Look (again…) in Marcella Hazan’s Classic Italian Cookbook. The text looks like she has been sponsored by the garlic and parsley industry. No wonder. Chopped garlic and chopped parsley is good in almost anything.
Why do I mention this? Well, a check-through of the recipes on this site revealed that, most of the time, I seem to be using spinach, salmon, chickpeas, lemon juice and not very much else. Many of the very best recipes are too easy for words:
Oysters: an oyster knife, fresh lemon and a place to sit.
Asparagus: Boiling water, salt and butter
Or take this, for example: We bought a nice, fresh monkfish fillet the other day and then I was left with the task of improvising an appropriate curry sauce for it. One tablespoon of ground cumin, two tablespoons of ground coriander, a teaspoon of ground turmeric, a chopped onion, chopped garlic, coconut milk, palm sugar, salt and homemade sambal trassi – there’s the sauce.
Herb potatoes (my mom’s way): boil good potatoes and dress them with a totally ridiculous amount of freshly chopped garden herbs, mostly (but not exclusively) chives, olive oil and salt. No amount of poetic writing can make these recipes look as good on the page as they are in real life. The only thing I can recommend: keep reading, believe me and try.