Explore New Tastes from Near and Far

Kristina’s Bookshelf

The Berkeley Bowl Cookbook:
Recipes Inspired by the Extraordinary Produce of California’s Most Iconic Market

by Laura McLively with photos by Erin Scott
(Parallax Press, 2018)

Oakland resident and registered dietitian Laura McLively, an avid home cook, is also a devoted shopper at Berkeley Bowl, the green market known and revered in the East Bay and beyond. She chronicled her visits and discoveries at “the Bowl,” as it is known locally, in her popular blog My Berkeley Bowl, trying many of the hundreds of exotic fruits and vegetables she’d see at the market but didn’t know how to use. Now, she’s assembled many of her best recipes in her new cookbook to encourage readers to try cooking with things like the wiry haired fruits called rambutan; crunchy, spindly sea beans; African horned melon; and Indian bitter melon. Recipes are original, tasty, and easily prepared in a few steps. Try options like Matcha Mousse with Opal Basil Syrup; Banana Blossom with Glass Noodles and Crispy Garlic; Grilled Cheese with Mizuna, Dates, and Goat Brie; Green Garlic Soup with Lemon Cardamom Yogurt; and Sweet & Sour Tofu with Gooseberry. I quite liked Falafel Waffles with Armenian Cucumber Slaw. The slaw is made from cucumbers, carrots, onions, and parsley combined with red wine vinegar and olive oil, all set atop a warm waffle made from a mix of chickpeas, eggs, onions, and garlic. Besides being an inspiring cookbook, the book contains a chapter on the family that founded the 40-year-old market. 

Meet Laura McLively at the Bay Area Book Fest:
Creating a Better Way to Eat: Hippies, Hawkers and Starfruits
Jonathan Kauffman, Laura McLively, James Syhabout, moderated by John Birdsall
Sunday April 29, 3:455pm
Magnes Museum
2121 Allston Way, Berkeley

Also at the Book Fest:
A Revolution in Food
Alice Waters and Jonathan Kauffman, interviewed by Tom Philpott
Sunday April 29, 11am12:15pm
San Francisco Chronicle Stage in Civic Center Park
Info: here

Japan: The Cookbook
By Nancy Singleton Hachisu
(Phaidon, 2018)

Nancy Singleton Hachisu, a native Californian and Stanford grad, lives with her husband, a Japanese farmer, in a traditional farmhouse in rural Japan. She’s a devoted home cook, studied and skilled at preparing the traditional and regional dishes of her adopted country. She’s published three critically acclaimed volumes on Japanese cooking, and her most recent, Japan: The Cookbook, is the latest installment in Phaidon’s terrific series on national cuisines. Japan features more than 400 recipes, equally as many pages, and dozens of photographs of finished dishes. Recipes for soups, noodles, rice, pickles, one-pots, sweets, and vegetables, organized by course, are easily managed by home cooks and include helpful notes alongside the recipes. Like Hachisu’s other books, there are sections describing Japanese food culture together with advice for preparation and ingredient sourcing. Recipes include dishes like Yuzu-Dressed Spinach; New Potatoes with Sour Plum and Orange; Miso Pickled Turnips; and Shiso-Perfumed Rice. Hachisu also shares recipes for making foundational ingredients like tofu and home-style ramen. Japan is an excellent overview of Japanese culture, a collection of excellent recipes, and a perfect reference book for anyone looking to learn about the cuisine.

Read more about Nancy Singleton Hachisu in our Summer 2013 story on Japanese farm food: here 

Meet Nancy Singleton Hachisu:
Saturday April 28, 3–4pm
Omnivore Books on Food
3885a Cesar Chavez St, San Francisco
Free. Info: here

Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with
our readers.