I am all for substitutions, but they have to make sense. Swapping dried cranberries in a salad for pomegranate seeds? Yes. They both provide a sweet/tart flavor profile and pop of color. Only have skim milk and the recipe calls for heavy cream? Probably not going to work out so well. It’s not a bad idea to follow the recipe as-is the first time in order to understand the flavor profile and interplay of textures, then experiment with swapping out ingredients. That said, certain dietary restrictions can mean the substitution has to happen at the get-go, so just try and use good judgment. Finally, if you have all the ingredients to make a recipe, but are missing something like parsley, don’t let that deter you. Understand that it will lack a certain element that the chef/author deems a worthy addition, but it won’t make or break the dish.
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