Cooking With Herbs: 50 Simple Recipes for Fresh Flavor

Lynn Alley. Andrews McMeel, $16.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-4494-2769-6
After an ambling introduction, Alley (The Gourmet Slow Cooker) gets to her point in this tepid collection of 50 dishes meant to inspire cooks to incorporate fresh herbs into their meals. Rather than offer recipes for a particular set of herbs, Alley focuses on courses, starting with soups and salads and working her way through mains, spreads, and "small indulgences" like Savory Tomato Sorbet with Oregano and savory cheesecakes. The great irony is that the majority of her dishes, particularly her soups, could have a lot more body and flavor if she simply reverted to traditional methods by using homemade stock or even canned broth. Instead, all her soups rely on water for body, while other dishes like macaroni and cheese, pasta with alfredo sauce, margherita pizza, and scones—while perfectly serviceable—are pedestrian and have been done (often better) many times before. There's nothing innovative here, and her use of herbs is predictable. Granted, there are flashes of ingenuity (Grits with Smoked Gouda, Sharp Cheddar, Onions, Chives and Parsley; DIY herbed teas; and a savory cheesecake that incorporates goat and feta cheeses with thyme, sage, and rosemary), but they're not enough to save this collection of forgettable, phoned-in recipes. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/13/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 128 pages - 978-1-4494-3163-1
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