Some time ago, I received a copy of Lidia Cooks From The Heart Of Italy, but I never got around to trying any recipes from the book. What a mistake! I've always loved Lidia (in fact, I once waited in line to have her sign a cookbook) and her latest book is a reason all of its own to adore her.
My first test drive meal was Lidia's Chicken with Olives and Pine Nuts, which had appeared as an excerpt in House Beautiful (and reminded me to dust off the cookbook for a dinner party). This pan-cooked preparation is a really simple way to prepare chicken that is flavorful with a crisp skin and moist meat.
I served it with a beet and fennel salad from the A16 cookbook and a straightforward, but dressy enough for guests rice dish from Sheila Lukins's Ten cookbook. Dessert was cut-up strawberries and not-too-sweet strawberry ice cream.