Cookbook Giveaway: The Homesteader’s Kitchen

by Sarah Henry on July 15, 2010 · 88 comments

in farmers' markets,food book giveaways,food books,growing greens

So many lovely-looking cookbooks seem to come from the little town of Big Sur, on California’s Central Coast. The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook and My Nepenthe spring immediately to mind.

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!

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{ 86 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth Wilcox July 19, 2010 at 9:11 am

I could use recipes using kale and Swiss chard.


Rhonda Struthers July 19, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I have never mastered the artichoke. I would like to learn how to prepare it


Su Rankin July 19, 2010 at 11:03 pm

I agree artichokes look lovely, but I have a very limited repertoire.


Ed Nemmers July 20, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I would like to know how to cook/use bok choy!


Janice Wright July 20, 2010 at 3:02 pm

I’ve never made anything with spinach that I liked. I wonder is it just the way I prepare it or do I just dislike spinach? I would like to try some of their recipes.


Amanda D. July 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I’d like to learn how to cook a rutabaga. I have never eaten one or seen one in person, so I have no idea if I’d like it. However, I’d have to know how to cook one in order to try it. :)


Kris Bordessa July 20, 2010 at 8:52 pm

I would like some alternative recipes for my upcoming harvest of avocados, but I don’t suppose there are recipes like that in there! Short of that, I’d like to know what to do with greens like kale and bok choy.
Kris Bordessa´s last [type] ..Monico’s Taqueria on Kauai


Lucy July 20, 2010 at 9:06 pm

When shopping in the produce section (unfortunately I don’t have my own garden yet), my desire is to eat “all the colors of the rainbow” but I always seem to stick to the veggies I know. One beautiful veggie I often admire, but usually don’t buy is the gorgeous sleek eggplant. I have tried cooking it maybe a couple times and haven’t tried again. I know how nutritious it is, but feel very intimidated by it.

SO, I’d love to learn the secret of the eggplant and incorporate it into our diet!


Kira August 7, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Ohh I put eggplant into many things – one way is to saute it along with the onion stage of your spaghetti sauce – it eventually just melts in and really bulks up a vegetarian sauce. Of course, dipping slices in egg and breadcrumbs; frying; then layering with mozzarella and tomato sauce gives you eggplant parmigiana!


Caroline July 20, 2010 at 9:23 pm

I’d love to learn how to incorporate more sea vegetables into my cooking.


luis July 20, 2010 at 10:04 pm



Tracy July 21, 2010 at 5:10 am

I would be interested in more recipes with fennel.


Em July 21, 2010 at 8:59 am

Well, I can’t really cook anything, but I would LOVE to know how to cook zucchini.
Em´s last [type] ..Yoplait GREEK!


kira August 7, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Zucchini? Grate a bunch, salt it in a colander, squeeeeeze the liquid out, mix with a few eggs and bread crumbs and you have the best zuke fritters ever (mix in a little onion and pepper) then fry up in safflower oil!


Louis July 21, 2010 at 10:13 am

I’d like to see recipes about parsnip.


Susan C July 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Eggplant-it’s so pretty!

Susan C´s last [type] ..Happy 4th of July Weekend!


Sarah Stern July 21, 2010 at 5:39 pm

I recently realized that I love cabbage after years of thinking I hated it, so I would like to learn how to do more with that!


Ana Luisa July 21, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Fennel…I love this root and I have no idea what to do with it aside from steaming.


Rachel S July 21, 2010 at 8:05 pm

I’d like to learn how to cook with eggplant, something lower calorie than eggplant parm.


Cynthya P July 21, 2010 at 8:30 pm

I’d like to know what to do with Swiss chard. It’s so easy to grow, but other than using it as a substitute for spinach I’m clueless.


Ellen Ring July 21, 2010 at 8:41 pm

My husband grew up eating parsnips & they baffle me. I’d love to have some good recipes using them.


Jennifer July 21, 2010 at 9:17 pm

I’d like to learn to do something tasty with eggplant.


Kathy S July 21, 2010 at 9:43 pm

I would like to know how to prepare plantains. I know that you can make fabulous desserts from them, but I don’t know much beyond that!


loni July 22, 2010 at 8:17 am

I would love to learn how to properly cook bok choy.


Stephanie - Wasabimon July 22, 2010 at 10:18 am

I’ve always wanted to learn how to cook figs. Not a general fig fan, but I think I could grow to love them.
Stephanie – Wasabimon´s last [type] ..Skimming the Surface- Making Decisions


Melanie July 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I’d love to get some squash recipes.


susan smoaks July 22, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I want to learn how to cook mango.


Beverly Metcalf July 22, 2010 at 6:32 pm

I planted a garden this year, with lots of different veggies, so I’m sure this book would be nice to have around. I could use some cabbage recipes, other then coleslaw. Thanks for having the giveaway!


Shannon July 22, 2010 at 8:18 pm

I’d like more artichoke recipes


Veronica Garrett July 22, 2010 at 8:34 pm

I would like to learn how to cook cauliflower.


Sand July 22, 2010 at 8:44 pm

I’d love to learn how to cook turnips.


Gianna July 22, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Jalapeno peppers.


Michelle Stephens July 24, 2010 at 11:12 am

I would love some new ideas for parsnips, turnips and beets!


Aimee July 27, 2010 at 10:17 am

Eggplant! I love it, but can’t seem to find a recipe that would tempt my family to try it :(


Beth Wolf July 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I’d like to get creative with cabbage. So good for ya but coleslaw gets old! Thanks and congrats to Robin on the culmination of lots of experimentation and work. Beth


Pamela Tomassetti March 23, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Fennel…I love it braised, roasted, sliced raw…but it has always been served to me. I have never tried to make it on my own! Any suggestions?


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