It’s All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow

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Bite back the words, yes, it’s all easy if … you’re a multi-millionaire with a rock-star ex, and approach this book with open-minded, Zen-like calm. Although she’s been much derided for her use of ingredients costing the monthly salaries of several British nurses, Ms Paltrow, with her ‘cohort’ Thea Baumann, does have some interesting, even normal ideas (bacon, macaroni cheese and pizza all feature here) for the ‘super-busy home cook’. Well, super-busy in the Paltrow sense is probably not super-busy in the average mother sense, but even so you can extract some winners  from sections dealing with ‘Unexpected guests’, ‘Summer Nights’ or ‘Pick-me-ups’. Fish in parchment, polenta any number of ways (with mushrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes, prosciutto), a lot of zucchini and a fab-looking roast chicken, a twist on the recipe used at the Zuni Café in San Francisco. Pictures of Gwynnie abound, looking cheerful, looking soulfully uncoupled. Bearing in mind that the asparagus season is still in faint swing, you could try her Asparagus Mimosa and still live to pay the mortgage.

Asparagus Mimosa

Serves 4-6

  • For the dressing
  • 2 teasp Dijon mustard
  • 1 teasp grainy mustard
  • 2 tblsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 and a half tblsp finelyminced shallot
  • 3 tblsp olive oil

for the asparagus

  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • 3 tblsp olive oil
  • 2 hard boiled eggs (11 mins), whites and yolks separated

To make the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, the grainy mustard, vinegar, shallot and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

For the asparagus: heat a grill pan over a medium-high heat. Toss the asparagus with the olive oil, asalt and pepper, and grill until charred and tender , about 5mins. Meanwhile, cut the egg whites into very small dice and crumble the yolks with your fingers

To assemble: place the asparagus on individual plates or a large platter, drizzle over the mustard dressing and top with the chopped boiled egg. Season with salt and pepper

It’s All Easy is published by Sphere Books £20