CookBook Review: Franny’s Simple Seasonal Italian

Be still my beating heart. Be still, so I can make more recipes from Franny’s Simple Seasonal Italian cookbook.

Franny's Simple Seasonal Italian Cookbook -

The best thing about Franny’s – aside from the mouthwatering food photography and simple, seasonal Italian food recipes – is the fact that it comes from authors who own a restaurant in Brooklyn by the same name, truly walk the walk and talk the talk and cook the best damn food possible using locally seasonal, regionally appropriate, organically grown/raised, quality ingredients. That, and the carbs.

Oh, heavenly carbs. Smothered in really good olive oil, a bit of flaky salt, a punch of citrus, anchovies or a dash of fresh herbs. Bring it.

Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg, while maintaining a strong ethical commitment to creating an environmentally responsible business through sustainable agriculture, have put a dream cookbook for those of us who care about what we put into our mouths, the planet and each other. Ow ow! But seriously, a restaurant that declines to serve a plain green salad during certain times of the year when lettuce is out of season – regardless of how expected it may be by their guests – has my vote. Time and again.

Franny's Simple Seasonal Italian Cookbook -

In Franny’s Simple Seasonal Italian cookbook, it’s about pleasure. Not just eating. Not even “just” nourishing. But real, experiential, tactile pleasure. It’s the best possible ingredients, the freshest flavours and using food as an opportunity for connection between diners, producers, makers, creators and the planet that serves us all. One of the funnest aspects of the book? The one pager snapshots of the restaurant staff and learning about their journey to Franny’s.

That, and the admission that the first time you make one of their pizzas at home it may not be beautiful. That takes practice and skill. But it will be tasty.

Particular recipes of interest: Roasted cherry tomatoes with ricotta, Dandelion greens with a fried egg, croutons and anchovy dressing, Sauteed squid with garlic, lemon and chili, Maccheroni with pork sausage and broccoli rabe, Tomato mozzarella and meatball pizza, chocolate sorbetto and any of the collection of cocktails at the back of the book (though the Ramp Gibson has me intrigued).

As Francine says in the intro to the book, “this is unequivocally a book for folks who want to make simple hearty food with big flavors, not to mention some of the best, most home-oven-friendly pizzas imaginable”. Now who can argue with that?

Franny's Simple Seasonal Italian Cookbook -

Do you cook simple seasonal Italian food? Have you been to Franny’s in Brooklyn? Made anything from the book? Do you omit green salad in the Winter from your kitchen? Spill it!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Artisan Books sent me a review copy at no cost. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions and information is entirely accurate and a reflection of my true experience and was not influenced, in any way, by the above mentioned products. Opinions and views are my own. Because that’s how I roll, yo. I’ve never been one to shut my mouth – I’m not going to start now.

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