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Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  20,333 Ratings  ·  194 Reviews

Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
is the essential Ina Garten cookbook, focusing on the techniques behind her elegant food and easy entertaining style, and offering nearly a hundred brand-new recipes that will become trusted favorites.

Ina Garten’ s bestselling cookbooks have con-sistently provided accessible, subtly sophisticated recipes ranging
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 28th 2008 by Clarkson Potter
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Mom's Island Bakens by Martha Char LoveMastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia ChildThe Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook  by Cheryl DayBarefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina GartenGluten Free Slow Cooker by F.L. Clover
All-Time Favorite Cookery Books
4th out of 90 books — 30 voters
The Turncoat by Donna ThorlandSoul to Take by Helen  BatemanGone Girl by Gillian FlynnThe Witch of Little Italy by Suzanne PalmieriAt the Corner of Wall and Sesame by Wendy Levitt
Mother's Day Books
42nd out of 144 books — 29 voters

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Community Reviews

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Aug 18, 2009 El rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
Unlike many of the Martha Stewart Living recipes I've tried, you don't get halfway through a Barefoot Contessa recipe only to find that you were supposed to soak the pears for your cake or whatever in some liquor for three months last fall (true story) or something equally as ridiculous. Who starts planning a recipe three months in advance???? (excluding famous chefs and Stepford wives, that is)
I love the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks because Ina Garten's recipes are fairly easy while still main
Nov 29, 2008 Darlene rated it it was amazing
First I will say I love cookbooks! Secondly, Ina Garten has been a favorite of mine for so long now I can't even remember when I first saw her. I watch her religiously on the Food Network channel whenever she's on. This may sound odd, but for me she has a comforting nature. When I watch her show I'm just relaxed and really enjoying watching her putting together her recipes in that easy way that she has.

This latest cookbook of hers is fabulous. First of all it's a beautiful book from the front c
Jan 14, 2015 A.M. rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm not much of a cookbook person.
But when I use a cookbook, I want it to be just that: a collection of recipes. I am not interested in the page-long descriptions of why cooking is so great, and how to buy ingredients, and anything else that the author feels like sharing. So the 9 introductory pages could have been summarized a lot more concisely.
On the plus side, the photographs are beautiful, although it makes me feel this book is more a coffee-table book than a cookbook.
The recipes all seem
Tina Wright
Mar 06, 2016 Tina Wright rated it it was amazing
Many of these recipes are now staples in my menu-planning. They are all delicious, albeit too fattening to eat every day!
Jun 13, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: food
I checked out a bunch of her cookbooks - and out of four of them I found maybe three recipes I would make. They all looked delicious, but just for various reasons I probably won't be making most of them. I sure enjoyed looking at all the pictures, though, and dreaming of eating her food. I also read most of the text in each book. One book (maybe this one?) had an essay about how she only has the essential pans - and not so many that she can't store them with their lids on. The photo showed some ...more
Feb 12, 2009 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, cookbooks
Okay, so I'm a huge Ina Garten fan and was excited to try out some of these recipes. A new Barefoot Contessa book always means taking out the battery of the smoke alarm near the kitchen because of all the smoke caused by roasting. I'm going to think of this one as the fennel and dill book because seriously, has she always used so much fresh fennel and dill? (I did not make any of the fennel or dill recipes but I am planting fennel this spring, so I'll have to revisit.)
We made (and my thoughts):
Aug 11, 2011 Rachel rated it it was amazing
I found a delicious potato salad recipe in this book - so yummy, in fact, that I have to find it again! I really like the style and the photos are gorgeous. The layout is very clean and enticing, and Ina Garten's writing voice is warm and friendly. I definitely want to add this to my permanent cookbook collection one day.
Jan 13, 2014 tatiana rated it really liked it
I've already tried a number of recipes in this book, but I'm starting from scratch (so to speak) so I can fully enjoy all of the wonderful tips, anecdotes and lovely photographs from cover to cover.
Nov 20, 2016 Lesa rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookiing
Good, but slightly involved.
S Vanorse
Nov 13, 2016 S Vanorse rated it it was amazing
Just made the Company Pot Roast, lot of steps, added extra vegetables, the flavors were excellent.
Nov 14, 2016 Seashell rated it really liked it
My family and I enjoyed making most of the recipes. Very delicious!
Aug 05, 2009 Gail marked it as to-read
Shelves: cooking
I have the monthly mag Cooking Light to thank for my new-found love of cooking. And chopping. And using fresh ingredients. What I love about the mag is how its introduced me to cooking that incorporates fresh ingredients that make for the BEST meals but that it's also fairly simple stuff. I mean, do I have ginger ALL the time in my fridge? No, but I can easily buy it fresh. As opposed to some chef's cookbook with like, dried eel.

