Giada de Laurentiis has never been one of my favorite Food Network personalities. I find her perfect teeth, low-cut shirts and less than stellar knife work distracting. Yet I always seek out her cookbooks because I find them accessible and full of good ideas.
Her latest book, “Weeknights with Giada,” doesn’t disappoint. Although she still features several traditionally Italian dishes such as pizza, risotto and pasta, she really branches out here.
The salads, such as couscous with watermelon, watercress and feta cheese, sound scrumptious. For the meat eaters, the filet mignon with rosemary and mushroom gravy might hold some appeal. I’m intrigued by the ricotta cheese, lentil, and brown rice rolls, served wrapped in Swiss chard.
Overall, the recipe selection is impressive. “Weeknights with Giada” is one of the more vegetarian-friendly mainstream cookbooks I’ve seen in a while, and I think readers will find it particularly useful this summer, when gardens and farmers markets overflow with fresh ingredients.