The Mini Minimalist by Mark Bittman
I imagine this little set tucked between the bananas and the microwave, ready and waiting for the moment someone asks, "What should we have for dinner?" Unlike Mark Bittman's previous kitchen bibles How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, these slim hand-sized books contain just the basics: those essential recipes for soups, salads, and main courses that Bittman thinks you should have on-hand come dinner time. And really, that's all we need.
• Who wrote it: Mark Bittman
• Who published it: Clarkson Potter
• Number of recipes: Around 300
• Recipes for right now: Parmesan Cups with Orzo Risotto, Garlic Soup with Shrimp, Chickpea Soup with Sausage, Roasted Bay Scallops with Brown Butter, Coq au Vin with Prunes, Roast Duck in One Hour, Osso Buco, Beet Roesti, Ziti with Chestnuts and Mushrooms
• Other highlights: This collection of recipes is pulled from Bittman's Minimalist column in The New York Times, and contains the kinds of tasty-sounding dishes that make you want to stay home and cook dinner. You won't find huge glossy pictures of the dishes with this book, though; you'll have to rely on Bittman's thorough yet concise instructions to guide you through each recipe.
Each recipe includes suggestions for other dishes to serve alongside and wine pairings, making it easy and intuitive to plan a whole meal. Made with just a handful of ingredients and no more than five basic steps, these recipes all feel totally approachable by new cooks and veteren cooks alike.
• Who would enjoy this book? New cooks, cooks with small kitchens (or shelf space!)
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: The Mini Minimalist: Simple Recipes for Satisfying Meals by Mark Bittman
• Visit the author's website: Mark Bittman
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(Images: Emma Christensen)