Review: The Cookbooks of Sara Foster

Cover of "Fresh Every Day: More Great Rec...

Cover via Amazon

Sara Foster is the owner of Foster’s Market, a couple of local gourmet markets and casual eateries best known for their breakfasts and sandwiches. So I was already familiar with her style of cooking when I bought her two cookbooks, Fresh Every Day and Sara Foster’s Casual Cooking. Still, I did not expect that they would become the go to cookbooks in my kitchen.

Foster’s cooking style is very similar to my own. She favors simple, highly adaptable dishes that rely on fresh, seasonal ingredients for flavor. These cookbooks, with plenty of full-page color photographs, will make your mouth water. It’s become a routine in our house, whenever we have something particularly good for dinner, for my husband to ask, “Did the recipe come out of one of Sara Foster’s cookbooks?”

Fresh Every Day is a fairly straightforward cookbook of favorites from Foster’s Market, adapted for home cooking. I really appreciate the numerous tips, shortcuts and variations that Foster provides for her recipes. My favorite chapters are “Breakfast for Anytime,” “Simple Soups,” “Seasonal Salads and Salad Meals” and “Seasonal Sides”; I think the chapter titles say it all.

Favorite recipes: One-eyed Jacks; Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Avocado, Roasted Corn and Grape Tomatoes; Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese; Roasted Tomato, Corn and Potato Salad with Wilted Spinach; Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Carrot Soup; Wild Mushroom Soup with Sherry and Thyme; Grilled Buffalo Chicken Strips; Chicken Cacciatore; Lemon Icebox Pie with Gingersnap Crust

Sara Foster’s Casual Cooking focuses even more strongly on home cooking by providing not only recipes but also lots of ideas for day-to-day cooking, so that you can put together a great meal even when you’re tired or haven’t been shopping.  Most recipes include lots of ideas for variations as well as tips for putting together full menus. My favorite chapters were “Party Platters” for its snack as well as party ideas; “Sandwiches, Wraps and Rolls,” which is replete with great ideas; and “Anytime Eggs,” because I love eggs anytime.

Favorite recipes: Caramelized Onion Dip; Tomato-Mozzarella Cheese Toasts; Pan-Seared Tuna Tacos with Mango-Avocado Salsa; Grilled Bacon, Egg and Cheddar Sandwich; Rotini with Sausage, Cannellini Bean and Swiss Chard Ragu; Poached Chicken Breasts with Spring Vegetables and Horseradish; Classic Cucumber Salad; Green Rice; Mini Baked Potatoes

If you are looking for cookbooks that inspire you to get into the kitchen, both of these will do the job. Even after having made most of the recipes, I keep returning to them again and again.

Find recipes adapted from Sara Foster’s cookbooks on this blog.

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6 thoughts on “Review: The Cookbooks of Sara Foster

  1. pam 3 November 2009 at 4:05 pm

    She is fast becoming one of my favorites!

  2. […] Review: The Cookbooks of Sara Foster (simplycooking.wordpress.com) […]

  3. Chicken Recipe – Part 1 | The Chef! 4 November 2009 at 2:18 pm

    […] Review: The Cookbooks of Sara Foster (simplycooking.wordpress.com) […]

  4. Karen Tax 10 November 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Shannon,
    I have a friend who used to work at Fosters and said that one of Sarah’s ‘no, no’s’ was to add water to soup. She could always tell if water had been added to a soup. I had no idea!

    I appreciate the recommendations for her cookbooks – I’ll give them a try!
    –Karen

  5. Shannon 11 November 2009 at 8:30 am

    I don’t anything has elevated my cooking as much as making my own stock for soup. I hope you enjoy the cookbooks.

  6. […] minestrone,” which was inspired by, but didn’t exactly follow, a recipe found in Fresh Every Day. Now I have made a lot of minestrone, and I figure it’s essentially a hearty soup with a lot […]

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