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Apr 10, 2011 05:07 PM

Cooking from the market! What are your favourite Seasonal, Farm Market, Produce Cookbooks?

I'm so excited to see my chives peeking through the still chilly soil. It's a sure sign that growing season has started and my menus will be influenced by what's fresh and in-season at the market.

I love bringing something wonderful home from the local market and then looking through my cookbooks to see what I can do with it.

Over the last year, I've been adding more produce, seasonal and farm market cookbooks to my shelf. I created a bookmark in EYB to bring all those books together in one place and help me search and it turns out I now have 57 such books on my shelf!! (head hanging in shame, yes I should be attending Cookbooks Anonymous!) One "newish" addition to my shelf that I'm extremely excited about is Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion. I love the look, feel and content of this book and I just can't wait to make some of the amazing recipes I've flagged.

I'd love to hear about your new additions and Tried & True favourites. Here are some of mine:

Newer additions to my shelf:

The Big Summer Cookbook: 300 Fresh, Flavorful Recipes for Those Lazy, Hazy Days by Jeff Cox
Eating Local: 150 Recipes from the Farm to Your Table by Janet Fletcher and Sur La Table
Fresh from the Market: Seasonal Cooking with Laurent Tourondel by Laurent Tourondel and Charlotte March

Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets by Deborah Madison

Melissa's Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce: A Guide to Easy-to-Make Dishes with Fresh Organic Fruits and Vegetables by Cathy Thomas
Red, White, and Greens: The Italian Way with Vegetables by Faith Heller Willinger

Seasons by Donna Hay

Simply in Season: 12 Months of Wine Country Cooking by Tony DeLuca

Take a Vine-ripened Tomato... by Julie Biuso

Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater

A Well-Seasoned Appetite: Recipes for Eating with the Seasons, the Senses, and the Soul by Molly O'Neill

Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farmer's Market by Jodi Liano and Tasha De Serio and Jennifer Maiser

Tried & True Favourites:

The Big Red Book of Tomatoes by Lindsey Bareham

Delia Smith's Summer Collection: 140 Recipes for Summer by Delia Smith

Niagara Cooks From Farm to Table, a Delicious Adventure by Lynn Ogryzlo

The Ontario Harvest Cookbook: An Exploration of Feasts and Flavours by Julia Aitken and Anita Stewart

The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market Cookbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Impeccable Produce Plus 130 Seasonal Recipes by Christopher Hirsheimer and Peggy Knickerbocker

The Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes and Stories from the Market and Farm by Amelia Saltsman

A Year in Lucy's Kitchen: Seasonal Recipes and Memorable Meals by Lucy Waverman

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  1. All of the chez panisse cookbooks
    Sunday suppers (wonderful chow hound thread)
    Ferrous Henderson books
    Zuni cafe

    8 Replies
    1. re: JudiAU

      Judi, the Chez Panisse books...of course! Thanks for reminding me of these!! EYB has them classified as "celebrity chef" books so I missed them in my bookmarking. So glad you mentioned them, I've added them to my list.

      I'm not familiar w Ferrous Henderson, if you see this and have a moment, would you mind sharing a little about their book(s)?

      Thanks again!

      1. re: Breadcrumbs

        I believe JudiAU is referring to Fergus Henderson, a British chef of some note, but to be honest, I'm not sure how his book "The Whole Beast: From Nose to Tail" fits within this catagory of books; it's not specifically produce or garden related, but here's his amazon page:

        1. re: bushwickgirl

          Sorry, I didn't mean Fergus Henderson at all. I meant to say Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (also British, also likes nose to tail) He has many farm and produce driven cookbooks

          River Cottage is a BBC televsion series and the cookbooks are highly seasonal. Excellent cooking. Lots of foraging, grow-your-own, farmer's market, thoughful eating.

          1. re: JudiAU

            Thanks Judi. I actually just recently purchase a River Cottage book (my first) at Costco. It's the "Family Cookbook" and I'll have to take a closer look now I've seen your post here. Which of the RC books would you say are best for cooking from the garden . . . goodness knows, I'm always willing to consider buying yet another book!! ; - )

            1. re: JudiAU

              A horse of a different color from Henderson. It crossed my mind that maybe you meant him. His River Cottage Meat book (me want) is very highly rated and I imagine his other books are equal.

              Breadcrumbs, let me know what you think about his Family Cookbook when you have a chance to peruse it.

