The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School by Alison Cayne

The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School: Recipes and Inspiration to Build a Lifetime of Confidence in the Kitchen by Alison Cayne is not another run of the mill book devoted to the basics of preparing a meal. It is a cookery course designed to teach techniques and perfect skills in the hope that the reader develops their own style and instinct – all geared to to building confidence in the kitchen.

The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School contains nine chapters centered on a key lesson: in the eggs chapter, readers will learn about timing and temperature while poaching, frying, and scrambling; in the soups chapter, they will learn to layer flavors through recipes like Green Curry with Chicken. The rigorously tested recipes – including wholesome lunches, dinner-party showstoppers, and delectable desserts – will become part of readers’ daily repertoires. Beautiful photographs show both the finished dishes and the how-to techniques, with helpful illustrations offering further guidance.

The recipes here are far more than the fundamentals – learn to make dashi, ribollita, braised parsnips with white wine and vanilla, pakora, and mujaddara along with stocks, ratatouille, poached eggs and other basics. This book will appeal to both the novice and someone with a higher skill level. 

Special thanks to the publisher for sharing this Summer Panzanella recipe with our members today. Our contest page shares a giveaway for three copies of this book open to our US members. 


Summer Panzanella

Serves 6 to 8

1 small ciabatta loaf (about 6 cups cubed)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
1½ pounds ripe tomatoes, ideally a variety of heirlooms
1 small red onion
1 English cucumber
Grated zest and Juice of 1 lemon
½ bunch of basil, leaves torn
½ bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut or tear the ciabatta into 1-inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss the bread with the ¼ cup olive oil and a pinch of salt until coated. Let the oil soak into the bread for 3 minutes.

Place the bread pieces on the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

While the bread is toasting, prepare the tomatoes by cutting them into fork-sized wedges and tossing them in a large bowl with a few pinches of salt. Salting the tomatoes creates a liquid, which gets absorbed by the croutons, softening them a bit and giving them flavor.

Cut the red onion down the middle from pole to pole, peel, and then cut into thin slices. Soak in ice water until you are ready to toss and plate the salad; this helps maintain the crunch and tempers the pungency. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, cut off the ends and discard, then slice into 1/4-inch half circles.

Add the croutons to the bowl of tomatoes and toss gently to combine.

Drain the red onion and place in the bowl with the tomatoes. Add the cucumber and lemon juice, and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss gently with your hands.

Add the basil and parsley and toss gently again.

When ready to serve, season the salad with grated cheese and lemon zest. 

Excerpted from The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School by Alison Cayne (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Con Poulos.

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  • PennyG  on  July 26, 2017

    I would like to learn how to prepare raw artichokes for cooking! I never feel like I do it correctly.

  • abihamm  on  July 26, 2017

    I would like to learn how to make a perfect steak

  • Siegal  on  July 27, 2017

    I want to learn to laminate dough

  • kitchenclimbers  on  July 27, 2017

    baking bread

  • lgroom  on  July 27, 2017

    I can't quite do a perfect fried egg.

  • LaurenE  on  July 28, 2017

    Cooking fish perfectly

  • sgump  on  July 28, 2017

    What one cooking technique would I like to perfect? I guess it would be baking bread (in agreement with kitchenclimbers).

  • EmilyR  on  July 28, 2017

    Laminating dough – patience, butter, and incredible pastries.

  • elysek  on  July 29, 2017

    I'd like to learn how to properly poach an egg.

  • matag  on  July 30, 2017

    I would like to make hand pulled noodles

  • lhudson  on  July 31, 2017

    Butter lettuce with blue cheese, dried cherries, and candied walnuts

  • ebs  on  August 1, 2017

    Fish chowder

  • horselady57  on  August 2, 2017

    I would love to cook more healthily and use more vegetables. This cook this beautiful

  • HMSHoney24  on  August 3, 2017

    I want to learn how to cook perfect eggs in each form (fried, scrambled, poached, etc…) and unserstand his to layer flavors!

  • rusthawk  on  August 4, 2017

    I would love to expand my knowledge of sauces and gravies and pick up some new recipes.

  • christineleong  on  August 5, 2017

    I'd like to learn how to roast chicken perfectly.

  • RSW  on  August 6, 2017

    cooking a perfect steak.

  • Ordinaryblogger  on  August 7, 2017

    poaching an egg for me too! one of the things i have NOT mastered in the kitchen.

  • love2chow  on  August 9, 2017

    grilling and smoking

  • WSMcHarge  on  August 10, 2017

    I'd like to learn how to cook fish correctly!

  • BlackStang1011  on  August 10, 2017

    Honestly, even though my Mom tried to teach me how to cook, I wasn't interested in learning then and didn't pay attention. Now I have a steady girlfriend and would love to learn how to cook just about anything decent for her.

  • t.t  on  August 13, 2017

    either laminated dough or handmade pasta/ noodles

  • lpatterson412  on  August 19, 2017

    I have honestly never made an omelet, and well, I think it is time I tried!

  • orchidlady01  on  August 24, 2017

    I would like to learn how to make ribollita.

  • KarenDel  on  August 26, 2017

    I would like to perfect homemade vegetarian chili

  • AnnaZed  on  August 31, 2017

    I would like to learn how to make a perfect souffle.

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