From Publishers Weekly
Plowing a field similar to that cultivated by last year's Local Flavors, by Deborah Madison (who provides the foreword here), Ogden extols the pleasures of preparing fresh-from-the-garden meals. Co-owner with husband Shepherd of The Cook's Garden, a popular mail-order seed company, Ogden emphasizes the quality, taste and variety of produce now available from home and farmers' markets. Her recipes exhibit a deft hand in building dishes with complementary flavors, as in Zesty Lemon Cucumber Soup or Herbed Ricotta Gnocchi with Spinach-Arugula Pesto. Ogden really shines with her section on salads, which includes the unusual Warm Spinach and Strawberry Salad and Grilled Radicchio and Gorgonzola Salad. Although the focus is solidly on vegetables, herbs and fruits, non-vegetarian dishes range from the simple Baked Scrod with Fennel and Garlic Croutons to the more complicated Vietnamese Salad Rolls with Chicken and Shrimp, and Salmon in Phyllo Packets with Tomato and Ginger. Ogden frequently recommends difficult-to-find ingredients such as Chioggia (candy-striped) beets for Beet, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad, and black kale for Polenta with Tuscan Kale, but she also advises that the common variety of vegetables will suffice. Since gardening is a seasonal joy, recipes for preserves like Carrot and Orange Marmalade and Plum and Pear Chutney are a welcome addition, as are the homey drawings by Caldecott Award winner Azarian.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Spring's approach brings the promise of planting and another season of garden produce. Ellen Ecker Ogden has written From the Cook's Garden
as a guide for those seeking some new ways to use up their garden bounty. Ogden's own immense Vermont garden provides the basis for these recipes, and they reflect thoughtful and tasty ways to produce appealing dishes from the freshest ingredients. Although most recipes offer ease of preparation, Ogden's cold creamy red beet soup with pistachio mousse calls for a base of cider, wine, and cinnamon and tops each bowlful with dollops of whipped ricotta, pistachios, and green herbs. Many of the book's recipes are vegetarian, but a few have fish or meat as prominent flavors. Because gardens often produce more than can be consumed during the harvest months, Ogden closes her book with a section on preserving, both in cans and in the freezer. Mark KnoblauchCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved