A decade ago, when I was but a budding food writer, I took a class on knife skills at the Boston Center for Adult Education with one Julia Shanks. Aside from having the best name for a chef ever, she was just so darned likeable—smart, funny, easygoing. So it comes as no surprise to me that her new cookbook with Brett Grohsgal, The Farmer’s Kitchen: The Ultimate Guide to Enjoying Your CSA & Farmer’s Market Foods, is equally sharp & charming as well as accessible.
It starts with a thorough produce glossary describing the characteristics and uses of everything from winesap apples to Beauregard sweet potatoes & neck pumpkins to Coletto viola turnips, as well as an engaging glossary of techniques & a section on storing produce. What follows are more than 200 recipes celebrating the bounty of gardens & farms. Heavily but not strictly vegetarian, they include apple-hazelnut hash, arugula souffle, okra fritters, meatloaf with lamb & spaghetti squash, coconut-sorrel soup with shrimp, raspberry pancakes, & more—a variety of pizzas, pickles, sauces & dressings, beverages, etc.
Chef Shanks has graciously agreed to give away a copy to one lucky reader on this here blog. To win it, just submit your most pressing question about produce to the comments section; she’ll answer the winner’s conundrum.