Review of “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics”

This is part of a 12-part series where I review each one of Ina Garten’s twelve cookbooks. The previous reviews can be found earlier in the feed of posts. They come out on Thursdays, usually for 1:30 PM. This is the sixth review in the series.

Who doesn’t love green as the main color on a book? It’s so vibrant and pairs nicely for a cookbook.

Ina Garten’s sixth cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics is another one of quintessential “TV Ina.” But that’s not a bad thing! This is another book that makes Ina related to the home cook, whether they are seasoned or just starting out.

This is a must-have book for any Ina Garten fan, whether they are just a casual fan or a die-hard like me. This is also a cookbook that should be found in every kitchen! Simply because of the ease of the recipes. An added benefit is, like all Ina recipes, they are so easy to follow. There’s very few recipes that have recipes within recipes.

Another aspect that I love about this title is it will force you to try new things. Things you’ve never thought of pairing together in recipes or in general. That’s what makes this book so special. It uses basic ingredients, but turns up the volume on them and pairs them nicely with unlikely alliances.

Following the usual pattern of other IG books, this one starts with cocktails and works its way through the dessert course. Like the majority of Ina’s other books, a Breakfast chapter is included.

(It wasn’t until I started writing these reviews and combing through each book that I realized how many Breakfast recipes Ina has written!)

In the many narrative sections throughout this book, Ina covers topic such as how to cook seasonally. She also uses the narrative sections to create a Top 10 list of tips on different topics such as arranging flowers and setting a table. Readers and home cooks will most appreciate her list of 10 things to serve for dessert that don’t require cooking!

Some recipe highlights include:

  1. Parmesan & Thyme Crackers
  2. Pappa al Pomodoro
  3. Creamy Cucumber Salad
  4. Roasted Turkey Roulade
  5. Orange Pecan Wild Rice
  6. Garlic Ciabatta Bread
  7. French Chocolate Bark
  8. Pumpkin Roulade
  9. Baked Chocolate Pudding
  10. Baked Blintzes with Fresh Blueberry Sauce
  11. Tri-Berry Oven Pancakes
  12. Mango Banana Daiquiris

One thing’s for sure: The desserts in this book look amazing! I can’t wait to make them all!


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