Cookbooks: Honey by Angelo Prosperi-Porta

Want a sweet secret? There’s probably more to every aspect of honey than you imagine. As much as anything, author Angelo Prosperi-Porta writes, Honey (Touchwood) is “about the time-honored ancient relationship between humans and honeybees.”

There is no question that honey is a winner in the kitchen. As Prosperi-Porta writes:

Though honey is of course still a sugar, just in different form, it is the healthier option — a natural whole food, it is rich in minerals and vitamins. And you need less of it to achieve the same level of sweetness.”

Though Prosperi-Porta explores some of the environmental reasons to consider bees and honey, he is a chef and this is a cookbook and so his highest concern is delicious food. And there’s lots of that in Honey. In all 85 recipes, both sweet and savory, that showcase the delicate flavor of honey.

My favorite of the 85 recipes are simple twists on unexpected flavors. For example, Grilled Radicchio with Honey, Garlic and Pine Nuts produces truly beautiful and different side dish. I’ve been making it non-stop since Honey fell into my hands. Likewise, Grilled Fresh Peaches could not be more simple and there isn’t actually a lot of honey in the recipe, but there is no doubt that it changes this classic up considerably. And in an entirely good way. Fresh Fig and Brie Bruschetta takes a classic and hoists it to a whole new level. Honey and Lemon-Brined Roast Chicken Legs are ridiculously simple and yet distill something you thought you knew into a whole new experience. And so easy!

The book is beautiful, inspirational and the recipes I tried all work, just as expected. If you thought there were no new ideas for cooking with honey, think again… and get Prosperi-Porta’s book! ◊

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