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The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor, and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden

Alice Waters, the iconic food luminary, presents 200 new recipes that share her passion for the many delicious varieties of vegetables, fruits, and herbs that you can cultivate in your own kitchen garden or find at your local farmers’ market.
A beautiful vegetable-focused book, The Art of Simple Food II showcases flavor as inspiration and embodies Alice’s vision for eating what grows in the earth all year long. She shares her understanding of the whole plant, demystifying the process of growing and cooking your own food, and reveals the vital links between taste, cooking, gardening, and taking care of the land. Along the way, she inspires you to feed yourself deliciously through the seasons. From Rocket Salad with Babcock Peaches and Basil to Moroccan Asparagus and Spring Vegetable Ragout to Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, Alice shares recipes that celebrate the ingredients she loves: tender leaf lettuces, fresh green beans, stone fruits in the height of summer, and so much more. Advice for growing your own fruits and vegetables abounds in the book—whether you are planting a garden in your backyard or on your front porch or fire escape. It is gleaned from her close relationships with local, sustainable farmers.

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  1. Robin says:

    Inspiring, Elegant, Unique and Refreshing Here’s a cookbook that will have you planning your spring garden, even if that means filling pots with mint, basil and chives. Alice Waters’ new cookbook had me longing for spring and the chance to plant lettuce and greens by the back door, something that I haven’t done in fifteen years but may do next April, thanks to this book. Alice Waters may be a “legendary” cook, but she hasn’t lost her enthusiasm for the way fresh food smells and tastes when you pull it from the ground in your own back yard.The Art of Simple Food II is filled with elegant simple ways to use greens and other relatively easy to grow vegetables and fruits. The book follows the seasons starting with the tender greens of early spring through the fruits and nuts of fall, right up to preserving and home canning. While there are some meat, fish and poultry dishes, the emphasis is on vegetables. If you have thought of starting a kitchen garden, or even just growing some rosemary on a windowsill, you will probably enjoy this book.First the sell. This book doesn’t pressure you to eat more vegetables, it makes them sound so delicious you find yourself longing for salad or a plate of Sweet and Hot Green Cabbage, Parsley and Anchovy Sauce or Tokyo Turnip Pickles.Next comes the push. Waters would like you to grow your own vegetables . Fortunately, she knows that not everybody is up for a plowing up the backyard. Start small, she advises. Plant herbs, plant some greens. She gives advice on things that confuse most novices such as the soil to use in pots. Then she gets serious and explains composting, plant food. She goes from the very simple to subjects that few home gardeners touch such as cover crops.Personally, I’m on the lazy end of the scale but I have to admit that I know she’s right. Lettuce really is a breeze to grow, at least in the Southeast U.S. before the hot weather hits. On the other hand, Waters’ cheery optimism when describing growing seasons’ outside of California seemed a bit pat to me but maybe I’m not committed enough.This is an interesting book to buy if you want a kitchen garden or even if you don’t. I may plant that lettuce next spring, but I’ll be glad I have the recipes even when my garden vegetables come from the farmers market.

  2. Ginny Mapes "Pacific Northwest writer, resear... says:

    The Art of Simple Food II Growing food for your kitchen is an inspirational experience with this wonderful new book. The author/chef shows what flavorful foods can be easily grown in your garden or on the deck or patio. She then adds recipes for the kitchen. Part II she specifically encourages readers to try growing their own herbs, lettuce, garlic, onions, beans squash, etc. giving them the gardening tips. She shows the art of growing simple food.Part I: Flavor as Inspiration.She follows the seasons and has lovely line illustrations showing the crops: for example different kinds of cabbage, then the recipes. In her tomato section, her favorites were the tired and true tomato varieties: Amish Paste, Golden Jubilee, Brandywine, Juliette, Early Girl, and Sun Gold. The recipes follow each growing suggestion. All the recipes are simple and delicious. She highly recommends growing your own and/or buying locally.Part II: Seed to Seed, Growing the New Kitchen Garden.She starts with soil, preparing the beds, seeds, seedlings, extending the growing season, water, peak harvest, curing and storing, as well as saving seeds.At the back of the book Tools and Resources are listed: Books; Seed and Garden Supply Catalogs (websites included;) Forums and Newsletters; Seed Saving; Urban Foraging and Fruit Exchange; and Cooperative Extension Offices. Glossary and extensive index are included.This is a wonderful new book for the home gardener and cook as well as the professional chef. Growing your own food is encouraged, but buying locally is also suggested as an option. Great addition to your cookbook and gardening library.

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