Jamie Oliver, still proclaiming his “Naked Chef” credo, has been a fabulous fixture of our food scene for over 18 years, and he’s never lost his touch. His signature pizazz and irrepressible can-do confidence shine in his 20th cookbook, 5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food. Not one for modesty, Oliver promises that by using his “genius combinations of just five ingredients,” you can get these “utterly delicious” dishes on the table in under 30 minutes—or get the prep done in 10 minutes and let your cooker do the rest. The clever layout—visuals of the five ingredients on the left and a totally tempting photo of the finished product on the right, with super-simple instructions in between—is a big plus, as is Oliver’s joy in making from-scratch cooking truly doable, whether it’s Smoky Pancetta Cod with a side of lentils for a Wednesday night, or flambéed Peachy Pork Chops followed by marmalade-infused Speedy Steamed Pudding Pots for a Saturday night soirée.
The cultural identity of the Palestinian people persists, as does the pleasures of the Palestinian kitchen. Yasmin Khan, a human rights activist and award-winning cookbook author, celebrates its vibrant flavors in Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchen, seasoned with many moving stories and fabulous photos from her culinary journey. Khan has gathered over 80 recipes with an emphasis on simple, seasonal, plant-based food. She collected classics from Palestinian grandmothers (Hummus with Spiced Lamb), contemporary dishes from friends (Freekah with Butternut Squash) and dishes inspired by local ingredients (Olive, Fig and Honey Tapenade) or techniques (Chocolate and Tahini Cookies). Khan’s instructions are detailed, her header notes informative and her enthusiasm infectious.
Instead of an Instant Pot, an air fryer or a slew of newfangled kitchen appliances, the accomplished cooks and testers from America’s Test Kitchen suggest you take out that tried-and-true multitasker resting quietly in the back of a cabinet. They’re convinced that a big, enameled Dutch oven is “very nearly the only pot you’ll ever need in your kitchen,” and they offer a revelatory roster of over 150 recipes that take advantage of its best features in Cook It in Your Dutch Oven. These dishes go way beyond stews—just try some of the one-pot wonders like Weeknight Pasta Bolognese or Green Shakshuka. Go for Braised Cod Peperonata, deep fry to your heart’s content, then bake a crisp-crusted Spicy Olive Loaf, and for a grand finale, serve up a fudgy Chocolate Lava Cake.
This article was originally published in the February 2019 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.