Nora Ephron (Julie & Julia) recently dubbed this cookbook one o
Like most folks, I was introduced to Ms. Garten via her Barefoot Contessa teevee show on the Food Network. As I was collecting (and still do) French influenced cookbooks, I purchased Barefoot in Paris (along with the companion travel journey), and fell further in love with her. Ms. Garten's latest offers a collection of savory recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with the cocktail hour and sections on soups, vegetables and desserts. Each chapter is prefaced with tips like flavor ...more
Dec 09, 2008 Terri rated it really liked it
made the garlic bread this weekend and it was wonderful!! minor changes i would suggest: use 1/4 cup of olive oil instead of 1/2 cup, feel free to skip on the fresh oregano if not keen (you get enough flavour from parsley and garlic) and can prepare using a blender instead of food processor if you're like me and struggle with turing on your food processor (note: i also had to add a little olive oil in the blender for liquid)

i have a recipe for chicken stock that i've been following for years. be
Oct 25, 2009 Lori rated it it was amazing
I love this cookbook! Barefoot Back to Basics has the same great narration by Ina Garten and wonderful recipes that you will easily make over again for family and company. Back to basics is simply Ina's way of taking "ordinary ingredients and cooking them or pairing them in a way that unlocks their true flavors." A hint of lemon zest, a dash of cinnamon, a hint of basil etc.. Great appetizers include; roasted shrimp cocktail, parmesan and thyme crackers and the bookclub favorite of pomegranite ...more
Aug 13, 2016 Lindsey rated it liked it
I do appreciate the simplicity of the Barefoot Contessa books. This book seems designed to create company-worthy food with a minimum of fuss and muss, and provides great entertaining tips, from cocktails to appetizers to the table setting and flower arranging. Unlike some books which promise simple recipes and don't deliver, everything offered here is really feasible for just about anyone: you can spend the day cleaning your house and still pull off these menus. However, I find the taste doesn't ...more
Feb 15, 2010 Lucyzoe rated it it was amazing
Tonight I was watching an episode of Barefoot Contessa on FoodTv and I realized how much I enjoy learning from Ina Garten. She's a no-nonsense cook and a great teacher.

The episode included a recipe for chicken bouillabaisse with a rouille - a garlicky mayonnaise. I remembered I hadn't reviewed a few of her cookbooks and quickly scanned the index with the hope of finding the recipe for the bouillabaisse(pg.111). It's a great recipe with layers of flavor.

In another episode, celebrating a 40th ann
Jul 08, 2009 Jane rated it really liked it
Lots of wonderful wonderful recipes, ones that I've forgotten about. Serves as a great reminder.

Ina's included some of my favorite dishes:
Sweet potato fries -- I tried this both roasted and fried. Roasted is better.
Wild mushroom risotto -- I think of risotto as a side dish, but Ina places it as a main dinner dish which also works. Yummy!
Coq au vin -- I will always think of this as the purple chicken dish. Looks odd at first, but I promise it's very good. A braised dish.

I love the commentaries
Jan 04, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Quick, easy recipes that are easy to add to your "rotation". The title is perfect, because many of these recipes really are basic - roasted carrots & parsnips, pasta with just truffle butter, garlic bread with herbs... most require few ingredients & basic techniques. If you have access to great produce/meat/etc. and want them to shine in a dish, this is good book for you.

