For the month of January, I selected Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman as my choice for Cookbook of the Month. January (and all the months post-holidays but pre-spring) can be a tricky food month because after the holidays we sometimes crave lighter fare, but sometimes the weather and gray days call for comfort food. Thankfully, Nothing Fancy is a true gem of a cookbook and contains a multitude of inspiration and crave-worthy recipes to be enjoyed throughout the year.
The book is divided into the following sections:
I have admired Alison Roman both as a person and a recipe creator for some time, but this month-long exploration of Nothing Fancy has taken that admiration to a whole new level. You will see that I was able to make an incredible number of things from the book in a single month, which speaks to how accessible and enjoyable these recipes are. She repeatedly strikes the perfect balance between the inventive and the familiar.
I am blown away by the number of stellar recipes in the book as a whole. On a related note, I think she did a fantastic job of filling out each category with a perfect mix of recipes. None of the categories feel neglected or like an afterthought completed to fulfill some editorial demand. One of my favorite features is her “Eat with” label throughout the book. Most of the recipes in the book have this label included with suggestions for pairing additional recipes to make a full meal. I find this to be an invaluable resource. Choosing sides is often a chore and I so appreciate her having done that work for me. We followed her pairing suggestions numerous times and loved each and every one of them.
Having loved this all so much, I’m going to have to go back and take a closer look at her first book Dining In. I checked it out from the library once and didn’t make much, but now I wonder if I overlooked brilliance there.
Read on below for photos and mini reviews of the recipes I made last month, and a full listing of those I still can’t wait to try!