Our local farmer's market just opened last week, and I'm dying to get down there. I also have a CSA share in a small farm here in town where I get fresh eggs from "my own" chicken, and will be able to get some fresh lamb (yum!) later this fall. There are three other wonderful farm markets with 10 miles of my house - a perfect spring/summer/autumn drive (especially if one has a good audio book in the player) away. We don't grow a lot on our own - we have too many trees therefore yielding too little sunshine. I do love to browse through cookbooks like this one though...they give me a better idea of what to look for when I'm strolling through the markets. So here's what I got from Net Galley:
Cooking from the Farmers' Market (Williams-Sonoma) by Jodi Liano
Other authors: Tasha De Serio, Jennifer Maiser
Publisher: Weldon Owen (2010), Hardcover, 272 pages
Liano makes it all sound irresistible:
"Do you look forward to the first tender asparagus of spring? Long for summer's juicy peaches? Dream of ways to prepare sweet winter squashes? Enjoying a farmers' market meal is only three steps away: shop for what's fresh; cook with inspiration from these pages; and eat the delicious results. This lavishly photographed book, filled with more than 245 inspiring recipes, drives home the notion that when you choose the best-quality ingredients, little effort is needed in the kitchen to help them shine."There are almost 300 hundred pages of gorgeous photos, well thought out groupings of recipes, lists of what to look for each month of the year, and exciting new concepts in cooking/eating/combining local produce, meats, fish, and other agricultural products. There were several that jumped out at me to try out later when I can get the correct ingredients:
"Turnip, Apple and Potato soup" - a great one for the cooling days of autumn.
"Watermelon Radish with Avocado Vinagrette" - I'm not sure I'm going to find either of those ingredients locally grown in Maine, but I'm sure going looking for them. Avocados we get from California, but Watermelon Radish? It looks really gorgeous, and since I love radishes, I can't wait to find and try this one.
The "Celery, Parsley and Prosciutto" salad is such a simple idea, but I'd have never thought to combine those yummies together. A perfect dish for lunch with a cold tomato soup and some fresh bread?
And what farmer's market cookbook is complete without great eggplant recipes? There are three in here -
"Smoked roasted Ratatouille"
"Rolled eggplant with sausage and mozzarella" ( a sort of involtini)
"Soy Glazed Broiled Eggplant"
Incidentally, the book is arranged by individual food. Each section begins with a small piece about the fruit or vegetable for example, gives advice about what to look for when buying, the best time of the year to buy, how to handle and then gives at least three recipes to give a range of eating experiences. And did I mention the photography is gorgeous? The picture of the pan-seared scallops with sauteed oranges made me want to get in the car, head for the seafood market, and grab a variety of oranges at the produce stand. The picture had me wanting that, but in an e-format, I had to struggle with reading the recipe...
There are so many beautiful photos of figs, pomegranates, persimmons, rhubarb, chard, tarts, and other unusual combinations of fresh and baked goods. It certainly looks like one that will be worth checking out. I'm really curious to see this one in person, but if you have a Net Galley account, and an iPad, I'd love to hear if it works that way too.
Many thanks to Weldon Owen publisher for a chance to review this one.
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