Here’s a new one to add to the list: The Homesteader’s Kitchen: Recipes From Farm to Table by Robin Burnside with photographs from Kodiak Greenwood (Gibbs Smith, $19.99).
The book’s images highlight locally grown produce at its luscious best in more than 100 recipes designed to nourish body and soul. We’re talking simple recipes, made from scratch, with homegrown or farm fresh products as the focus.
Author Burnside’s premise for this book is her passion for whole foods, lovingly prepared and well presented. Who can argue with such a common sense approach? Burnside is a well-known local entity; for the past two decades she has been homesteading and practicing a sustainable lifestyle — including growing her own food and body surfing at the beaches in beautiful Big Sur. She’s also the former co-owner chef of Carmel Cafe in Carmel, ran Cafe Amphora at Nepenthe in Big Sur, and managed the kitchen at Esalen Institute, the wellness retreat center, for several years.
There’s a lot to like in this cookbook. Novices may appreciate basic recipes such as grilled whole fish, hummus, and oatmeal, along with simple stocks, sauces, and salad dressings.
But there’s enough here to whet the appetite of more experienced home cooks as well. I particularly like the sound of the Creamy Mango-Coconut Smoothie (with soaked cashews), and Kale and Sea Vegetable Salad with Sesame Citrus Dressing.
You’ll find several nods to Asian-influenced offerings, including Bali Toast (a breakfast treat similar to French toast), Gado-Gado (a traditional Indonesian peanut sauce), and Thai Cilantro Pesto. And dishes that just sound delicious, like Fresh Summer Fruit Tart with Honey Citrus Cream or Spinach, Fennel, and Tangerine Salad with Maple Pecans.
I like the handy tips sprinkled throughout the pages, such as “I always use the highest quality oils and vinegars for my salad dressings because they tend to have considerably more flavor than cheaper brands, and a little goes a long way.” And: “The wonderful flavor and texture of freshly made tortillas is well worth the extra effort, and once you try them, it might be tough going back to eating the commercially made varieties.” Agreed.
To win a copy of The Homesteader’s Kitchen leave a comment below telling me about one fruit or vegetable you’d like to learn how to cook.
Entries must be received by Thursday, July 22, PT by 10 pm.
Winner chosen at random.
I’ll announce the winner on Friday, July 23. Reminder: you’ll have exactly one week to claim your prize.
Thanks to Romney (Nani) Steele, author of My Nepenthe for the heads up on this book.
Update: Apologies, peeps, a day late getting to this giveaway, crazy busy week. Thanks to all of you for chiming in and making this my most popular giveaway to date. A copy of The Homesteader’s Kitchen, chosen at random, is going to Rachel Higgs. Stay tuned for a pending post responding to some of your recipe requests below. And do stop by next month for another great giveaway.
Updated update: Repeated attempts to reach Rachel Higgs were unsuccessful, so the book goes to Ellen Ring, chosen at random from among the comments. Ellen wrote back right away with her snail mail address and The Homesteader’s Kitchen is on its way to a new home. Enjoy!