There's nothing more frustrating than a recipe that claims to be "easy," but ends up requiring tons of prep and hard-to-find ingredients. So when Simple: The Easiest Cookbook in the World ($14, amazon.com), by Jean-Francois Mallet, came across our desks, we were skeptical that it would live up to its name. Happily, we discovered, it does: All of Mallet's dishes take no more than four steps, and use six ingredients or fewer. In other words, they make it a lot easier to after a long day at work.
Here, we picked our favorite healthy recipes from the cookbook (each with just four ingredients), including a hearty fall soup and a dessert rich in antioxidants.
Cream of Winter Squash With Hazelnuts
20 hazelnuts1 3/4 lbs winter squash7 oz. light cream1/4 cup hazelnut oil, plus extra for drizzling
1. Crush the hazelnuts.
2. Peel the winter squash and cut it into large cubes. Place in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Boil for 35 minutes.
3. Add the cream and hazelnut oil. Return to a boil. Remove from the heat and blend with a hand blender. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with hazelnuts and a drizzle of hazelnut oil.
RELATED: 7 Yummy Squash Recipes
4 large tomatoes1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil8 eggs2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Cut the tomatoes in half, core, and seed them. Place in baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 5 minutes.
2. Break 1 egg into each tomato half. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes more. Add a dash of balsamic vinegar and serve.
RELATED: 4 New Ways to Enjoy Tomatoes
Salmon Tartare With Asparagus
8 green asparagus1 lb boneless, skinless salmon fillet (sushi-grade)3 lemons1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Wash the asparagus and remove the tough woody ends. Dip them into boiling water for 1 minute. Remove, cool, and cut into small pieces.
2. Cut the salmon into small cubes and mix with the asparagus. Squeeze the lemons over and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. Enjoy with toast, if desired.
Cocoa and Blueberry Cream
2 1/4 cups heavy (whipping) cream2 Tbsp. dark cocoa powder2 tsp. confectioner’s sugar14 oz. blueberries
1. Pour the cream into a mixing bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour. Five minutes before serving, beat the cream until stiff peaks are formed. Add the cocoa and sugar. Beat for an additional minute to mix well.
2. Serve in ramekins with the blueberries.