Grilled Chicken with Gremolata was one of those dishes that had me wondering what I'd been thinking all those times I didn't know what to do with chicken breasts to make them more interesting. I'd made gremolata before, but never thought to use this bright and fresh tasting mixture of chopped herbs (I used parsley and mint), lemon zest and garlic, to top grilled chicken. It was quick and delicious.
The Stuffed Artichokes, on the other hand, were a little more labour intensive, though once the artichokes were prepped and cooked, came together rather quickly. This dish was actually more of a salad than what comes to mind when I think of a stuffed artichoke, with the boiled vegetable acting as a vessel for a zingy mixture of tomatoes, bread cubes, capers and herbs dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. I thought that the bold flavours of the topping overwhelmed the more subtle artichoke, but one of my daughters - whom I suspect has been watching too much MasterChef and Top Chef Canada of late - pointed out that I'd neglected to season them with salt. Guilty! They were still very good and we enjoyed them served at room temperature.
I'm glad I didn't give up on this book because every dish I've made from it has been a success and has had that Giada flair: flavourful, often quite elegant yet deceptively simple, and with at least a passing nod to her Italian heritage.
Next week I'm going to "veg out" with Nigel for IHCC, but I'll be revisiting Giada and this book soon.