The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook

Chris Fischer, with Catherine Young. Little, Brown, $35 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-33770-0
Fischer, a recognized chef who hails from New York’s Babbo and London’s St. John Bread and Wine, owns and operates Beetlebung Farm on Martha’s Vineyard. This delightful collection of simply cooked meals is a year-long culinary journal that celebrates the seasons of the farm and the abundance that it produces. His dishes are immensely appealing and will inspire longing for the summer harvest. Fischer offers something for every palate, from a mouthwatering free-form peach tart to a succulent bluefish in parchment. Potatoes crisped in olive oil and pear walnut cake round out “secret summer” offerings, while venison loin in cedar, pan-roasted pork belly with kale, and beet cake with fennel icing highlight a glorious array of late harvest recipes. “Deep freeze” brings its own bounty, such as scallop crudo with fennel fronds and toasted almonds, addictive crack rice, and kale gnocchi with kale ragu. Early spring’s maple crème fraiche ice cream is worth the price of the book alone. Mussels with parsley and garlic and slow-roasted lamb shanks with parsnips highlight some of the best land and sea have to offer. Fischer ends with summer, the high note of seasonal produce, with leek and asparagus soup; farro, cucumber, and herb salad; and summer minestrone. He also includes interesting sidebars on hunting squirrels, salting fish, and the joys of crostini, to name a few. This superb collection is a must-have for every cook interested in simple yet flavorful food that’s guaranteed to please. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
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