Archive | Bookshelf

Root to Stalk Cooking

Root-to-Stalk-243x300Root to Stalk Cooking: The Art of Using the Whole Vegetable
by Tara Duggan (Ten Speed Press, 2013)

Produce from the farmers’ market, a CSA, or your garden is usually so much more lush and bountiful than what you find at big supermarkets. Freshly cut or dug with full, robust greens, firm stalks, and long, curled roots, the vegetables still smell of the soil that nurtured them. You can almost feel the warm sunshine on the leaves. These full-bodied fruits and vegetables are so beautiful, you don’t want to waste anything. But sadly, I often do. Without inspiration or instruction, I sometimes find myself at a loss for creative ways to use the lovely and nutrient-rich parts that most often are discarded: feathery carrot greens or fennel tops, for instance, or those robust peppery leaves of the radish.

So I’m delighted for all the inspiration in the new book, Root to Stalk Cooking: The Art of Using the Whole Vegetable, from San Francisco Chronicle food writer Tara Duggan, who provides 65 recipes. Readers will enjoy close-up, appetizing photography by Clay McLachlan and nearly 200 pages of tips and guidance for transforming trimmings into tasty dishes and drinks like Apple Peel Bourbon, Beet Greens Strata, and Chard Stalk Hummus.… Read More

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South Italian Desserts

Southern Italian Desserts by Rosetta Costantino
(Ten Speed Press, 2013)

Review by Kristina Sepetys
If you like your olive oil baked into delicious sweets of the Italian variety, grab a copy of the beautiful new cookbook, Southern Italian Desserts, by Rosetta Costantino. The 76 recipes from Costantino’s homeland in the very southern region of Italy include confections like Pitta ‘Mpigliata (pastry rosettes filled with walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon), Calzoncelli Con i Ceci (fried half-moon pastries filled with a chickpea-chocolate filling), Fichi Secchi al Cioccolato (chocolate-dipped dried figs filled with almonds and candied orange peel), and La Deliziosa (sandwich cookies filled with hazelnut cream). Besides olive oil, the recipes call for ingredients easily available to us in superlative form in Northern California: figs, honey, pistachios, almonds, cherries, persimmons, and citrus. Note that the simple and in some cases minimal, ingredients belie the complexity in both taste and preparation for many of these desserts.

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Put ’em Up!

Put ‘em Up! (Storey Publishing, 2010) and
Put ‘em Up! Fruit (Storey Publishing, 2013)
By Sherri Brooks Vinton

Farmers and home gardeners are currently resting their hoes for a moment as they come up with strategies for putting up all the delicious late-season fruits and vegetables to hold on to those summer delights as long as possible. Author Sherri Brooks Vinton offers some excellent tips for drying, freezing, canning, and pickling in her two well-organized and information-packed books, Put ‘Em Up! and Put ‘Em Up! Fruit. You’ll find dozens of recipes for dried and frozen fruits, chutneys, gastriques, infusions, jams, pickles, salsas, vinegars, and delicious combinations like Blueberry Ketchup, Pear and Honey Preserves, Peach Melba Compote, Grapefruit Sections in Lavender Syrup, and Dried Orange Zest

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The Art of Fermentation

The Art of Fermentation:
An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts
and Processes from Around the World
by Sandor Ellix Katz (Chelsea Green, 2012)

In his latest publishing effort, Katz outdoes the huge scope of his previous book by bringing us nearly 500 pages covering the history, concepts, and processes related to fermentation. You’ll find more narrative than recipes, but this is possibly the most comprehensive, highly readable book on the subject available.

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Preserving Wild Foods

Preserving Wild Foods:
A Modern Forager’s Recipes for Curing,
Canning, Smoking, and Pickling
by Matthew Weingarten and Raquel Pelzel
(Storey Publishing, 2012)

Matthew Weingarten and Raquel Pelzel’s captivating book is focused on preserving wild ingredients foraged from the sea, fields, forests, fresh water, and even urban landscapes, so it covers more than just fermentation techniques. Inspired by his love of the natural world and walks through the woods, chef-author Weingarten shares more than 60 recipes. Ferments include things like Pickled Fiddlehead Ferns, Pickled Garlic Scapes, and Lactic-Fermented Mixed Pickles. The interest in lesser-known and -used plants like Irish moss and stinging nettle, combined with evocative photographs, storytelling, history, lore, and descriptions of centuries-old preservation techniques make the book a transporting and delightful read. chamois

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Mastering Fermentation

Mastering Fermentation:
Recipes for Making and Cooking with Fermented Foods
by Mary Karlin (Ten Speed Press, 2013)

This beautifully photographed guide offers more than 70 recipes covering a wide variety of lacto-fermented foods. You’ll be enticed by such concoctions as Plum-Raisin Mustard, Wild and Creamy Muenster Cheese, Worcestershire Sauce, Pickled Sardines with Fennel, and Ginger Mint Shrub. Author Mary Karlin, a Bay Area resident, presents straightforward recipes that home cooks can easily master to create delicious fermented condiments, beverages, breads, cheeses, fruits, and vegetables.

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Wild Fermentation

Wild Fermentation:
The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods
by Sandor Ellix Katz (Chelsea Green, 2003)

When “fermentation revivalist” Sandor Katz’s Wild Fermentationwas published in 2003, it was described as “the only comprehensive recipe book of fermented and live-culture cuisine” on the market. While no longer alone on the shelf, this book, with its easy-to-follow instructions, accessible style, engaging stories, and historical anecdotes, shows its staying power. It’s a must-have for anyone interested in home fermentation.


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Quinoa Revolution

Quinoa-RevolutionQuinoa Revolution: Over 150 Healthy, Great-Tasting Recipes Under 500 Calories
by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming
(Pintail, 2012).

Quinoa is a complete protein, gluten-free, mineral-rich, cholesterol-free, and rich in antioxidants. Following bestselling Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood, this new volume offers over 150 recipes, from breakfast to dessert, well-illustrated with extensive photographs. And as a bonus, all under 500 calories per serving! Recipes are straightforward and pretty foolproof to prepare.



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City Goats

City-GoatsCity Goats: the Goat Justice League’s Guide to Backyard Goat Keeping
by Jennie Palches Grant,  founder of the Goat Justice League.
(Skipstone, 2012)

A primer chock full of guidance, resources, photos, (and recipes) to tell you everything you need to know about keeping urban dairy goats.



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