The book: “Seriously Delish: 150 Recipes for People Who Totally Love Food” by Jessica Merchant; 304 pages, $29.99. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.
What you get: This collection of recipes is varied and delightful in surprises. Chapters include Breakfast; Snack Time; Sandwiches & Stuff on Toast; Salads, Soups & Vegetable-like Things; Tex-Mex, Burgers, Pizza & Everything Else; Stuff to Sip On; Lighten Up and Celebrations.
This is my new favorite cookbook — seriously — and I want to try everything. Recipes that have caught my eye include Roasted Cherry, Coconut & Quinoa Breakfast Bowls (Page 61); Fun & Fancy Avocado Toasts (P. 107); Accidental White Wine Baked Scallops (P. 194); Crispy Roasted Garlic Green Beans with Shaved Pocorino (P. 161); and S’Mores-stuffed Strawberries (P. 237).
In her own words: “Like most people, I don’t love to spend hours and hours in the kitchen on dinner, but I sort of want it to taste like I did. You may also find a handful of dishes that take a bit longer to cook, but they are completely worth it. I promise.” — Jessica Merchant.
What we made:
GRILLED PLUMS WITH TOASTED THYME CRUMBLE (P. 260)
4 plums, sliced in half and pitted
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1. Preheat the grill to high. Brush the cut side of each plum with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt. Place them on a grill pan and cook until slightly caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter, oats and brown sugar and stir to coat. Cook for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally until the oats begin to toast. Stir in the thyme and turn off the heat.
3. Arrange the plums cut side up on a plate and spoon the crumble into the center of the plums.
Our assessment: This is one of the easiest and best-tasting recipes we’ve tried all year. “Luxurious” is the best word that comes to mind to describe the taste, mouth feel and presentation of this simple dish. But be careful grilling the plums —2 to 3 minutes is all they need. Also, stir the oatmeal frequently and don’t let it burn.
This recipe proves that fresh herbs are worth the expense and effort. While the plums have the leading role, it is the thyme that deserves an award for Best Supporting Ingredient.
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