cover image Dinner: Changing the Game

Dinner: Changing the Game

Melissa Clark. Clarkson Potter, $35 (400p) ISBN 978-0-553-44823-8

Anyone seeking a cookbook for a 2016 time capsule should consider this volume by New York Times food writer and columnist Clark, which is designed to render evening meals enticing without excessive effort. It includes many of-the-moment ingredients, methods, and catchphrases, crispy chicken skin croutons in a roasted chicken salad, pizza crust based on dough used at Brooklyn pizzeria Franny’s, shades-of-Ottolenghi za’atar chicken with lemon yogurt, and a quinoa dish dressed with pomegranate molasses. A chapter titled “The Grind” includes coconut kafte kebabs, and seared sausage and rhubarb. Another on big salads features an escarole salad with crispy pimentón chickpeas and a runny egg. The green pea guacamole recipe that caused an uproar when it was published in the Times (President Obama weighed in via Twitter) also appears. Clark has skills beyond taking the temperature (with an instant-read thermometer, no doubt) of the eating zeitgeist: she is a crack recipe writer. Sharp, easy-to-follow instructions and helpful spreads on subjects such as cooking grains and using canned and dried beans round out this excellent volume. (Mar.)