Select one of the keywords
Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can't Wait to Make    by Melissa Clark order for
Cook This Now
by Melissa Clark
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2011 (2011)
* * *   Reviewed by Kelly Thunstrom

The subtitle of Melissa Clark's latest, '120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can't Wait to Make', really sums up this cookbook in a nutshell. However, it is the main title, Cook This Now, that shows what this book is all about. In a clever idea (one I have never seen done well before), Clark takes each month of the year as its own separate entity. She then uses only those ingredients that are in season in any given month to write the recipes. Excellent idea ... seldom done.

The recipes are only half the excitement of this book. Clark writes recipes like she is writing them for her best friend, taking the chef not through cooking school, but through time management school. She correctly assumes that her readers will be busy people who may not even have time to peel a potato. Her recipes are extremely easy to follow, delicious, and most important, in season. You are not going to find a strawberry worth its juice in January, but what IS at the farmer's market (if you can find one in the winter)? Turnips and greens. Clark uses the simple idea of 'use what is in season'. Your meal will naturally be delicious.

From White Bean Stew with Rosemary, Garlic, and Farro in January to Whole Wheat Pizza with the Very First Cherry Tomatoes, Olives, and Tuna in June to Brown Butter Maple Roasted Pears in October, Clark has the cook covered. Her stories and explanations before and after each recipe are as enjoyable as the recipes themselves. Don't worry though. You can go out of season and go straight for dessert. It is August, and what did I make? Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips (February) and Kate's Impossibly Fudgy Brownies with Chile and Sea Salt (bonus recipe). Un-be-lie-va-ble.

Sit down with this cookbook, read the stories through first, enjoy every word, and then ... start cooking!

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews