Naomi Nachman's Encore- A Review of Perfect Flavors
I first met Naomi Nachman almost three years ago, when Kosher.com was just a couple of Word documents with concepts and outlines and ideas, as we dreamed big dreams of what it could be. Michal Frischman from Mishpacha said to me, “Leah, there’s someone you have to meet. Let’s go have lunch with Naomi Nachman.”
The three of us enjoyed a delicious dairy lunch at Pescada while discussing our plans for the site and Naomi’s reactions to our ideas about Kosher.com and her suggestions as we brainstormed together.
I quickly learned to appreciate Naomi’s amazing talents as a foodie and as a person. I think of her as the ultimate “foodie shadchan”- she recognizes people’s strengths and talents and connects them with each other, always making the perfect match. When she suggests we meet or work with someone, I always take her seriously.
The first time we worked together on a video shoot for her Kosher.com show, Sunny Side Up, I walked away with both delicious leftovers and some cooking tips that have served me well to this day (like the combination of Middle Eastern spices in Naomi’s chili recipe, which make the most unbelievable smell while they cook!)
I loved Naomi’s first cookbook, Perfect for Pesach, and I was even more thrilled when she announced the arrival of her second one for all-year-round recipes.
Naomi's second cookbook is in stores now. Perfect Flavors: Creative, easy-to-prepare recipes
inspired by my family and travels. Artscroll Mesorah. Photography by Miriam Pascal.
Sometimes I’ve found that a cookbook author's second cookbook is just not as good as the first- when an author packs years’ worth of their best ideas into a first cookbook and then comes out with a second one in less time, it just doesn’t have the same oomph.
However, I am pleased to inform you that this is not at all the case with Perfect Flavors. I was blown away by the creativity, variety, originality of every single recipe in this book. This is really Naomi’s masterpiece and reflects just as much work as the first, if not more.
Every section of the book was full of quality, do-able recipes that anyone could make- no section was treated like an afterthought. Vegetarian sides, dairy dinners, elegant meats, plenty of chicken, a variety of really good-looking desserts. Miriam Pascal’s beautiful photography makes every dish shine and makes the cookbook a pleasure to flip through.
My own cooking style is to keep things simple and healthy and to add flavor through combinations of spices (rather than sugary sauces). Plus, I don’t have time or patience for multi-step recipes that dirty half the dishes in your cabinet. Naomi gets it, she knows that we want all the flavor without any unnecessary extra steps of work, and her recipes reflect that simplicity and straightforward approach to cooking.
In short, this cookbook is right up my alley as a busy person who values eating healthy. I found myself wishing this cookbook had been around when I first got married. I would definitely buy this as a wedding gift for any kallah!
The first two recipes I tried were the lentil soup and the balsamic potato side dish. Both were huge hits- I loved them and my family did too; even my two-year-old ate a whole bowl of the soup, to my immense surprise! (It helped that he had learned about lentil soup from the parsha.) The soup was easy to make and packed with fresh flavor and a mix of veggies and was done in time for dinner. The potatoes took longer to finish, but I would definitely make it again as a delicious Shabbos side dish if I was having company.
I also really love the Green Shakshuka and the Crockpot Onion and Flanken Soup- I’m always on the lookout for new crockpot recipes so I was really excited to see that. And who doesn’t need an easy salad like the Chickpea and Avocado Salad to add to their 15-minutes-before Shabbat repertoire! And the power bowls and other hearty salads that make great, packable lunches- sign me up.
Naomi’s Lotus Butter Cookie Bars became one of our most popular recipes on Kosher.com, and people have stopped her in airports around the world to tell her they tried her recipe and loved it. That recipe is included in the cookbook, and you can watch her make it on video here!
Who is this cookbook for? If you lead a busy life but still want to make quick, wholesome recipes with a creative flair, you’ve found the cookbook you need. If you love incorporating different cuisines but don’t love looking for exotic ingredients your local grocery doesn’t have, this is the cookbook for you. Naomi is a world traveler and you can see it reflected in her recipes, which I loved.
Many people, myself included, try to avoid margarine in our baking, and I was especially thrilled to see Naomi had a babka recipe without margarine! I’d buy this cookbook for that alone!
Click here to see some sample recipes from the cookbook:
Click here to buy the Perfect Flavors cookbook for yourself or for your family and friends! I hope you’ll enjoy it!