The photography is beautiful and the layout is simple and pretty. Since there is one recipe per full page & a ful
Jul 26, 2013 Melinda rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book because it contains so many of the recipes I'd printed out from watching her show plus so many more! I love Ina's recipes because she uses "regular" ingredients you already have in your kitchen to produce fantastic results. Also, love all the great baking, cooking, table setting tips throughout the book. Her style of cooking is a direct line to my palette so I have made many, many of her recipes like the Baked Shrimp Scampi, her Italian Wedding Soup, and the Raisin Pecan ...more
Mar 14, 2009 Gerry rated it liked it
there are definitely some winners here. i've made her coq au vin and loved it. parker's beef stew is, by far, the best beef stew that i have ever eaten in life (only to come into rivalry with jamie oliver's guinness stew). and there are certainly some things that i would like to try. my problem with this one is that so many of the recipes are standard, with just the use of better ingredients, which has kind of been ina's mantra all along anyhow. so i guess it just seems redundant. granted, every ...more
Jan 12, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Katie B., Kate L., Sharon
Shelves: cookbooks
I've made three recipes from this book in the last week and have found them all OUTSTANDING: Tuscan Lemon Chicken, Pasta with Pecorino & Pepper, and Orange-Pecan Wild Rice. I like Garten's non-nonsense approach to cooking, relying on fresh, basic ingredients. She has several wonderful lists in her book, including "Top 10 Things NOT to serve at a Dinner Party" and "10 no-cook things to serve for Dessert." Her recipes are well-written, and include "tips" to fill in the blanks (e.g. HOW to toas ...more
Oct 21, 2011 Redbaies rated it it was amazing
So once again my darling brother gave me this book.
But I know how to cook! Ah you may think so too, but this book is not the basic how to boil an egg as others have published...but a plethora of recipes many I did not know, but all of which or superbe...a must for all cooks!
I began to read and what a pleasure, her heart gones into these books and I always enjoy trying out a new recipe...
Even if you are a beginner cook - I would suggest her books over any other...the recipes are faultless and ev
Kathryn Bashaar
Apr 20, 2009 Kathryn Bashaar rated it it was amazing
I heard this was a really good cookbook, but it is expensive so I thought I would borrow it from the library first. Oh my! On almost every page Al and I were saying, "Oh, we have to try that," and "Oh, we have to try that, too," so I just ordered it. She offers nice tips, too, on planning menus, setting a nice table, arranging flowers, etc. And I like her philosophy of cooking with a few good ingredients, preferably seasonal (although not every recipe is simple and a few call for ingredients ...more
Sep 04, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-library
I made the grilled lemon chicken recipe and it was fantastic. There is also a grilled pork recipe I am definitely going to try. I also drooled over the fantastic photographs that made me want to cook all of it.

That said ... this is a cookbook for special occasion cooking. It has simple, delicious sounding recipes that are mostly easy to make. The problem is that much of their deliciousness includes casually adding two sticks of butter and a container of creme fresh. I will do so happily for a sp
Amy Carr
I have a fabulous sister-in-law who never fails to amaze me with her fantastic cooking and recipes. And the "Barefoot Contessa" is one of her favorites. So when I saw this book sitting all by itself at the library yesterday, I had to pick it up. And last night I sat in bed with a stack of post-it notes and marked every delicious recipe that I wanted to try. It is going to be a good day! Come on over....
Oct 15, 2009 Susan rated it it was amazing
I think I have over 200 cookbooks now and this one is in my top ten. You need to try the Parker's Beef Stew recipe and the Shrimp Scampi recipes for sure. Marinating the beef in red wine 24 hours prior to cooking is just one of the wonderful layers of flavor in the Beef Stew. The shrimp scampi is just so darn easy to make, it is great for company served with a homemade fettucini alfredo on the side. Not the most calorie friendly meal but worth every bite!
Jun 09, 2010 Vanessa rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who like to cook
I like Ina Garten's cookbooks, but I don't usually end up actually making many of the recipes. They are simple, with few ingredients and instructions that are clear and easy to follow, yet for some reason I can't usually picture myself adding them to my recipe "rotation." Maybe they are just too sophisticated for me; I don't know. Still, I would recommend her cookbooks. I'd describe her cooking style as fresh, simple, sophisticated, European, and focused on entertaining.
Jul 30, 2011 Judi rated it really liked it
Shelves: cook-books
This is an excellent cookbook. If you like basic dishes, that have been enhanced through different ways of cooking (baking instead of frying, etc) and lots of herbs and spices - then this is the book for you. I'm loving cooking my way through it and have made several wonderful dishes already. I guess I'm done "reading" it and working on "making lots of the dishes". As Julia says ... "Bon Apetite' "
Mar 18, 2009 Meg rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Honestly I didn't have the time right now to give this book a fair chance. However, I wasn't immediately drawn into it either. I like Ina Garten's style, but do find that many of her dishes are not easily adaptable to our gluten-freedom. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes her cooking show, and to anyone who is looking for how to prepare food simply, especially if you don't have dietary restrictions.
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Ina Rosenberg Garten is an American author, host of the Food Network program Barefoot Contessa, and former White House nuclear policy analyst. Known for designing recipes with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and time-saving tips, she has been noted by Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, and Patricia Wells for her cooking and home entertaining.

Garten had no formal training; she taught herself culinary
More about Ina Garten...

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