cover image The Farm Table

The Farm Table

Julius Roberts. Ten Speed, $35 (320p) ISBN 978-1-984862-66-2

Chef-turned-farmer Roberts’s rustic and delightful debut offers 100 simple, seasonal recipes that capitalize on freshness and ingredients at their peak. The amazing array of options includes everything from small plates and vegetable dishes to fish, meat, and desserts. Recipes are appetizing, unfussy, and often palatably unusual, including spinach, smoked trout, and crème fraiche pasta; and sardine puttanesca. Inspired by a mission to reconnect with nature and grow his own food, Roberts explains that his philosophy is to minimally fuss with ingredients and let their natural flavors shine. This approach is evident in winter dishes such as mouthwatering pork belly braised in cider with onions and prunes, and puy lentils with spinach and pancetta. Spring fare includes savory mussels with leeks, bacon and cider, and a scrumptious coffee semifreddo with salted caramel pistachios. The bounties of summer and fall make for delicious pairings including zucchini pasta with mascarpone, basil, and lemon; chicken and ricotta meatballs in broth; and a rippled berry tart. Roberts also includes a chapter on basics such as chicken stock, aioli, pesto, and short crust pastry. Beautiful photos bring an already excellent collection to new heights, allowing the reader to see both finished dishes and glimpses of farm life. Readers will relish these unpretentious but flavorful offerings. (Feb.)