In the tradition of the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Foster has put together favorite recipes featured at her two Foster's Markets (where she prepares and sells seasonal dishes) in Durham and Chapel Hill, N.C. Much of the food is simple and depends on fresh, quality ingredients—enhanced by herbs and spices—for its success. Starting with a wide selection of muffins and breads, such as the moist Granny Foster's Banana Walnut Bread, the book covers a range of breakfast and brunch dishes before moving on to soups, stews, chilies and the more traditional sandwiches, spreads and snacks of a gourmet market store. The Provençal White Bean Dip is given an unusual twist with sun-dried tomatoes and capers, and the Curried Chicken Salad is paired with whole-grain or pumpernickel bread for a savory combination. The salads, sides and entrees—such as the Mediterranean-inflected Sautéed Chicken Breast with Artichokes, Lemons and Capers or the Roast Leg of Lamb Stuffed with Italian White Beans and Spinach—show influences from other cultures from Italy to Asia. Old-fashioned desserts like Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chocolate Pound Cake round out the book. Enhanced with photos and scattered sidebar tips, the book is well designed and user-friendly, making it a welcome addition for those who plan their meals with the seasons. (On sale Apr. 23)
Forecast:While the colorful cover will draw browsers, most people outside of North Carolina won't be familiar with Foster's Market. Martha Stewart's endorsement is a plus.