Roman is an Instagram star who writes for the New York Times
and Bon Appétit
, and in this cheeky, entertaining primer, her tone sometimes verges on the frantic: she's fond of writing in all caps, making ironic pronouncements ("I'm just going to live my truth"), and incorporating internet lingo ("Thank you for coming to my TED Talk"). There are clever turns of phrase (escarole is a "gateway chicory"; seasoning chicken in advance is "a casual brine"), but sometimes the prose loops the loop so many times that it becomes tautological, as when she declares that martinis shouldn't be considered "extremely and exclusively fancy." (Why? Because she 'says so.) The language in the instructions themselves is not exactly Escoffier-worthy: "Knock yourself out with your decorative prowess" when scoring eggplant for roast, and spread yogurt on leg of lamb "as if you were applying a mud mask." On the practical side, each recipe includes instructions for preparing ahead, and mostly simple desserts include a double-crust "galette" with sour cherries and tahini, and a turmeric-tinted loaf cake. Aimed at millennials, the recipes here are fun and enticing. (Oct.