The first thing I noticed as I skimmed through Mieke Peters’ Noon, was the beautiful photography. The bright beet soup on the cover with the artful arrangement of cucumber and radish slices, jammy hard boiled egg and dill leaves is visually pleasing and intriguing. I don’t necessarily want to eat beet soup (I like beets, but not really soup), and that was a clue that the recipes inside were not so much for me.
I have at times cooked professionally, including a few years at two different gourmet shops where I made fancy sandwiches and salads to go. This informed my view of the salad and sandwich sections. The sandwiches bothered me the most. Peters is putting together some interesting flavors, but most of her sandwiches struck me as wet. Wet sandwiches are messy to eat. The first sandwich she introduced was a turmeric apricot and ricotta on ciabatta bread. Lightly searing apricots in turmeric flecked honey and serving over ricotta cheese sounds delicious. But as a sandwich filling all I can think about is how it will squish out the sides. A lot of her sandwiches would work better snack style with the components separate and put together bite by bite (for some reason I call this a monk’s lunch, but I don’t think that’s a common term). In the salads, I felt like she relied a lot on burrata.
I think her best sections were the vegetable and pasta chapters. The pan seared gnocchi with asparagus, ramps and mustard looked delicious. That’s the kind of recipe that would make me want to put more effort into lunch.
I received this as an advance reader copy from Chronicle Books and NetGalley. My opinions are my own, freely and honestly given.