Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets
By Deborah Madison
(Broadway Books, Hardcover, 9780767903493, 432pp.)
Publication Date: June 1, 2002
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Deborah Madison follows the seasons in her cross-country journey, beginning with the first tender greens of spring and ending with those foods that keep. Recipes such as Chard and Cilantro Soup with Noodle Nests and Lamb's-Quarters with Sonoma Teleme Cheese launch the market season, followed by such dishes as an Elixir of Fresh Peas or a Radish Sandwich. Recipes for Whole Little Cauliflowers with Crispy Breadcrumbs and White Beans with Black Kale and Savoy Cabbage illustrate the range of the robust crucifers, while herbs and alliums provide the inspiration for a lively Herb Salad, tisanes, and Sweet and Sour Onions with Dried Pluots and Rosemary.
Deborah Madison challenges the conventional view of what's seasonal. A Young Root Vegetable Braise celebrates that early crop of delicate roots, while Braised Root Vegetables with Black Lentils and Red Wine Sauce offers an elegant centerpiece dish for the heartier roots of winter.
Superlative fresh eggs, along with handmade cheese, are featured players at the markets everywhere, and here they appear in such simple dishes as Fried Eggs with Sizzling Vinegar and Warm Ricotta Custard featuring fresh whole-milk ricotta. Because organically raised poultry and meats have an increasingly important presence in our farmers' markets, they are included, too, paired with other market produce that highlights their flavors, as in Roast Chicken with Herbs Under the Skin.
Late summer corn and beans inspire Corn Fritters with Aged Cheddar and Arugula and Shelly Beans with Pasta and Sage. When markets are filled with squashes and melons, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, Deborah Madison shows us that they're perfect ingredients for simple, vibrant dishes, such as Braised Farmers' Long Eggplant Stuffed with Garlic or Tropical Melon Soup with Coconut Milk. For the happily overwhelmed cook, Platter Salads suggest how to go ahead and use "all" of the market's bounty.
Fruits, another vital part of farmers' markets, are generously featured. Huckleberries, unusual grapes, and figs; stone fruits like plums and peaches; heirloom apples, persimmons; winter citrus and subtropical fruits are all here. Fig Tart with Orange Flower Custard; Peach Shortcake on Ginger Biscuits; a Rustic Tart of Quinces, Apples, and Pears; and a Passion Fruit and Pineapple Compote are just a few of the luscious desserts. And, because the market features more than fresh foods of the moment, recipes based on dried fruits, oils, vinegars, preserves, and other long-keeping foods help the reader continue eating locally once the market season has ended.
By going behind the scenes to speak with the farmers and producers, Deborah Madison connects readers directly with the people who grow their food. Full-color photographs of gorgeous produce, mouthwatering dishes, and evocative scenes from the markets will entice every reader to cook from the farmers' market as often as possible.