Sub_title: Sub_title: Fresh-from-the-Garden Recipes for Gatherings Large and Small
AUTHOR: The OAEC Collective with Olivia Rathbone
DESCRIPTION: A Review by a Lazy Cook
I do not use cookbooks. I have Joy of Cooking and the internet. I love Joy for its simplicity in delivering good taste. Many recipes are just too exotic for me, but these recipes have a simplicity even in their complexity. I will probably add this book at Christmas.
First of all I love the simplicity of maybe half the recipes. For examples, the Basic Winter Squash Puree is just that - the squash cooked, with directions on how to cook it and puree it in various styles. "The secret of this versatile dish is he garnish. Use a sauce or herb to tie together with the other flavor themes in your meal." The garnish can be just butter, maple syrup, some flavorful oils, or Basic Garden Herb Butter, which is butter, fresh herbs, a little lemon zest, and a garnish of neutral edible flowers. At OAEC they use 64 edible flowers (mostly described as spring flowers) in their cuisine, both as ingredients and condiments. A list of these is one of many useful sidebars.
A more complicated recipe, Spring Risotto: roasted asparagus and Nettle with Pea Tendrils, has a very do-able 18 ingredients aside from these main three (Meyer lemon could be a problem) - I could do this. A sidebar shows how to collect and process nettle leaves. There are of course many recipes calling for ingredients a bit exotic for this country boy, or where can I find garlic scapes this week?
Second, it draws me more into the garden. Many of the ingredients I can grow (or find) myself - maybe I should grow garlic this year. Their garden fare includes what we call weeds and many flowers. They also devote the first 80 pages to their garden approach and philosophy - this is valuable reading, folks, this is a garden that has demonstrated delicious sustainability for over 40 years! That is as good a track record as our research mini-farm! Read who makes the quotes below - this is a serious market garden frequently enjoyed by foodie greats.
"These dishes represent the sort of hearty, nourishing, unpretentious fare that brings family and friends together at the table: I love that the recipes are scaled so that you can feed 4 people - or 30, should you so choose! But more than just being a collection of delicious recipes, these pages capture a way of life for a whole community, whose values of ecological research, sustainable farming, and environmental advocacy are so vitally important." Alice Waters, from the Introduction"Vegetarians, rejoice! One of California's first certified organic gardens, known as the Mother Garden, now has a cookbook. And it's an impressive one, offering some 400 pages of veggie-centric dishes for every season. First, though, the reader gets a history lesson about the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center, as well as a lesson in biodiversity and eco-activism. Then come the recipes-from soups to sweets and everything in between. This beautifully photographed book practices what it preaches about biodiversity. Many of the recipes call for out-of-the-ordinary vegetables like borage, nettle, and cistocera (a type of seaweed). No worries if some of the ingredients are hard to find in your area; plenty of the recipes (such as garden-vegetable frittata and quinoa confetti salad) demonstrate simple techniques that work with many different vegetables. Vegetarians-and even omnivores who appreciate the diversity of veg-focused cuisine-will find much to love in this book from the Mother Garden." -- Booklist "The gardens and kitchen of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center are magical places which have been nourishing and inspiring visitors there (myself included) for decades. This compilation of recipes from their kitchen opens this magic to a broader audience of people looking to cultivate values like sustainability, seasonality, and wholesome goodness into their kitchens. This broad-ranging and skill-building book has lots of great ideas for using acorns, garden weeds, less common vegetables and fruits, and parts of garden plants at different stages of development, rather than just the usual vegetables."--Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation "The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center is one of the most successful and established permaculture sites in the world. This cookbook introduces readers to their work and their irresistible cuisine. Want to learn how to cook gorgeous, healthy, delicious food from your permaculture garden? This book is for you."--Eric Toensmeier, author of Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables WEIGHT: 3.1 lbs.