The Nimble Cook: New Strategies for Great Meals That Make the Most of Your Ingredients

Ronna Welsh. HMH/Martin, $30 (400p) ISBN 978-0-544-93550-1
Cooking school owner Welsh aims to shift the home cook’s mind-set in this handy volume by offering recipes that use ingredients from one’s pantry and parts of food that are often discarded. She encourages readers to “imagine shopping not for one ingredient but for ingredients you want to eat.” Cauliflower can be poached and stored for three days, then pureed with poaching liquid, peanuts, and breadcrumbs to make a soup, or served with prosciutto, olives, and mustard. Comprehension is aided by a clever flowchart-style layout and “family tree” illustrations, such as one that shows how to use the various parts of celery in raw and cooked form, though the organization of the book can be confusing (having to refer to the master recipe in order to execute subsequent recipes) and often forces the reader to flip back and forth to sub-recipes. Tips on storage (cut lettuce into wedges, wash, and wrap tightly in paper towels) and avoiding waste are helpful, and can result in slaw made with thin strips of apple peel and a sauté of spinach stems and lemon juice. There are dishes to add flavor to meals, such as pickled parsley relish, zucchini confit, and a fennel syrup that can be incorporated into a gin cocktail. While the book falls a little short of being a game-changer, the recipes are certainly solid and the philosophy sound. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 12/17/2018
Release date: 04/16/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-0-544-93684-3
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