Book Review- Plated by Elana Karp and Suzanne Dumaine

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This book is interesting. The cover is nice enough, but I’m not sure it would have grabbed my attention if I saw it in the store. To me, the name seemed like it was alluding to fancy and time consuming dishes, so again I probably would not have felt the need to grab this one up. Plated was actually chosen as the name because this book is based on recipes from a company named Plated, one of those ones that sends you pre measured ingredients and a recipe to go with them every so often. Again, something I find interesting, but I always assume it will be out of my price range so I don’t find it super exciting at this point. That said though- I love this book!

I actually read this cover to cover. The writing style is friendly and approachable. The photographs are simple and beautiful. The introduction goes into the history of Plated and the authors who are both chefs there. All of the recipes have little blurbs, which I enjoy, and many of them have “cheffy nuggets” with little tips at the bottom. For example, one of the cheffy nuggets is about how you should marinate your kale leaves for a few hours to let them tenderize before eating them. I’d never thought of that, but I’m going to try it here real soon! I always want to like kale.

Quite a few of the recipes in Plated come with a section on the bottom with seasonal swaps. For example, the roasted seasonal vegetable soup with really good croutons has four options. For spring there is a spinach, arugula, and pea soup. For summer there is a zucchini and corn soup. For fall there is an apple, butternut squash, and sage soup. And for winter there is a potato and cauliflower soup. I really like this aspect! To go along with this idea there is also a section in the back that gives ideas as to which fruits and vegetables are in season when. With the abundance of everything you can find in the supermarket these days this chart is really helpful, especially with the produce you might not be as familiar with.

They also have the chapters divided in a fun way. They have a basics section that is full of interesting information, a section for weeknight dinners which are not as time consuming, one for planned leftovers that include a main recipe and a reinvention for the extra, make ahead meals, more time consuming weekend feasts, recipes that are good for a crowd, etc. I really appreciate this, because I can easily find a recipe based on the amount of time I want to spend cooking or who I am cooking for.

I tried out the clafoutis with fresh cherries from page 218. It turned out great! I think I overcooked mine a bit, because it cracked, but it was pretty delicious. It was prettier with some powdered sugar sprinkled on top, but of course I didn’t take a picture of that. The clafoutis rose really high, but then did fall dramatically. From what I’ve read that’s normal.

I am actually taking a break from writing a grocery list right now, and I am definitely planning on trying a few more things from the book this week. If you see this one in the store, definitely pick it up to flip through it, it’s really good.

You can find more information or buy the book here. Please note that I received this book from blogging for books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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