Review of THE SILVER PLATTER SIMPLE ELEGANCE BY Daniella Silver and Norene Gilletz

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Recently, I had the honor of sitting at my own kitchen table in New York City with Norene Gilletz and her friend Helene. As we were snacking on egg salad, Norene excitedly spoke about her second book that she had written with Daniella Silver. She said Daniella was so creative and talented and just intrinsically knew how to make everything pretty and sparkling- both food and décor. THE SILVER PLATTER SIMPLE ELEGANCE is certainly a testimony to what Norene said. The photography is gorgeous. Each recipe is beautifully show cased on the perfect china with the perfect color linens and background. In fact, it seems that the recipes are color coordinated with the dishes-something I enjoy doing myself.

Daniella says: ”Although I love to cook, I don’t like spending hours in the kitchen. We all have very busy lives but still want to prepare healthy, fresh meals for our family and friends. … For us, this book is really about encouragement. Knowing that you can do it-that you can quickly cook healthy meals that are elegant and delicious, no matter what events you have lined up on the calendar, or what guests or dietary needs you have at the table.”

Norene Gilletz, is a kosher culinary expert, food consultant, author, editor, lecturer and entrepreneur. She has written 12 cookbooks –some of which deal with special diets for specific health issues. Norene wants to be sure that even with some food restrictions, you can eat delicious and interesting meals. You can learn all about Norene on her website: Norene’s notes at the end of each recipe are invaluable. They are a mix of culinary information, nutritional expertise, a lifetime of experience and just plain common sense. For instance, at the end of the Green Bean & Corned Beef Salad recipe, Norene says: “Short on time? Buy a piece of pickled corned beef (or turkey breast) at your local deli and slice it as directed.” It sounds obvious; but often when reading a recipe we don’t figure out the shortcuts. Norene does.

As always, when I’m writing a book review, I choose at least two recipes to make. I made the Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup and the Dilled Rice with edamame and dried cranberries. I made them both at the same time.They were easy to make and delicious. The soup is rich and creamy without potatoes or cream; and the rice is full of color from the dill, edamame and cranberries. It looks beautiful and goes with any protein you’re serving. The directions are simple and clear and the ingredients were all in my pantry except for the cauliflower.

There is something for everybody in this cookbook and it is beautiful enough for someone to just enjoy skimming through the pictures. What a great gift for Chanukah this is. Buy two and treat yourself!