Simple Fare Spring and Summer Cookbook Review

Simple Fare Spring and Summer Cookbook Review

Title: Simple Fare: Spring and Summer
Author: Karen Mordecai
Published: April 18, 2017, Harry N. Abrams
No. of Pages: 192
Cover Price: $35.00 Paperback, $12.99 Kindle

Every once in a while a new cookbook comes along that doesn’t feature much that really appeals. Although the pictures in this cookbook are beautiful, and the prose is well-written, Simple Fare: Spring and Summer is one such book. Many of the ingredients must be obtained from a specialty store, many are those that appeal to tree-huggers rather than mainstream every-day cooks, and many just don’t sound particularly appetizing. There are a lot of egg dishes in this cookbook (good for egg lovers, not-so-good for those who’d rather eat other things) including a Green Shakshuka (a very trendy dish) that doesn’t really look appetizing at all in the picture, and a lot of recipes using trendy grains, such as black quinoa, farro and toasted buckwheat. It has a fairly good recipe for the ubiquitous Avocado Toast (which is good, but is overly common in newer cookbooks). There are other “toasts” as well, some using mushrooms, ramps, and tomatoes.

If you happen to pick up this book, however, all is not lost. The Brisket Tacos were a fair amount of work, but the end result was delicious. Mordecai includes a great recipe for Dukkah (a Middle Eastern condiment that can be used in dozens of dishes, as well as a delicious version of schnitzel using that dukkah. And while most of the recipes in this cookbook sound less than edible, there are a few that sound appealing; those are the ones that I tried; the instructions are easy to follow and the dishes turned out as pictured.

One unique thing that this cookbook contains is several recipes for dairy products such as Crème Fraîche, Ricotta, Yogurt, and Marinated Labneh. Most of the recipes have Middle Eastern undertones, which is trendy in itself, and cooks who enjoy this type of cooking will most likely enjoy some of the recipes.

All told, this is a cookbook that will not appeal to most mainstream cooks and with the number of new cookbooks constantly being released, not one to rush out and pick up.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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