I also followed her instructions for making meatballs with ground lamb and water-soaked breadcrumbs (to ensure extra juiciness), which I paired with fresh basil and yogurt puree and rounds of zucchini browned in the meat drippings. The result: a flavor-loaded meal-in-one dish made with only five main ingredients.
Other tricks I’m intrigued to try: boiling corn cobs for “the corniest creamed corn” to toss with rigatoni; employing tahini to make flourless, eggless oatmeal cookies; blending minced dill pickle and a splash of brine with mayo into a lightning-fast salad dressing.
“Minimalist cooking is all about healthy skepticism,” she writes. “Do I really need four different herbs as a garnish? Probably not. If I’m out of vegetable stock, will water do the job just as well? You bet.”
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.
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