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Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  1,924 ratings  ·  134 reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • It’s not entertaining. It’s having people over. The social media star, New York Times columnist, and author of Dining In helps you nail dinner with unfussy food, unstuffy vibes, and the permission to be imperfect.
NAMED ONE OF FALL’S BEST COOKBOOKS BY The New York Times Vogue • Food & Wine • Eater • Food52Bon AppétitEpicuriousChowh
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by Clarkson Potter (first published October 1st 2019)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  1,924 ratings  ·  134 reviews

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Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a joy to read and I love cooking Romans recipes. It also feels almost radical for a young women born after 1975 to just write about good food that you will enjoy making and enjoy serving instead of trying to convince me that a toasted slice of sweet potato is just as satisfying as a slice of sourdough bread.
Rachel Dowd
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I guess I'm someone who reads cookbooks cover to cover for fun now?
Jan 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
A few of these recipes were good, but I have a serious issue with the title of this book. Nothing fancy? These recipes are anything but not fancy and unfussy. I've been cooking all my life. I can make macarons without breaking a sweat. But these recipes reek with pretentiousness. Roasting peaches in hibiscus blossoms? That's fancy. And literally, anchovies everywhere. Not for me.
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Looks like Millennials get their own cookbook with this collection focused on reducing anxiety about growing up and throwing a party. There are some decent recipes in here, but they’re not easy. I consider myself a good cook, but not an expert, and this book is not for the 27-year-old refugee of the recession having a dinner party for the first time. Then again, there’s enough hand holding combined with elitist fetishizing of special ingredients to do any good Millennial proud. My observation is ...more
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
Spoiler alert: These recipes are a little too fancy! Am I buying hibiscus flowers to roast with peaches? Not a chance. But I do like Alison Roman's style, which is charming and funny (e.g, You can use Greek yogurt here, but don't blame me if you wish you had used sour cream). Most of the recipes I made were good but slightly off--usually too much or too little of a particular ingredient (salt, butter, lemon, etc.). In case it's useful for anyone:

--Marinated Artichokes: good, but using full slice
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Make the labneh dip right now!

All of the recipes are delicious and totally doable for home cooks with basic cooking skills. I think her stories and descriptions are charming and fun. I want to make these recipes all the time and also be friends with her. This would make a good gift for a new college graduate or a young newly married couple. I'm going to use it as the selection for my Cookbook Club in October.
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
I'm switching my review to 3 stars and this is wildly generous of me. The pretentious attitude warrants literally 2 but there are some genuinely good sides recipes which is its only saving grace.

Anywayyyyyys. This is the type of food writer I want to punch. How is it possible to make simple food sound so ungodly elitist?? The world may never know
These recipes were perfectly fine. It’s simply that nothing from them called to me as something I want to try.
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Especially loved the dips and appetizers in this book. Alison has a definite style, and favorite ingredients that show up throughout - lebna, tahini, chili oils - and I do love all of those things.
Una Tiers
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable read. Nothing struck me as spectacular as the coconut/kale/garbanzo bean stew (look for it on You Tube), but I will try a few of the recipes.
Alison is funny.
Jun 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Put on hold at the library before all the ~drama~ (and before COVID for that matter.)
Saved a few recipes that look good but I'm like not a hip foodie millennial (though I do like mashed up anchovies so idk.)
Caitlin Hawksley
May 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cookbooks
This is a cookbook for people who love: a good manicure, dairy products, tiny canned fish, branding, fancy food. This is not a cookbook for people who: are lactose intolerant, don't keep Costco-sized pallets of anchovies in the pantry, shudder at the thought of wearing white jeans while holding platters of roasted chicken swimming in pools of tomato-y juice (see cover), thought this book actually would be about unfussy food.

Style: Sorry/not sorry party-seeking, elitist, humble-brag food

Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up on a whim from the selection of books just inside the door of my library. The librarian leafed through and notes the recipes appeared at odds with the title. Does anyone else’s librarian read your books at checkout too?

I have to admit, on first glance the book is anything but Nothing Fancy. But, I rate cookbooks by how many recipes I copy to try later. I believe I would cook a good number of these. I think I have most items in my pantry, and I would estimate them to be reasonab
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.75? I do love Alison Roman's recipes and way of writing (especially all her lazy person tips - I love a cookbook that tells you when you don't actually have to peel something). There's a lot more shellfish/tinned fish stuff in here than I will probably make, but all the recipes I've tried so far have been excellent. Lots of hearty salads and solid ways to prep vegetables.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't usually read cookbooks on my Kindle, but this one I did. It is very readable and gave me wonderful ideas and inspiration. She cooks heavy on the garlic, lemony and crushed red pepper side. I love it!
Caitlin Flanagan
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read every darn word

Endlessly charming, hilarious and grounded. The photographs are enough to convince me to try tasting things I otherwise wouldn’t, and Alison’s voice gives me the confidence to try cooking them! I can’t wait to get cooking/drinking!!
Grace Lindsey
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can’t wait to cook my way through this cookbook this winter!
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: foodstuff
Lovely. Anchovies literally everywhere.
Nick Pengelley
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A truly wonderful gem! Best Christmas present!
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Alison Roman is funny and her food sounds amazing. Got this from the library but I want to own it!
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
Alison Roman can have my children, that is a fact. Clearly loved the book.
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
My kind of gal! Most recipes had ingredients I have in my pantry and reasonable prep times. I found the appetizers to be most interesting.

PS I love the 'chovys.
William Bitterman
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such an amazing book y’all. I’m learning to love anchovies, but we will get there. I made several of the recipes and none were disappointing.
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
I've been heading up BookBar's Cookbook Club for over a year now and in that time, I've not been doing many cookbook reviews here on the blog because I've been profiling them elsewhere. Time to rectify that!

Everyone is looking to cook at home more these days. Understandable considering we're all pretty much on lockdown. And while some items have been difficult to find at the store (everyone is baking right now, it seems!), most stuff is still readily available.

Which is where a collection of trus
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
Listen: I'm equally beguiled by both of Alison Roman's cookbooks (2017's Dining In and 2019's Nothing Fancy) and will shout my love for her Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread from the tallest of rooftops ( JUST DO IT).

That being said, these recipes - and Roman's signature style/unapologetic voice - aren't for everyone (word to the wise: anchovies, citrus, and vinegar are the lifeblood coursing through these cookbooks' veins). Even so, I felt ins
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Alison Roman is not for everyone, but she is definitely for me. And despite my husband's resistance to her millennial bossy meme-ness, he does agree that her recipes are generally v. delicious. Proceed only if you highly enjoy lemon in everything, buckets of olive oil, and the occasional anchovy. The sides and salads sections are particularly tempting, and thankfully the book has the perfect balance of photos to text (my cookbook pet peeve). Some of the recipes feel a tad repetitive in terms of ...more
Sarah Cetra
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
great cookbook with amazing recipes, but also incredibly readable, light, informative, and funny.
Jennifer Pretoria
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm excited to try out nearly every (vegetarian) recipe in this book, and laughed out loud more than once reading it. 10/10!
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I want to make ALL THE THINGS in this coobook!!
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-library
Great recipes, beautiful pictures. Even found some recipes I would like to try.
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ALISON ROMAN is the author of the bestselling cookbook Dining In, a bi-weekly columnist for the Cooking section of The New York Times and a monthly contributor at Bon Appétit Magazine. Creator of #thestew and #thecookies, her highly cookable recipes frequently achieve massive popularity in both home kitchens and on the internet. A native of Los Angeles, she lives in Brooklyn until she moves upstat ...more

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