cover image Lush Life: Food & Drinks from the Garden

Lush Life: Food & Drinks from the Garden

Valerie Rice. Prospect Park, $35 (296p) ISBN 978-1-94555-197-0

Eat-Drink-Garden blogger Rice debuts with a charming take on California cuisine that foregrounds gardening, eating, and drinking with the seasons, an approach Rice suggests “takes the guesswork out of eating.” She breaks down the recipes seasonally, teaching what to plant when in order to plan dishes based on harvest time. Spring features a golden negroni made with a French bitter aperitif and an indulgent triple coconut cake garnished with mid-spring rose petals. In the summer, carnitas tacos with homemade tortillas, avocado slaw, and a roasted garden salsa made with vine-ripened tomatoes and cilantro from one’s herb garden hits the spot. In the fall and winter, tamarind margaritas, squash hummus made from winter delicata squash, and black Manhattans are on offer. In addition to planting, drinking, and eating suggestions, Rice shares tips for spices (ancho and guajillo chile) and tools (a Spanish cooking pot, a Japanese planting knife, a double-hinged corkscrew) to keep on hand. This well-crafted cookbook serves as an excellent guide to living in tune with nature and the seasons. (May)