The Herbal Kitchen
Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor
By Jerry Traunfeld
(William Morrow Cookbooks, Hardcover, 9780060599768, 272pp.)
Publication Date: November 2005
The secret to transforming easy dishes into extraordinary meals? Fresh herbs. In The Herbal Kitchen, IACP award-winning cookbook author and acclaimed Herbfarm Restaurant chef Jerry Traunfeld presents simple dishes using herbs straight from the market, windowsill, or garden.
Until recently, the fresh herbs available in supermarkets were limited to parsley and maybe dill. Today, thyme, rosemary, basil, cilantro, mint, and sage are among the many fresh herbs as close as the produce section or the farmer's market. Not to mention marjoram, lovage, tarragon, lavender, shiso, and so many others.
Jerry shows you how to incorporate these fresh herbs into your everyday home meals. So whether preparing a workday supper for the family, a special dinner for two or four, or a feast for a table of guests, using fresh herbs in your cooking will result in fresh and vibrant food.
The Herbal Kitchen includes some recipes that are home variations of the innovative dishes Jerry prepares at the Herbfarm, while others are fresh takes on familiar classics such as Herb Garden Lasagna or Shrimp in Garlic-Sage Butter. All are uncomplicated and prep time is minimal -- with the emphasis on spontaneity and the unmistakable flavors of fresh herbs.
Start off with Asparagus and Lemon Thyme Soup, Spicy Verbena Meatballs, or Rye-Thyme Cheese Straws before moving on to Cinnamon Basil Chicken, Side of Salmon Slow-Roasted in Dill, and Root Ribbons with Sage. Delectable desserts include Warm Lavender Almond Cakes, Rhubarb Mint Cobbler, and a sinful Chocolate Peppermint Tart.
Once you're hooked on cooking with fresh herbs, you'll want to grow them yourself. The Herbal Kitchen is filled with important tips for growing, harvesting, and handling each of the herbs used in the recipes. Valuable information on the varieties of each herb is also highlighted, such as how to tell the difference between Greek oregano and Italian oregano, why you always want to choose bay laurel over California bay, and what type of lavender is best for cooking.
Filled with stunning photos of the herbs, the techniques for handling them, and the finished dishes, Jerry's definitive guide is sure to be a classic, reached for again and again.
Since 1990 Jerry Traunfeld has headed the kitchen at The Herbfarm Restaurant, where he creates herb-inspired Northwest menus each week. Since he took over the stoves, the restaurant has garnered unanimous national acclaim as a premier dining destination. In 2000, Jerry won the James Beard Award for Best American Chef in the Northwest and Hawaii. His first book, The Herbfarm Cookbook, won the 2000 IACP award for best cookbook by a restaurant or chef. Jerry lives in Seattle with his partner, Stephen, and their two Shiba dogs.