NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The social media star, New York Times columnist, and author of Dining In helps you nail dinner with unfussy food and the permission to be imperfect.
“Enemy of the mild, champion of the bold, Ms. Roman offers recipes in Nothing Fancy that are crunchy, cheesy, tangy, citrusy, fishy, smoky and spicy.”—Julia Moskin, The New York Times
IACP AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • The New Yorker • NPR • The Washington Post • San Francisco Chronicle • BuzzFeed • The Guardian • Food Network
An unexpected weeknight meal with a neighbor or a weekend dinner party with fifteen of your closest friends—either way and everywhere in between, having people over is supposed to be fun, not stressful. This abundant collection of all-new recipes—heavy on the easy-to-execute vegetables and versatile grains, paying lots of close attention to crunchy, salty snacks, and with love for all the meats—is for gatherings big and small, any day of the week.
Alison Roman will give you the food your people want (think DIY martini bar, platters of tomatoes, pots of coconut-braised chicken and chickpeas, pans of lemony turmeric tea cake) plus the tips, sass, and confidence to pull it all off. With Nothing Fancy, any night of the week is worth celebrating.
Praise for Nothing Fancy
“[Nothing Fancy] is full of the sort of recipes that sound so good, one contemplates switching off any and all phones, calling in sick, and cooking through the bulk of them.”—Food52
“[Nothing Fancy] exemplifies that classic Roman approach to cooking: well-known ingredients rearranged in interesting and compelling ways for young home cooks who want food that looks (and photographs) as good as it tastes.”—Grub Street
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Alison Roman is the cookbook author we need right now. Both Instagram-hip and legit enough to write columns for The New York Times and Bon Appétit, she makes cooking delicious food easy and fun. Roman’s a woman of strong opinions—yes to anchovies, no to bell peppers, and literally anything tastes better if you squeeze half a lemon over it—and her recipe intros read like social-media posts from your funniest, smartest friend. True to the book’s title, Roman focuses on the sort of dishes that taste best served family-style to a crowd of friends, like a dip made with garlic and scallions that tastes like a heavenly ranch dressing or a pan-grilled steak with a dead-simple homemade salsa made from smoky dried chiles and chopped peanuts. Good thing the Apple Books app makes it easy to bookmark and take notes: We flagged a couple dozen recipes we couldn’t wait to make and went back to remind ourselves who came over to devour them. After all, as Roman points out, hosting a party is “just making dinner, but you know, with more people.”
Roman is an Instagram star who writes for the New York Times and Bon App tit, and in this cheeky, entertaining primer, her tone sometimes verges on the frantic: she's fond of writing in all caps, making ironic pronouncements ("I'm just going to live my truth"), and incorporating internet lingo ("Thank you for coming to my TED Talk"). There are clever turns of phrase (escarole is a "gateway chicory"; seasoning chicken in advance is "a casual brine"), but sometimes the prose loops the loop so many times that it becomes tautological, as when she declares that martinis shouldn't be considered "extremely and exclusively fancy." (Why? Because she 'says so.) The language in the instructions themselves is not exactly Escoffier-worthy: "Knock yourself out with your decorative prowess" when scoring eggplant for roast, and spread yogurt on leg of lamb "as if you were applying a mud mask." On the practical side, each recipe includes instructions for preparing ahead, and mostly simple desserts include a double-crust "galette" with sour cherries and tahini, and a turmeric-tinted loaf cake. Aimed at millennials, the recipes here are fun and enticing.