Smith & Hawken: The Gardeners' Community Cookbook

Victoria Wise, Compiled by, Victoria Wise, Author
Victoria Wise, Compiled by, Victoria Wise, Author Workman Publishing $35 (576p) ISBN 978-0-7611-1772-8
Reviewed on: 01/11/1999
Release date: 01/01/1999
Paperback - 468 pages - 978-0-7611-1743-8
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As might be expected from a community cookbook of recipes gathered by gardeners, most of this fare is vegetable-heavy, if not vegetarian, with an emphasis on freshness. Some of the contributors are well-known: Alice's Moroccan Carrots are from Alice Waters. Most, however, are simply creative cooks who like to share. There are complex recipes such as Sweet Potato, Caramelized Onion, and Butternut Squash Lasagne and simple ones such as Crostini with Fava Bean Paste, which requires only five ingredients. An urban organic gardener from Philadelphia contributes Thai-Style Turkey Sausage Wrapped in Grape Leaves, while a California duo donate a recipe for Limoncello de Malibu, a New World version of Capri's classic liqueur. Wise (coauthor of The Well-Filled Tortilla Cookbook) has sprinkled gardening and cooking tips throughout. Rose Petal Chicken Breasts are accompanied by a note on growing flowers for consumption, for instance. The regional diversity is refreshing, although some ingredients may be inaccessible to most readers. The fresh figs in Hospitality Figs with Cinnamon, Anise, and Fresh Bay Leaves are probably easy to grow in Greece, where their contributor lives, but not so easy to find on the Atlantic coast. Still, there is a generosity here that pulls everything together and is expressed in the sharing of recipes and in good-natured headnotes that relate gardening experiences. (Oct.) FYI: A portion of the book's earnings will be donated to the hunger relief organization Second Harvest.
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