I am really excited to be helping Anna Watson Carl with some recipe testing for her forthcoming cookbook, The Yellow Table Cookbook. For those of you who haven’t been following this inspiring girl, Anna lives in New York City and has worked over the years as a freelance food writer, cookbook editor, personal chef, recipe tester, and personal blogger at The Yellow Table. It has always been her dream to publish her own cookbook focused around her primary mission, which is to inspire others to share life together by gathering around the table.
Anna decided last Fall to make her dream a reality, embarking on the courageous journey of self-publishing her cookbook. She wrote about the process in a six-month long blog series entitled The Cookbook Diaries, launched a Kickstarter campaign (which was wildly successful!), and drove across the country throwing dinner parties with other bloggers to promote the book. So inspiring! Now that the campaign is over-funded, Anna is in the final stages of finishing her cookbook over the next few months… and I feel honored to be playing a small part in testing out a few of the recipes.
This is my first time serving as a recipe tester, and it has been quite the learning experience so far! While I usually am pretty lenient with amounts and specific ingredients, testing is truly a science. The purpose is to find out if the recipe is clear and if it works. You have to follow the ingredient selections, amounts, and time instructions, all while taking very thorough notes. It was good for me to try out cooking more meticulously. I definitely learned some things about flavors and timing that will serve me well in future cooking experiences. If you’re curious to know more about what recipe testing involves, Anna wrote a helpful guide that can be found here.
It seemed fitting to invite Anna’s sister, Maria, and her husband, Peter, over for dinner to try out two of the recipes that I’d been assigned to go through: Tomato Chickpea Curry with Kale and Spelt Pizza with Ricotta and Spicy Greens. (Peter and Maria have their own batch of recipes that they are testing for the cookbook as well!) We started the dinner with some homemade hummus, veggies, and pita chips as an appetizer. While not an official testing recipe, I wanted to briefly mention this because it was my first time making homemade hummus! I am still ironing out a recipe to share, but hope to have one together in the near future after a few more runs.
I must admit that I was a little apprehensive about making the Tomato Chickpea Curry dish since I do not often eat curry. However, I was blown away by the result! What a delicious medley of flavors in a single bowl. This hearty, intriguing vegetarian meal is one that I would definitely make again.
We definitely got in our leafy vegetables! The Spelt Pizza with Ricotta and Spicy Greens was unbelievably light and flavorful. It was such a treat to invest in fresh, quality ingredients for this meal — and it really paid off in the pizza especially. The swiss chard and fresh ricotta were from our local farmer’s market. I also really enjoyed trying out spelt flour for the first time with the pizza crust. Spelt flour is a whole grain, non-wheat flour (it does contain gluten) that is high in protein and nutty in flavor. I recently used it in the roux for some homemade mac ‘n’ cheese as well and it was great! I’m excited to have some spelt flour on hand now.
I am still dreaming about this pizza. Fresh ricotta, spicy greens, and pecorino to top it all off. What a lovely treat! Our fun little dinner party ended in a dessert of raspberry sorbet with fresh peach slices. It was the perfect opportunity to catch up with good friends and try out some delicious recipes.
Keep following Anna at The Yellow Table for more information on her fantastic cookbook, which is set to be released this Fall!