Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cookbook Review: Cooking from the Garden

I don't buy many non-vegetarian cookbooks but I am reading through a galley copy of Cooking From the Garden: Best Recipes from Kitchen Gardener and I found a lot of recipes that would work for me. Because I'm in a year-round CSA and always have a kitchen full of vegetables, this book will be very helpful when I'm trying to figure out what to do with all those turnips.

Cooking from the Garden, edited by Ruth Lively, reminds me quite a bit of the early Moosewood cookbooks with drawings in lieu of photos. The book includes more than 200 recipes from Taunton's Kitchen Gardener from cookbook authors such as Deborah Madison, Rick Bayless, Jesse Cool, and Ken Haedrich along with informative sidebars discussing water bath canning basics and cooking with chiles. I appreciate that they include the calorie, fat, and sodium content for each recipe.

Some of the recipes don't have excessive amounts of veggies - the parsley gnocchi recipe uses only 1 cup of parsley and one scallion but this cookbook is a valuable resource for anyone in a CSA, with a large veggie garden, or who just loves vegetables. A lot of similar books are divided up into seasons but because I always end up having to search in two seasons for relevant recipes, I prefer the way this book is organized into chapters such as Sauces, Salsas, and Vinaigrettes, and Pasta, Grains, and Beans. Cooking from the Garden does include a listing of seasonal menus at the back of the book.

I tried a few recipes from the book. The first, Apple Chipotle Salsa, was a unique twist on salsa. If I make it again I'll use only one chipotle though instead of two.

I also made the Coleslaw with Ginger-Mustard Vinaigrette. I reduced a lot of the olive oil and I really liked the addition of fresh ginger.

For some reason I'm not able to access their web site right now but the coleslaw recipe and some others from the book are available at http://www.vegetablegardener.com . I have a list of other recipes from the book I'd like to try including the Chile Oil, Potato-Onion Focaccia, White Bean Salad with Rosemary-Balsamic Vinaigrette, Quick Fried Zucchini with Toasted Garlic and Lime, Potato and Chickpea Stew with Romesco Sauce, Zesty Pickled Garlic, and the Peach Crisp with Lavender.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Braised Fingerling Potatoes with Chives

This recipe is my adaptation of an Alice Waters recipe. The potatoes are thinly sliced and braised until they become so tender they practically melt in your mouth.

Serves 4

1 lb. fingerling potatoes, well scrubbed, peel on, sliced into 1/8" rounds
1 cup water
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 c. non-dairy margarine (such as Earth Balance)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Put potatoes, water and salt in a cast iron skillet. Cut a round of parchment paper to cover the potatoes. Brush one side of the parchment paper with some margarine. Dot the top of the potatoes with the rest of the margarine.

Arrange parchment paper on top of the potatoes and simmer over medium low heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with chives.

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