what’s cookin’ good lookin’?

this week i am cooking through “the complete italian vegetarian cookbook.”  my sister-in-law recommended it to me from america’s test kitchen’s top ten list.  personally, i find that the best way to gauge a cookbook is to just eat out of it for a week.  that and it makes menu planning so much easier.  just select one book and find seven recipes in it.  kind of do or die.

then at the end of the week i know if i ever want to see that cookbook again.  for the record, there aren’t very many good cookbooks.  the line-up:

orecchiette with peas, ricotta and paremesan ~ tender green salad with pine nuts and yellow raisins ~ fusilli with spinach and ricotta puree ~  risotto with savoy cabbage ~ romaine lettuce salad with gorgonzola and walnuts ~ chard and spinach soup with lemon-paresley pesto ~ linguine with garlic, olive oil and lemon ~ kale and white bean soup ~ foccacia with sage ~ and whole wheat spaghetti with spicy broccoli and pecorino.

how’s that?  check back on monday and i will give you a verdict.  and if anything extra special comes along i’ll post the recipes.  if not, i’ll just blame megan.

verdict:  the recipes weren’t too fancy, not at all expensive and with short ingredient lists – but not foolproof.  there were still a few recipes that really had no right being in a cookbook.  i’m not desperate.  i didn’t need those extra 50 pages.  that’s all i ask.


5 Responses to “what’s cookin’ good lookin’?”

  1. 1 Grandma Gayla March 7, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    What are your kids going to eat?

  2. 2 mavis March 8, 2011 at 8:07 am

    we made the spinach and chard soup last night. jehu and jael were like, “ooo, we like this! can we have it again tomorrow?” gideon was not as easily impressed.

  3. 3 Grandma Sandy March 8, 2011 at 10:03 am

    That just sounds gross. What color was it? How do you rate the end results. By your taste buds or do you take a family vote.

  4. 4 aunt meggy March 8, 2011 at 11:25 am

    maybe i’ll loan you my cookbook, ‘everything tastes better with garlic’. should make for a stinky week in the otto household.

  5. 5 mavis March 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    actually, we probably do have garlic with every meal. that doesn’t mean we couldn’t use some more. you should email me a favorite. i have a ton of garlic to use up.

    chard and spinach soup

    1 lb red-veined swiss chard
    1 lb flat-leaf spinach
    6 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    1 medium onion, minced
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    salt and pepper
    6 c. veggie stock
    3/4 c. fresh parsley
    1 t. grated lemon zest

    remove stems from chard. chop chard and spinach. fry onion in 3 T of oil in stock pot until translucent. add cloves and fry 2 more minutes. add chard and spinach and cook until wilted. season with salt and pepper. add broth and simmer for 10 minutes. whiz up parsley and lemon zest with 3 T of oil. use it to top soup in individual bowls.

    also, i love “better than bouillon.” it’s like a soup genie.

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