                1. re: bushwickgirl

                  I have it and am underwhelmed by it, for what it's worth. Started to read it and put it aside, recipes did not appeal.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    i've got the meat book and the family cookbook. fwiw i think that the family cookbook is really actually intended/written so that young children can do the recipes successfully, and there are pix throughout of hugh f-w's kids doing the cooking. good n simple, very british. . .

                    his other books are aimed at more competent home cooks, eight year olds, not so much :)

        2. Wow, impressive collection!

          I find myself reaching again and again for Local Flavors when I return from the farmers market with bags of produce. Madison's recipes never disappoint me. Her cauliflower with a parseley, green olive, and caper vinegarette is one of my all time favorite dishes. I also like her Vegetarian Suppers although I am a confirmed omnivore.

          Another one I like is A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, by Jack Bishop. I like the seasonal arrangement of sections, like Local Flavors, which I find very helpful when seeking to use up some new vegetable that appears in my CSA bag.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tcamp

            Thanks for pointing me to that Bishop book tcamp, I looked it up online and it immediately caught my interest. Actually a few of his books are now on my "Wish List"! I decided to bite the bullet and order the one you specifically recommended for your CSA bag though as I found it on Abe's and was able to pick it up for less than $20 including shipping so that seemed very reasonable.

            I haven't tried that vinaigrette you mentioned from Local Flavors yet but I've now made a note of your recommendation and flagged the recipe. Thanks so much, that flavour combination totally appeals!

          2. A very laudable list, breadcrmbs! There are many excellent books on your list, especially the Deborah Madison, Donna Hay and Nigel Slater works.

            I'll add a few:

            Unplugged Kitchen: A Return to the Simple, Authentic Joys of Cooking
            My Italian Garden: More than 125 Seasonal Recipes from a Garden Inspired by Italy

            Both books by Viana La Place, simple fare, very inspirational writing.

            3 Replies
            1. re: bushwickgirl

              Thanks bushwickgirl! I'm excited to see your recommendations as I ordered My Italian Garden last week (from Abe's) on a recommendation from a lady who'd brought it with her to the supermarket last weekend! They sell seeds imported from Italy and she was planting based on that book!

              Its great to know you've enjoyed cooking from the book! btw, if you're an EYB member you'll be happy to know this has been flagged as "Index Soon" so we'll be able to maximize our use of it through the growing season!! Very exciting news.

              Thanks too for the Fergus Henderson clarification above. I wondered about that too but didn't think of him as a "produce" chef . . . maybe just supportive of local/sustainable? He was in Toronto recently to speak at a local hospitality industry conference. Pity it wasn't open to the public as I'd loved to have seen him.

              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                You're welcome. I'm glad you bought her book, please enjoy it.

                I'm not an EYB member at this time.

                "maybe just supportive of local/sustainable"/rural/responsible/thrifty etc.

                That's it. His book is not one I would use due to the difficulty of sourcing many of his ingredients, but I think of it as a chef's book, and I'm sure it's a good read regardless.

                1. re: bushwickgirl

                  As luck would have it and much to my surprise, My Italian Garden arrived today! What a beautiful, charming book with it's lovely artwork. I'll have to take a good look at it during my daily commutes . . . it's the perfect "briefcase size"!! ; - )

                  btw, I meant to say that it's nice to see another Donna Hay fan here. I don't read much about her here on Chowhound but I've been a fan for years and have most of her books and magazines. I don't think anything I've ever made from her work has disappointed. So many of her dishes are quick and straightforward to execute as well.

            2. Local Flavors by Deborah Madison is one of my favorites - I use it so much the pages are starting to fall out!

              I also like In Season: cooking with vegetables and fruits by Sarah Raven

              1 Reply
              1. re: Abby0105

                Thanks Abby! Do you have any favourites from Local Flavors? The book just captivated me w it's photography, so beautiful!

                Also great to know you like In Season. I have the book sadly it's been under-used. I'm looking forward to getting more use out of it soon though as this seems to be another one that has been flagged as "Index Soon" on EYB.

              2. Sunday Suppers at Lucques. Am chomping at the bit to start cooking from the Spring recipes!

                4 Replies
                1. re: monavano

                  i love this one! i picked up some morels at the FM this weekend to do the morel mushroom ragout on brioche and made the crab, beet, and avocado salad last night.

                  also love From the Earth to the Table by John Ash

                  1. re: tastycakes

                    I just added Sunday Suppers to my bookshelf at Christmas and had forgotten it was seasonally based. Will add that to my bookmark list.

                    Tastycakes thanks for mentioning John Ash's book, it didn't get picked up on my EYB search and like you, I love that book.

                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                      Interesting that Earth to Table is one of your favorites, Tastycake. I gave that book away last year after years and years of non-use.

                      1. re: dkennedy

                        to be honest, i have only tried two or three of the recipes. i just like to look at cookbooks for ideas and it has some good wine pairing suggestions as well, but i do think some of the recipes are a bit outdated.