If cookbooks are your major book jam, you should read Smitten Kitchen Every Day. If you only have time to read one cookbook this year, you should read Smitten Kitchen Every Day. Even if you aren’t big on cookbooks, you should read Smitten Kitchen Every Day.
Because it’s truly that good.
I love Deb Perelman’s recipe style – very precise and no unnecessary steps added in just to make it look harder – and the food style in this book matches our tastes very closely. I love Middle Eastern flavors, and this book is full of them. I found all sorts of new ways to use my favorite spices, and liked some new-to-us options so well that I have already invested in restaurant-kitchen-sized versions.
Deb does come from a vegetarian background, so there are a lot of meat-free dishes, but I find that I am comfortable making a vegetarian meal with meat, or replacing meat to make a meal vegetarian when it wasn’t originally. The recipes in this book work very well for that approach.
And the real joy is in the vegetable side dishes (which you could easily make more of and call a full meal). We used two of her recipes–cauliflower wedges and a squash and Brussels sprouts version of fattoush salad–at Christmas dinner to grand acclaim.
I love that the recipes I’ve tried from the book (around 15 and counting) are pretty easy and yet feel special. I love that they are simple to fit into my eating plan of bright lines and primarily vegetables and protein. You could integrate this food into pretty much any plan without much fuss. Of additional note, if you’re a reader of Deb’s blog, you won’t find recipe overlap in this book. These are all new recipes. I find that impressive in this era of blog-to-book publishing.
And then there are the pictures and anecdotes. I do love to read a cookbook that is well-written on its own merits as a book and that is visually interesting. This book does it all.
So there you have it, my best cookbook recommendation in a long time and my latest favorite. I hope Smitten Kitchen Every Day becomes yours, too!
What’s cooking at your house these days?
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