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  • Sara Foster's Casual Cooking
  • Written by Sara Foster and Carolynn Carreno
  • Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9780307339997
  • Our Price: $35.00
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Sara Foster's Casual Cooking

More Fresh Simple Recipes from Foster's Market

Written by Sara FosterAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Sara Foster and Carolynn CarrenoAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Carolynn Carreno

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Long gone are the days when only “a meat and two veg” qualified as a real meal; today, says Sara Foster, “salads are meals, sandwiches and quesadillas qualify as respectable grown-up dinners (or breakfasts or lunches, for that matter), and eggs can be eaten any time of day.” In this new cookbook, Sara acts as a mentor to the rest of us, sharing her passion for practical, comfortable cooking at home with more than 100 recipes for everyday meals.

As the owner of two of the mid-Atlantic’s busiest gourmet markets, Sara shares her professional knowledge about ingredients and techniques, incorporating the changing trends in cooking, health, and entertaining. Formal is out; instead we want relaxed, versatile recipes that are full of flavor but don’t require precision cooking or fussy techniques. We want to approach cooking with a sense of comfort and ease, and Sara Foster’s Casual Cooking teaches us how: it is relaxed yet refined homey yet sophisticated, showcasing the kind of meals we all want to eat—and will actually cook, day in, day out.

In Sara Foster’s Casual Cooking, Sara will help you navigate both the kitchen and the market with greater ease, resulting in satisfying meals that won’t take all day to make. The recipes include the most popular dishes at Foster’s Market and her own personal favorites, and all feature the updated Southern flair that has made her one of the South’s best-known cooks.

From easy party platters to assemble for impromptu guests to ingenious ways of turning a bag of spinach, a package of sausages, or a ball of pizza dough into a fresh and fabulous dinner, here finally is a cookbook that reflects the way we really eat today.


barbecued chicken and chickpea quesadillas
Serves 4 to 6

The barbecued chicken pizza Wolfgang Puck first served at Spago in Hollywood inspired this quesadilla, which we serve as a special at the Market. The combination seems kind of strange to people at first, but once they try it, they love it.

• 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
• 1/2 cup bottled barbecue sauce
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (about 2 cups), drained but not rinsed, 2 tablespoons liquid reserved
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
• 8 7-inch flour tortillas
• 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
• 2 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, shredded (about ½ cup)
• 2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about ½ cup)
• Olive oil for oiling the grill pan

To Prepare the Quesadillas

Preheat the oven to 200°F.

Combine the chicken and barbecue sauce in a medium bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss gently to coat.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the chickpeas and the reserved liquid, garlic, and scallions and mash the ingredients together with a potato masher, leaving the mixture slightly chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir to combine.

To assemble the quesadillas, lay the tortillas on a flat work surface and spread the chickpea mixture over half of each tortilla, dividing it evenly. Top with the chicken and sprinkle each with a few cilantro leaves and the cheeses. Fold the tortillas in half to form half-moons.

Lightly grease a grill pan or cast-iron skillet with olive oil and heat it over medium-high heat until it’s hot. Place two of the quesadillas in the skillet to grill for about 2 minutes per side, turning once, until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are golden brown. Transfer the quesadillas to a baking sheet and place them in the oven to keep them warm. Repeat the process with the remaining quesadillas, adding more oil to the pan if it’s dry. Cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve warm.
Sara Foster|Carolynn Carreno

About Sara Foster

Sara Foster - Sara Foster's Casual Cooking

Photo © Peter Frank Edwards

Sara Foster is the founder and owner of Foster’s Market, the cheerful, country-style market/cafés in Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Author of The Foster’s Market Cookbook and a contributing food editor for Cottage Living magazine, Sara previously worked as a chef for Martha Stewart’s catering company. Sara and her husband, Peter Sellers, live on a farm outside of Durham.

Carolynn Carreño writes for Saveur and the Los Angeles Times and has coauthored several cookbooks, including Once Upon a Tart and 100 Ways to Be Pasta.

About Carolynn Carreno

Carolynn Carreno - Sara Foster's Casual Cooking
Carolynn Carreño is a James Beard Award–winning journalist and the coauthor of several cookbooks, including Eat Me (with Kenny Shopsin), A Twist of the Wrist (with Nancy Silverton), Fresh Every Day and Sara Foster’s Casual Cooking (with Sara Foster), 100 Ways to Be Pasta (with Wanda and Giovanna Tornabene), and Once Upon a Tart (with Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau). She lives in Los Angeles and New York.

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