Quality of pictures: Colorful and surprisingly playful. They have a no-fuss aura that invites the reader to present the dishes as Giada would, with the focus strictly on the food.
We tested: Asparagus and Zucchini Crudi, Spicy Parmesan Green Beans and Kale, Rigatoni with Squash and Prawns, and Roasted Halibut with Grapefruit Fennel Salsa.
Raw asparagus and zucchini make an ideal simple salad for the summer. The asparagus is thinly sliced and the zucchini is shaved into long strips using a vegetable peeler, which makes for a beautiful presentation. After trying a few bites of the salad, which is tossed with a dressing of extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper and topped with fresh shavings of Pecorino Romano cheese, you'll never use bagged salad again.
Green bean dishes are often the wallflower of the dinner table, but this one is the belle of the ball, thanks to its irresistible combination of sautéed mushrooms, onions and kale. The kale's bitterness is balanced by dry white wine, red pepper flakes (which give it some great heat) and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Crunchy, sweet and savory, these green beans just might make the main dish green with envy.
Rigatoni with squash and prawns is a beloved member of the comfort food canon. Here, the tender rigatoni is blanketed by a luscious sauce of butternut squash that has been puréed with garlic and vegetable broth, and contrasts beautifully with the briny prawns (which can be replaced by more readily available shrimp).
Last but not least, roasted halibut gets a memorable spin with a fruity salsa that's also certain to appeal to kids. The mild and flaky fish is prepared simply, with salt and pepper, and elevated to higher realm by the salsa, which combines grapefruit, olives, parsley and fennel. Best of all, the recipe's easy-to-find ingredients make it an ideal dish for any time of the year.
Worth the investment: The recipes you'll find in this book are hearty without being overwhelming. They're practical, simple and delicious, making the book a timeless go-to for entertaining.
Filed Under: Cookbook Spotlight
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