inhabitants of this tiny island are squeezed into structures coated with heat-soaking concrete from floor to sky, while vehicles weave through the grid in a way that makes living in New York City challenging, I would suggest an antidote in the form of a cold, refreshing salad. One that required no heated cooking and, even better, helped us with summer’s real torment — zucchini population control.
“Maybe we should try to cook every recipe in here this summer,” I remarked to my husband as we salivated over the aforementioned kale salad for the second night in a row. Yes, salivation-inducing kale salad — seriously, a wonder!
And he agreed. So apparently, Perelman’s recipes manage to strike the perfect blend of crunchy and full of vegetables (me) and rich with butter and cream (my husband) to beguile both of us. It’s a marvel. I definitely recommend checking out The Smitten Kitchen. And now you’ll find me over at her beautiful blog catching up on what I’ve been missing over the past seven years.
What’s your favorite cookbook right now? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.