Review for: Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Farm-Fresh
from: FairShare CSA Coalition
I can't believe no one has reviewed this book yet!
By: Anna Salvesen (May 18, 2011)
I love this book and refer to it first when looking for inspiration in preparing my CSA produce box contents. Alphabetically organized by produce item name, this easy to use A-Z cookbook also provides information on selection, storage, and basic cooking methods of common CSA selections, as well as information about nutrition and botanical pedigree. A chapter in the back includes seasonal combinations, and there is a section on preservation methods for extending the harvest as well.
When I have a CSA item I'd like to use (or use up!) but need some inspiration, I could pull out nearly every cookbook on the shelf looking for the handful of recipes in my cookbook library that might use that item. Or I could pull out this one book and find 2-3x times as many recipes, with often one fitting my needs well.
The recipes range from extremely simple and easy, using few ingredients and minimal preparation, to those that are more complex and use many ingredients, such as a main dish or one pot meal. Many of the recipes have been inspirational starting points for me, as they are easily adapted the local seasonal produce of my area. Some of the recipes are rather "loosely" written, so some cooking knowledge is assumed, but most of them are quite easy to follow. While many of the recipes are vegetarian by default (or can easily be made vegetarian), this is not necessarily a "vegetarian" cookbook, as some of the recipes (especially main dishes) use non-vegetarian ingredients.
I've given this book several times as gifts, and I've had to replace it more than once because I loaned it out and didn't get it back (never again!). I am a CSA pick-up location host for my area, and I recommend this produce cookbook above all others to the new CSA members who are looking for help in utilizing all their box items, some of which are new to them or overly-abundant.
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