Cookbook suggestions for cooking with in season fruits and veggies
July 13, 2007 6:24 PM   Subscribe

What is a good cookbook for fresh cooking? I'm looking for a cookbook that takes in-season fruits and veggies and prepares them in a way where their natural flavors come through. I don't want anything heavy like fried foods or so drenched in sugar it will make my teeth hurt. Any ideas? I was looking at How to Pick a Peach by Russ Parsons but wanted to see if there is anything else better out there before I purchased it. Thanks :)
posted by GlowWyrm to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
My favorite cookbook period right now is Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson. Beautifully designed and really great recipes that make cooking exciting, especially for slobs like me who always think they want to cook, but don't.
Heidi runs a website called 101 Cookbooks that has a lot of her recipes archived if you want to get a taste and explanation of what she does.
Obviously I'm a fan!
posted by dchunks at 6:30 PM on July 13, 2007


I have and love this -
The Farmer's Market Cookbook by Richard Ruben - lots of great, flavorful recipes centered around seasonal bests.

I have that version (which it looks like is only available used on Amazon) but this looks like an updated version. Probably great, as well.
posted by raztaj at 6:30 PM on July 13, 2007


You might enjoy Deborah Madison's books. Check out her books on greens and farmer's market cooking, plus (my favorite) Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Her books are all treasure troves of delicious recipes, easy to follow cooking techniques, helpful tips, and great ideas.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 6:33 PM on July 13, 2007


Cuicina Fresca is exceptional.

There are so many, but this is one of the books I go back to again and again and make things I might not have thought of.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 6:36 PM on July 13, 2007


I second Deborah Madison. For the year round thing, try a year in a vegetarian kitchen. He does the year round thing well. Just avoid his hateful recipe for squash blossoms. Ruins the best crop of the year. But I have liked most everything else.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 6:41 PM on July 13, 2007


In this previous CSA thread, I recommended The Silver Spoon, as the basics of traditional Italian dishes often seek to feature in-season items.
posted by zachxman at 6:48 PM on July 13, 2007


thirding deborah madison. mark bittman's "how to cook everything" might be a good reference, too.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:03 PM on July 13, 2007


Thanks so much for the suggestions. I'll be sure to check out all of them.
posted by GlowWyrm at 7:24 PM on July 13, 2007


Nigel Slater's The Kitchen Diaries is part 'cooking what's in season' and part 'cooking what's in the cupboard'. Meaty, but lots of fruit/veg stuff too. (And his Observer columns are fantastic for seasonal recipes.)

Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is good, but I never look at it for seasonal inspiration. It's much more of an 'I got a basket of produce, now what can I do with it?' book.
posted by holgate at 7:25 PM on July 13, 2007


I love A Well-Seasoned Appetite: Recipes for Eating with The Seasons, The Senses, and The Soul by Molly O'Neill.

It has a broader range of dishes than you may want - she covers meats, etc. However, she does a great job of discussing the ingredients that are in season. It's one of the cookbooks I reach for consistently.
posted by 26.2 at 7:29 PM on July 13, 2007


Vegetables Every Day and Vegetable Love, because they both make it very easy for you to see something at the market, bring it home and then look up a recipe for it. It's a lot simpler and quicker than finding a recipe and then having to run around collecting ingredients for it. I really wanted to like Heidi Swanson's cookbook because I'm a fan of her site, but unless you have access to a Whole Foods or a really good organic grocery store, or don't mind paying online for ingredients, stocking the pantry required to cook her recipes is expensive and time-consuming. The recipes she highlights on her blog are much easier to replicate, I'm finding.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:30 PM on July 13, 2007


Sorry for the multiple posts; this is a topic close to my heart. Seasonal cooking is not only delicious, it's eco-friendly. I say this as a total omnivor. There is so much beyond the Moosewood. I encourage you to get a few things from you local library, since cooking is a matter of taste.

My advice for cookbooks: only buy books with recipes you've never thought of. Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian has a recipes that turn every vegetable into one of your favourites. She's actually not vegetarian, but like me, eats vegetables out of choice. These recipes can make me love cauliflower. It's a great reference, and completely reliable.

Don't torture yourself over buying the one and only. Do take a look at Bittman. He's very reliable and a lot of fun to read.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:37 PM on July 13, 2007


Alice Waters:
Chez Panisse Vegetables
Chez Panisse Fruit

However I heartily agree with Bittman recommendation. Practical and very usable in the everyday kitchen.
posted by girlhacker at 8:06 PM on July 13, 2007


I've gotta nth the Deborah Madison recommendation. I particularly like that she just lists flavors/ingredients that will marry well with the item being discussed.
posted by janell at 8:14 PM on July 13, 2007


I'd second the Heidi Swanson suggestion; her blog is a great resource and it inspired me to buy the book, which is not only terrific but incredibly lovely (well designed, great photography).
posted by padraigin at 9:32 PM on July 13, 2007


Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's rivercottage.net/ deserves a mention.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:28 AM on July 14, 2007


How about Cooking Outside The Box - lots of fascinating ideas, and quite a cool book to read even if you never make any of the recipes!
posted by Chunder at 2:14 AM on July 14, 2007


Joy of Gardening Cookbook
posted by jammnrose at 5:13 AM on July 14, 2007


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