cover image The Herbal Kitchen: Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor

The Herbal Kitchen: Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor

Jerry Traunfeld, , photos by John Granen. . Morrow, $34.95 (264pp) ISBN 978-0-06-059976-8

The James Beard Award–winning chef of the Herbfarm near Seattle, Traunfeld (The Herbfarm Cookbook ) certainly knows a thing or two about cooking masterfully with fresh herbs. Whereas his first book celebrated restaurant-status dishes, this volume concerns simple dishes for the home cook. Traunfeld concisely introduces the basics of starting one's own herb garden; storing herbs; chopping, slicing and tearing herbs; and measuring herbs. Then he launches into the redolent recipes, many as straightforward as Prosciutto Melon with Lime and Cilantro; Dilled Celery, Asian Pear, and Hazelnut Salad; and Lemon Rosemary Chicken enhanced with dried currants and green olives. Recipes in the "Intimate Feasts" chapter, including Sea Scallops on Summer Succotash, and Lavender-Rubbed Duck Breast with Apricots and Sweet Onions, can stand as complete and creative meals, or be paired with a side from the vegetables chapter, such as Mashed Winter Squash with Bay Butter, or Salt-Roasted Potatoes. Herb-infused desserts like Strawberry Rose Geranium Ice Cream are lovely and not heavy. Throughout, Traunfeld offers insight into the use of specific herbs and ingredients, creating a work that is at once practical, informative and inspiring. Color photos. (Nov.)