* Prices may differ from that shown
My other half isn't particularly the most kitchen friendly person. His skills do extend to a roast dinner but doing anything else but a roast dinner is a rarity. However, the one thing frequently cooked/made is bruschetta. He tends just to make bruschetta as a snack or as a starter to a meal for us. His skills though only ever extended to goats cheese, garlic and sundried tomatoes on bruschetta so when I was town a few months ago I popped into The Works and had a quick browse in their cookery book selection to pick up a little something for my other half.
I ended up buying a small cook book called "Bruschetta crostini and other Italian snacks" by Maxine Clark. It is smaller than A4 size and wider than A5 and is made up of 64 pages. The hardback cookbook is small enough to fit on most bookshelves or in my kitchen cupboards. I opted for this book partly because it wasn't a huge cookbook with an overwhelming amount of recipes, I wanted something simple with a nice range of recipes, that and it cost me under £2 in the sale so it was worth buying!
On the front cover there is a lovely picture of bruschetta on a dish topped with roasted tomatoes, garlic and a cheese shaving of sort. Just looking at the front cover makes me hungry! On the inside before the contents there are further images of bruschetta and a brief blurb about the book and the author. The contents page is incredibly simple as it comprises of 7 chapters; Toast with taste, The basics, Vegetables, Fish, Meat and poultry, Other Italian snacks and the index.
What I like about this little recipe book is that each recipe has its own two pages, one for the ingredients list and method and the page opposite for a picture of the dish itself which personally I find really useful when cooking as although whatever I cook it never seems to come out like that, its nice to have something give you an idea of what the dish should actually look like. The pictures are simple but the dishes have all been so well presented they all make your mouth water! Both me and my other half have used this cook book on quite a few occasions and we both agreed that the layout makes it an easy recipe book to use.
All the chapters are well laid out and there is a decent selection of recipes within each chapter which is nice, some chapters have more recipes than others but there is certainly something for everyone especially if you prefer more vegetable based dishes as the 'Vegetables' chapter has the most recipes but then Italians do like their vegetables! The book isn't just about bruschetta as mentioned in the title, there is also a small chapter which has recipes for polenta crostoni, grissini and parmesan crisps which are a nice little addition should you want something to accompany the bruschetta.
I have used this little cook book on quite a few occasions whether I have been wanting to make myself a quick lunch or if I am having friends round and I find that all the recipes I have so far tried are so easy to follow which makes the process quite quick and painless as some recipe methods I have come across have been so complicated and over talked it makes using a cook book quite a stressful process! But this cook book really sets out the method in simple easy to follow paragraphs which just making a dish a lot simpler! Most recipes have ingredients that we have around in the cupboard which is nice too as there is nothing too specialist that you can't make any one of these recipes.
To date some of the recipes I have tried and tested are 'goats cheese and sweet red peppers on bruschetta' (vegetables chapter), 'tuna, black olive, pine nut and caper crostini' (fish chapter), 'chorizo with crunchy saffron potatoes on bruschetta' and prosciutto wrapped bocconcini bruschetta' (both from the meat chapter). Although this isn't the largest cookbook it provides just a taster of recipes which are all easy to follow and produce lovely little dishes ideal as a lunchtime snack or evening starter.
If looking for a little cook book that give you a few ideas when it comes to Italian snacks then this is perfect. Most ingredients are already in your kitchen cupboards which makes the recipes cheap to create but they are tasty, filling and interesting. Definitely a recommendation, even better if you can pick it up as cheap as I did!
~ Useful Info ~
Publisher: Ryland Peters & Small
Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 19.2 x 1.2 cm
Price: RRP £8.99 (Amazon used from £0.01p)