I generally like the compendiums that food magazines like Bon Appetit and Food and Wine put out. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s nice to have lots of recipes all together in a non-online volume that is easier to navigate than a stack of magazines. It also gives magazines the option of grouping recipes together in themes that span more than a few pages of a single issue. The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh does exactly this. It’s a collection of 1,100 (!!) Bon Appetit recipes that will fit into a busy schedule thanks to easy preparation and quick or low-maintenance cooking techniques.
Unlike other fix-it-fast cookbooks, this one doesn’t rely that heavily on premade ingredients. It’s intended audience is people who like to cook and love to eat well, but don’t necessarily have time for day-long foodie projects. The recipes emphasize fresh, seasonal produce and modern flavors, whether they’re twists on classic comfort foods or are in ethnic dishes that might not have been on your childhood menu.
With so many recipes, the book is easily divided up into chapters by type. It includes appetizers, breakfasts, many kinds of desserts, salads, sides and main dishes, both meat-based and vegetarian. There is definitely something for everyone, and while you’re sure to pick out a few favorites, there is so much that you won’t easily get bored. This cookbook might very well become a regular in your kitchen from sheer convenience – and the fact that the recipes work. Some photos are included, but most of the recipes are not illustrated. Fortunately, you can always head over to Epicurious and check out the feedback for some of the recipes posted online, like Black-Bottom Peanut Butter Mousse Pie, Wasabi-Crusted Chicken Breasts and Chipotle Beef Chili with Lime Crema.