The Berkshires Farm Table Cookbook: 125 Homegrown Recipes from the Hills of New England

Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner. Countryman, $24.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-68268-452-8
The Bildners present a welcoming paean to the Berkshires, where the husband and wife authors have kept a country home for 35 years. Each recipe is associated with a specific farm, though most were not created by the farmers themselves, who “are often too busy to cook, let alone develop and write recipes.” Dishes range from classics, such as gazpacho, to the more inventive, like a Greek salad pizza topped with Parmesan, feta, olives, and diced cucumber. Interspersed throughout are stories of farms large and small: the 235-acre Berry Patch is pesticide-free, and Cricket Creek grass-fed dairy farm produces seven types of artisanal cheese. The stories make clear that farming is demanding, often not-very-remunerative work: the husband-and-wife team at Hawk Dance Farm made only a few thousand dollars in 2014 (their produce inspired an entry of roasted baby turnips with swiss chard and Dijon). Meat operations are represented with the likes of grilled marinated steak and braised pork shoulder (from the Climbing Tree Farm). Desserts include a cranberry cobbler and a gluten-free kabocha squash cake drizzled with maple syrup butter spiced with black pepper. While there’s little new here, the recipes are solid, and the stories charming. (May)
Reviewed on : 05/14/2020
Release date: 05/19/2020
Genre: Lifestyle
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