Cooking with Herbs by Lynn Alley

cookingwithherbsGenre: Cookbook
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date: April 2013

Cooking with Herbs is a little book with big flavor. My family is addicted to herbs. We put them in everything. When I stumbled across this cookbook, I knew I just had to review it. Lynn Alley puts together a collection of simple yet tasty recipes. I really enjoyed the way she started with the most basic form of pasta, rice, soup, etc. and then went on to enhance it with several varying combinations of herbs, giving each a completely different and distinct flavor.

The cookbook starts out with an introduction that includes a word about herbs, tableware, recipes as well as some tips. Alley continues with a crash course on herbs that she calls The Herb Garden, after which the reader (or cook!) is ready to dig in and start creating some delectable dishes. The recipes are laid out in a concise and easy to follow manner. However, I would have enjoyed seeing more pictures. I am a very visual person so more images would have gone a long way with me.

Below I have included some of the recipes I tried. As you will see, the pasta and pizza sections were my favorite.

SOUTHWESTERN GRITS WITH TOMATOES, QUESO FRESCO, ONION, OLIVES, CILANTRO, AVOCADO, AND LIME: This was my first time trying polenta and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I really enjoyed the veggie combo and think it would make a really nice salad for a light, summer meal.

HERB GARLIC PASTA: I love cheese, I love garlic and I love herbs. So this recipe was definitely a winner.

HERBED PASTA ALFREDO: This was another to-be-repeated dish. The green of the peas added a nice burst of color and texture that I would have never thought to include otherwise. Next time I want to try adding mushrooms and some kind of meat. I have a feeling they would go really well mixed with the fresh basil and alfredo sauce.

BLUE CHEESE, ARTICHOKE HEART, AND TARRAGON MAC: I’m a huge fan of blue cheese and artichokes. However, I wasn’t totally sold on the combination of the two. This recipe definitely offered my tongue a very unique experience, but it will be a one-time thing.

BASIC PIZZA and FOUR CHEESE AND THREE BASIL: I’ve been making homemade pizza dough for years and this recipe is toward the top of my list. It was very different from the others I’ve tried. The basil and mixture of the cheeses had me returning for seconds and thirds.

HAZELNUT, DRIED CHERRY, AND SAGE ROUND: My family and I enjoy rustic breads so I’m always looking for new ones to make. The sage gives the bread a distinctive taste. Personally, I thought it worked if mixing it with butter, cream cheese, or some other salty spread. However, I found it to overpowering when mixed with something sweet like jam.

MOCK BOURSIN: Who knew such a simple recipe could taste so good? The problem with this recipe is that once you’ve experienced the full flavor of fresh herbs mixed with cream cheese you won’t be able to return to the poor attempts sitting in the grocery store. My taste buds didn’t know what they were missing until now.

This is just a small sample of what you’ll find in Cooking with Herbs. There are still many more recipes I’m looking forward to trying. If you and your family are a fan of fresh herbs then this is a cookbook you’ll want to look into.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Thank you!

**Originally posted on Radiant Lit.

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