The Smith & Hawken Gardeners' Community Cookbookby Victoria Wise
A big, ripe cornucopia of a book by gardeners who cook and cooks who garden, Smith & HawkenThe Gardeners' Community Cookbook celebrates both the Smith & Hawken gardening community and Second Harvest, the largest charitable hunger relief organization in the United States. Over 300 contributors from all 50 states share the fruit and vegetables of their labors-/i>
A big, ripe cornucopia of a book by gardeners who cook and cooks who garden, Smith & HawkenThe Gardeners' Community Cookbook celebrates both the Smith & Hawken gardening community and Second Harvest, the largest charitable hunger relief organization in the United States. Over 300 contributors from all 50 states share the fruit and vegetables of their labors--the secrets of their tomatoes and their tomato sauce. There are herb growers. Patio gardeners. Farmers. And famous chef/gardeners and writers, such as Deborah Madison, Alice Waters, Barbara Kafka, Ken Hom, Paula Wolfert, Thomas Keller, and Barbara Damrosch, who forces Belgian endive in buckets under the kitchen sink during bitter Maine winters.
And what they offer are over 400 recipes that give a cross section of creative American garden cooking. Here are garden-to-table dishes: Spinach and Strawberry Salad; Mexican Bruschetta. Seasonal inspirations: Curried Zucchini Soup; Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo; Asparagus Mushroom Flan. Prime pickings: Chicken and Chives; New Mexico Chard Enchiladas. And harvest put-ups: Green Tomato Chutney; Sweet Red Bell Pepper Pickle.
Compiled and written by Victoria Wise, this is the cookbook to meet like-minded neighbors and friends you never knew you had, exchanging ideas and recipes just for the pleasure of it.
Read an Excerpt
Sherried Mushroom Cheese Pate
Flavored with a good sherry, a handful of fresh herbs, and a mix of plain and fancy mushrooms, ordinary cream cheese becomes sumptuous. Shaped in a mold and presented unmolded, it becomes fancy enough to be called pate. --Cathy Garner (Cordova, TN)
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound fresh mushrooms, preferably a combination of fancy mushrooms, wiped clean, stemmed, and thinly sliced
2 small cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces quality cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup medium dry sherry, such as Amontillado
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon black pepper
Fresh herb sprigs, for garnish
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the mushrooms and garlic and saute until the liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
2. Line a 2- to 3-cup mold with plastic wrap. Set aside.
3. Transfer the mushrooms and garlic to a food processor. Add the cream cheese, sherry, chopped tarragon, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, and the pepper and blend until smooth. Blend in salt to taste and scoop the mixture into the lined mold. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well set, at least overnight.
4. When ready to serve, peel the plastic wrap cover off the top of the mold. Invert the mold onto a serving plate, prodding it a bit to loosen and release it onto the plate. Peel away the plastic wrap lining. Garnish the plate with herb sprigs and serve, accompanied by a basket of assorted crackers. Makes about 2 cups.
Red Root Salad (Serves 4 to 6)
"Out of respect for their ability to ruin my clothes I never cooked fresh beets until I was fifty. But beets are full of iron and they come with fine tops that can go into the stockpot. Most of all, they have a good, deep flavor and a solid texture that is not hinted at by the canned variety. So, I said to myself, 'Just wear an old apron and handle them carefully so the juice doesn't stain your wooden cutting board or clothes as you prepare them.'" When you peel fresh beets, your hands will surely be stained magenta red, but it's not a permanent dye. Like that of cherries or pomegranates or henna, the red will wash away shortly. Besides, the phosphorescent red/orange of the salad, brilliant enough to light up a rock concert, is reason enough to risk a stain of its color. --Jeanne Desy (Columbus, OH)
3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon shredded orange zest
1/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth or water
2 medium beets, cooked, peeled, halved, and sliced thin
11/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon peanut oil
Salt and pepper
Whole lettuce leaves, washed and spun dry
4 green onions (scallions), trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1. Place the carrots, garlic, orange zest, and broth in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the carrots are wilted but still crunchy, about 4 minutes. Drain, discarding the garlic and zest, and chill the carrots.
2. Just before serving, combine the carrots, beets, vinegar, and peanut oil in a bowl and gently toss to mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper again.
3. Make a bed of lettuce leaves on a large serving platter and spoon the root mixture on top of the lettuce. Sprinkle the green onion slices over all and serve.
Apple-Fennel Crisp with Pine Nut Topping (Serves 6 to 8)
"In August, fennel flowers fill the driest corner of the garden with yellow lace and the smell of licorice. In September, the flowers go to seed--just in time for apple season. I cut the seedheads while they are still plump and let them dry in a bowl in the kitchen so I can continue to enjoy the scent. Then I bake." --Ariel Swartley (Los Angeles, CA)
Butter, for the baking dish
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
3 pounds firm, sweet-tart apples, such as Gravenstein, Granny Smith, Gala, or Braeburn, quartered, corded and thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon crushed mace blade
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, at room temperature, cut up
Heavy (whipping) cream or ice cream for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly butter a 21/2 quart ceramic or glass baking dish.
2. Toast the fennel seeds in the oven, an ungreased skillet in the stovetop, or a microwave oven until beginning to brown, about 1 minute. (You can toast the fennel seeds and pine nuts at the same time; be sure to keep them separate.) Remove and let cool enough to handle. Crush in a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder.
3. Place the apples, mace, fennel seeds, and 1/2 cup of the sugar in the baking dish and stir to mix.
4. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, flour, salt, pine nuts, and butter in a medium bowl and mix with your fingers until crumbly. Sprinkle over the apples.
5. Bake until the apples are tender and the topping is golden brown, about 1 hour, depending on the type of apple.
6. Cool slightly, then serve warm, accompanied with cream or ice cream, if using.
Recipes Excerpted from THE SMITH & HAWKEN GARDENERS' COMMUNITY COOKBOOK
Copyright 1999 by Smith & Hawken
Used by the permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc., New York, New York
All Rights Reserved
Meet the Author
Victoria Wise was the first chef at Chez Panisse and went on to become chef/owner of Berkeley’s Pig-by-the-Tail and co-owner with Susanna Hoffman of Oakland’s Good & Plenty Café. Her most recent Workman book was The Smith & Hawken Gardeners’ Community Cookbook. She lives in Oakland, California.
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