bookmarks: Learning to love cookbooks and learning recipes by heart


My friend Junita has posted a loving tribute to cookbooks and the art of learning to cook without the cookbook at her foodie blog, Stack of Cookbooks.

After years of dutifully following recipes, I now realize that what I treasure the most is pulling off a dish with no recipe. When I can cook something by heart.

Do you know someone who cooks everything this way? Who moves around the kitchen like a cyclone, tasting and seasoning, throwing together a salad while they're braising the entree, with not a cookbook in sight? I am so not this person. This improvisational phenom is like a musician who can play a catalog of songs on five different instruments. I can't even play Chopsticks on the piano.

My cookbook-free victories are few and far between. But when the stars align, and I'm able to throw together a tasty dinner with what I have on hand, it's more satisfying than cooking from the most complicated recipe. I love the thrill of a new recipe. But for me, the real joy comes from sharing a simple improvisational meal with friends.

Click through, read the whole post, and you'll come away with Junita's take on Pasta Genovese, a perfectly summery dish that features fresh green beans and potatoes and lots of basil in the pesto, all tossed together with fettucine.

[Stack of Cookbooks: A Culinary Victory]