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The Mini Minimalist: Simple Recipes for Satisfying Meals Hardcover – 15 Dec 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; Slp edition (15 Dec. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307985555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307985552
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 5.6 x 16.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 478,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 19 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Mini is right 29 Dec. 2012
By ElmoTheCat - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had no idea this would be so little... and cute, as I ordered in haste without even reading the reviews or book details; I get just about anything by Mark Bittman. I miss his column in the NYTimes so much... Four little hardbound volumes: Vegetables, Meat, Fish & Poultry, Small Plates & Soups, and Pizza, Pasta & Grains, all in a sturdy slipcase. There are no photographs, but the recipes are typically Bittman easy-to-follow in a clean, well designed layout. Small easy to read typeface, well-spaced, but did I mention, small? Two-pages for each recipe, index in the back of each, pages for some notes, about 96 pages in each book. Recommend reading through first. Great for stashing in one's handbag for transit-reading while deciding what's for dinner on the way home.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Highlights Include Great Techniques; Lack Of Illustrations May Make This Difficult To Use For Beginners 22 Sept. 2013
By Robert I. Hedges - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I consider myself modestly skilled in the kitchen: I have been exposed to most techniques, but have a few that I use much more than others, giving me definite strengths and weaknesses. I appreciate Mark Bittman's approach to food and preparation, and was not disappointed in this set, though I believe that while some will love the approach seen here, others will be put out with the extremely minimalist style (to which I say that Bittman's title was all the warning you should have needed.) There are no illustrations in the four volumes; I didn't find that to be a problem but others who are trying a new method or are making a new kind of dish for the first time may find this difficult to deal with. So before you go any further, ask yourself if you can live without illustrations, bearing in mind the directions are all fairly simple and well written. If you think you can do without the pictures, I think this set is a great value.

The four volumes are logically broken down, though I didn't find them equally useful. I am good at salad prep, but otherwise generally weak with vegetables, so the volume "Vegetables" was of great help to me and has many great ideas. At the other end of the spectrum, I am very good cooking meat and fish, so I really appreciated some of the finer nuances in "Meat, Fish, & Poultry," and found that volume to be excellent. "Pizza, Pasta, & Gratins" is a very carb-intensive volume, and frankly I try not to eat too much of these foods (despite loving them all.) While some of the recipes look great, I have really not used this volume much. "Small Plates & Soups" was for me the most unappetizing of the four. Some of the preparations are interesting, but I personally didn't find any of the recipes especially captivating. This is of course a matter of taste, and others will adore many of the recipes I didn't, so I'm not discouraging anyone from using whatever works for them.

I like that most recipes are extremely simple and are well explained. For anyone with a modicum of experience in the kitchen these recipes should be easy to follow even without illustrations, though plating them attractively may prove difficult for some. I would have appreciated calorie counts for these recipes (a glaring omission especially in light of Bittman's "VB6" program.) For me the recipes themselves were hit or miss, but the hits were excellent finds. In all cases reading the preparation strategies and directions is very instructive and I recommend the set to cooks already modestly comfortable in their kitchens.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Inventive recipes 28 Nov. 2012
By catopuss - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great compendium. Intriguing small size, perfect for my small vacation home. Recipes are easy and inventive, and nice ingredient combinations.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great little collection 26 April 2013
By Mer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you pay attention to the word "minimalist" you wont' be disappointed. (These are very brief tastes of Bittman's massive cookbooks.) Would be a nice gift to someone who doesn't have time to search the larger versions of his collections.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Simple foods 5 Feb. 2013
By Samatha - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Recipes are for very simple foods, hence the "minimalist", guess I was expecting tastier fare with easy prep. This would be good for someone who wants or needs basic cooking skills.
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