Sherri Baptiste

Local Bounty
Seasonal Vegan Recipes

by Devra Gartenstein

Local Bounty by Devra Gartenstein

By now most of us know the many benefits of eating local foods in season.
• Ripe produce is at the peak of its flavor and nutritional value
• Less fossil fuel is needed to transport local fruits and vegetables to your table
• Small scale farmers tend to use less pesticides and many are organic growers
• Foods in season are abundant and cheaper
• Because seasonal offerings change over time variety occurs naturally
• Buying locally supports local economies and people in your neighborhood
The tricky part is we often don't know what to do with the foods that are coming out of the ground all around us. Local Bounty Seasonal Vegan Recipes by Devra Gartenstein solves this problem for most of what is available in my neighborhood and I'm betting in yours too. Her easy, creative, mouth watering recipes and general advice will replaces the fear of those unknown fruits and veggies with the fun of learning new and wonderfully delectable dishes.
     The book starts by introducing various vegetable "families," that help to identify some of the new foods you'll be looking at while at the same time giving lots of simple cooking tips that you can apply to these broad categories of foods, like cabbages, greens, onions etc. More simple tips are given in the section on cooking techniques which demystifies the differences between braising, sauteing, roasting and grilling and steaming. Her one page chart on ethnic seasoning combinations also makes it easy to combine herbs and spices for a desired flavor effects.
      The bulk of the book is full of seasonal recipes. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter each has its own chapter with a one page introduction that lists what you can expect to find at that time of year. The recipes tend to be simple with shortish ingredient lists and clear easy instructions for preparation. The emphasis is on the veggies and fruits, so unlike many vegan and vegetarian cookbooks it is not full of grain and soy based concoctions. Here are two recipes from each season:
Spring: Beet Greens with Young Garlic, Roasted Leek and Carrot Soup
Summer: Fennel and Arugula Pesto, Stuffed Baby Pattypans
Fall: Velvety Squash with Roasted Garlic, Kohlrabi Slaw
Winter: Portuquese Kale and White Bean Soup, Savoy Cabbage with Cashews
    Local Bounty has lots of soups, salads, sauces and hearty vegetable dishes as well as a few well chosen seasonal desert recipes; probably way more recipes than most of us will make in a single year. For 6 months each year most of my food comes from a local farm run as a CSA or Community Supported Agricultural project. Figuring out how to make use of some of what I get each week has been tricky until now. I can't wait to try out a lot of these recipes. I only wish I had had this book sooner.

This book has 188 pages and costs $18.00.

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