Sunday, July 11, 2010

Review: Eating Local

Summary: In the visually stunning yet practical cookbook Eating Local, author Janet Fletcher and the kitchen experts at Sur La Table not only show you how to use more fresh ingredients in your everyday cooking, they also bring you closer to the family farms where the ingredients are grown and to the idealistic people who grow them.With 150 recipes featuring a wide range of fresh ingredients, Eating Local also highlights 10 community supported agriculture projects around the country. These progressive farms provide inspiration for all who want to cook more wholesome meals using ingredients from their own foodshed. -- Andrew McMeel

I have been on such a cookbook kick lately. I've always enjoyed looking through cookbooks, but recently, I've started trying new recipes too! The latest cookbook that has really caught my eye is EATING LOCAL: THE COOKBOOK INSPIRED BY AMERICA'S FARMERS by Sur la Table and Janet Letcher. I can't decide if it's more like a coffee table book or a cookbook!

That's not entirely true -- it really is a wonderful cookbook. At first glance, EATING LOCAL looks almost like a coffee table book though. It's a big book that's rather heavy, and it is just plain gorgeous. As you can see the cover is beautiful, but I promise you that all of the 150+ photographs in this book are amazing. It features wonderful pictures of different types of produce that are just so bright and colorful. I have to warn you that this cookbook will make you want to visit your local farmer's market!

As lovely as the pictures are, EAT LOCAL also is filled with so many delicious recipes. I barely even know where to start. There are sections for Vegetables, Fruits and Poulty, Meat and Eggs, but that doesn't even begin to describe the depth of this book. There are also ten of America's best small farmers featured in this book. In addition, the book's mission is "to encourage you to celebrate the food grown in your community" so there is lots of information about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA.)

I received this cookbook at the perfect time. Just last week, I received a big bag of rhubarb that my grandfather grew in his garden -- it doesn't get any more fresh and local than that. While I love the rhubarb/strawberry jelly that my grandparents make, I had never cooked anything with rhubarb. (Plus, I knew I could get jars of jelly from them so why bother to make that recipe.) So I decided to see what EAT LOCAL had to offer as far as rhubarb recipes go. I turned to the index of EAT LOCAL and found a few recipes, but the one that really appealed to me was for Peach and Rhubarb Crisp.

This recipe was extremely easy and one of the best desserts that I have ever made. I had only tasted rhubarb with strawberries or cherries before, but I think the peaches were the perfect complement to the rhubarb's tartness. And, the brown sugar and oatmeal crumb topping was to die for! I will definitely be making this recipe again and again.

I even remembered to take a picture (although it's not a good one) of the finished product. I don't know if you can tell, but the crisp turned out perfectly beautiful!

My favorite part of the cookbook was the section on Fruits because the desserts all sounded amazing, but the other sections had a lot of good recipes as well. Believe me, there is no lack of recipes that I want to try out this summer on my family. After reading this cookbook, I've also been encouraged to head to our local farmer's market to get the freshest produce possible!

EAT LOCAL is really a very special cookbook and one that I highly recommend. I can't imagine anyone who loves to eat fresh not being extremely impressed with this book!

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this cookbook.

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Beth F said...

Wow -- I just love that kind of cookbook. Yes, I want recipes that I will really try (and that crumble looks amazing), but I also like cookbooks with features -- in this case the farmers and CSA information. I'll definitely look for this one.

I have cooked rhubarb many times, but never with peaches. That does sound like it would be fantastic.

bermudaonion said...

I love to buy produce from our local organic farmer. This cookbook sounds fabulous - I think all cookbooks should be visually appealing.

Sandy Nawrot said...

This is one thing that I'm lacking in Orlando. When I come to Indiana, vegetables are spilling over everywhere. Almost more than you can eat. The sweet corn! My kids refuse to eat Florida corn. Anyway, that cookbook is gorgeous. I would want to display it.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

You must have a gazillion cookbooks! I really love rhubarb in combination with other fruits in pies and crisps, but it's hard to find out in the desert!

Kristen said...

I love cookbooks and ones with big glossy, gorgeous pictures are the best. I haven't made it to the local farmer's market yet but I definitely want to and it sounds like this is the cookbook to have around once I do.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Yum - that peach rhubard crisp looks delicious!

I've been enjoying cooking with local produce (an abundance each week with our CSA), and finding new recipes when I discover a mystery veggie in the crate.

I'll keep my eye out for EATING LOCAL - sounds like supplementary text and photos are as useful as the recipes.