cover image Noon: Simple Recipes for Scrumptious Midday Meals and More

Noon: Simple Recipes for Scrumptious Midday Meals and More

Meike Peters. Chronicle, $29.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-79722-280-6

“Lunchtime can easily be as exciting as dinner,” assures James Beard award winner Peters (Eat in My Kitchen) in this inspired collection of quick and delicious recipes. Pantry ingredients are the star of many of these simple yet vibrant meals: from a can of butter beans, Peters makes gnocchetti sardi with butter bean–basil pesto and tomatoes, butter bean and fennel soup with crispy bacon, and one-pan butter beans and spinach with ricotta and lemon. She also relies on batch-cooking fresh produce and repurposing it for different recipes: the roasted veggies for the squash, parsnip, and grape salad with blue cheese can be doubled to use later for the autumn panzanella with roasted squash, shallots, and plums, as well as the squash pesto sandwich with feta and dates. Other options drastically cut cooking times through practical shortcuts: no soaking is required for the red lentils with spinach and spiced feta, for example. Peters also includes helpful tips for transporting lunch to work (for the seared zucchini and chickpea salad with grapes, pack zucchini and chickpeas into a container, layer the grapes and arugula and top, and keep the dressing in a separate jar until lunchtime). The result is a brilliant solution for busy home cooks looking to jazz up their midday meals. (Sept.)