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Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel Hardcover – September 15, 2015
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—Samin Nosrat, chef and writer
“Near & Far is a delicious paean to the culinary glories of world travel, and the grounding comfort found in returning to one’s own home kitchen. Heidi Swanson has married her keen traveler’s eye to her devoted home cook’s soul, and created a quietly sumptuous masterpiece rooted in place that stands alongside the work of Pico Iyer and Yotam Ottolenghi for sheer, mouthwatering breadth. This book will never leave my kitchen.”
—Elissa Altman, author of Poor Man’s Feast
“I love Heidi Swanson’s recipes. They’re unique and special, and everything I’ve made from Near & Far has been enthusiastically enjoyed by friends at my table. But what I especially love about this book is Heidi’s singular, centered voice. Here is a person who cooks, eats, and travels—all the while standing calmly in a complex and interesting, but not always easy, world.”
—Deborah Madison, author of Vegetable Literacy and The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
About the Author
From the Manufacturer
Featured Recipes from Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel
Sprout Salad (serves 2-4)
- 3/4 cup | 6 oz | 170 g Greekstyle yogurt
- Fine-grain sea salt
- 1 handful of arugula, chopped.
- 1 small bunch chives, minced, flowers (if any) reserved.
- 8 oz | 225 g sprouted mung beans or cooked mung beans (about 2 cups).
- A big handful of welltoasted sliced almonds.
- Good extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ripe avocado, chopped
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, the arugula, and chives. In a larger bowl, toss the mung beans and almonds with a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add the avocado and gently toss once or twice more. Serve the mung beans next to the yogurt mixture and drizzle with a bit more olive oil. If your bunch of chives included a few chive flowers, sprinkle them across the top.
Chicory Soup (serves 4)
- 7 tablespoons | 105 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving.
- 1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced.
- 2 cups | 8 oz | 225 g diced celery
- Fine-grain sea salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 7 cups | 1.65 L water
- 3 cups | 15 oz | 425 g cooked barley
- 1 large dried ancho chile
- 1 large clove garlic, smashed.
- 1 small whole preserved lemon, rinsed, seeded, and minced.
- 3 cups | 4 oz | 115 g chicory, cut into 11/2-inch | 4cm pieces.
- Crème fraîche, chopped cilantro, and/or chopped chives, to serve.
To a large pot over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the onion, celery, and 21/2 teaspoons of salt. Stir frequently for 5 to 10 minutes, until the onions and celery are soft but not browned. Add the bay, thyme, and water and let simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender. Stir in the cooked barley. Continue to simmer for an additional 10 to 20 minutes, until the starchy barley has slightly thickened the broth. Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Taste again for seasoning, adjusting if necessary.
While the soup is simmering, make a lemon-chile relish. Start by removing the stem, ribs, and seeds from the chile. Chop the chile into very small, irregular crumbles. You want bits that are not uniform, to lend a rustic quality to the final result. In a small pot over medium heat, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the chile crumbles, and garlic. Tilt the pan so that the oil pools, toasting the chile, but taking care not to burn the garlic. After about 5 minutes the chile should be somewhat softened and its flavor will have infused the oil. Remove the pan from the heat, smash up the garlic pieces, and stir in the preserved lemon.
To serve, toss the chicory with a small splash of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Ladle soup into individual bowls then top with the dressed chicory. Add small spoonfuls of lemon-ancho relish, dabs of crème fraîche, and lots of chopped cilantro and chives.
Baked Oatmeal (serves 6)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 cups | 7 oz | 200 g rolled oats
- 1/2 cup | 2 oz | 60 g whole Marcona almonds
- 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon finegrain sea salt
- 1/3 cup | 2 oz | 60 g maple syrup, plus more for serving.
- 1 cup | 240 ml kefir or buttermilk.
- 1 cup | 240 ml water
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly.
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 pound | 455 g ripe pluots, quartered and pitted.
- A bit of cream, to serve.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit | 190 degrees Celsius with a rack in the top third of the oven. Generously butter the inside of an 8-inch | 20cm square baking dish (or equivalent), then sprinkle with lemon zest.
In a bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, kefir, water, egg, half of the butter, and the vanilla. Arrange the pluots in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the kefir mixture over the oats. Gently give the baking dish a couple of raps on the countertop to make sure the liquid moves through the oats.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Drizzle the remaining melted butter on the top and serve. Finish with a bit more maple syrup if you want it a bit sweeter, and a thread of cream to bring it all together.
Top Customer Reviews
Update: tried the "Easy Little Rye Bread" and had to make a number of modifications to the recipe: first, its very important to reduce the water to 1 1/3 cups [using the 1 1/2 cups specified in the recipe resulted in a "batter" instead of a "dough" and a compromised loaf],;adding 2-3 teaspoons of caraway seeds really pumped up the rye flavor; also, this recipe benefited from a second rise...the best outcome i had was the result of letting the dough rise in the mixing bowl for 30 minutes then transferring it to the baking pan and letting it rise again while the oven pre-heated (10-15-min); ...Read more ›
As with her blog and previous cookbook, all the recipes are vegetarian and a large percentage of these recipes look delicious yet easy to execute. The recipes are well-written and clear - I really like Heidi's friendly writing style, she has a way of making me feel as if we're in the kitchen chatting while cooking. She gives great guidance about what you are looking for as you go. Each recipe has some brief intro about why it's in the book and this intro might contain relevant notes about how to shop for a specialty item like shichimi (for her Nori Granola) or what you can substitute if you cannot find the major ingredient or it's out-of-season (as with the Strawberry Salad).
Since the book was just released, I've only made the Cucumber Salad (with lemongrass, tofu, red onion, and kale - there's a kale or cilantro option here, but 1 cup of cilantro seemed like an awful lot to me and I like cilantro). It is the recipe she opens with to "set the tone", so it seemed like a good choice.Read more ›
Heidi Swanson is a well-known cookbook author and blogger. She divides her new vegetarian cookbook into two major parts. The first, Near, reflects her San Francisco and California cooking. The second, Far, focuses on places she visited: Morocco, France, India, Italy, and Japan; however, don't expect the sections to necessarily include typical recipes from the regions. She is an innovator. For example, her recipe for Madeleines in the France chapter features whole wheat pastry flour and millet.
The beginning of each chapter includes a list of ingredients in her pantry for that chapter. Items such as kinome, ras el hanout, yuba, and amaro are there, among others. A brief description of these as well as where one might look for them would be helpful.
The photography has a dreamy quality. More pages, 89, are devoted to scenery, designs, and ingredients, than pages devoted to an actual recipe product, 82.
A brief, chatty note is inserted along with each recipe. I liked that just below the title of each recipe was a short line of major ingredients, no more than four, to give one a quick idea of the flavors involved.
I tried four recipes:
Miso Oat Porridge. This definitely has an umami taste. I made it with some older miso, and the flavor was very strong. Remaking it with fresh miso was much more to my liking. This is an interesting dish for people who enjoy this flavor.
Popovers. These said, "Pepper!" when you ate them. Mine were pop-unders. The batter was thicker than that from my popover recipe, and I used a scale to weigh the flour.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an interesting cook book to read. It provides a setting (near and far) for the recipes. The photography is wonderful-- inspires you to actually make a recipe. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I ended up passing it on to a friend who is a more experienced cook. The photos and recipes are lovely but more complex than I expected.Published 2 months ago by Riley
This is a vegetarian cookbook. To me vegetarian is a special-diet, like Paleo or low-carb and should be prominently billed as that. I'm glad I took it out of the library. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
A beautiful book! Makes a wonderful gift. I want one for myself!Published 4 months ago by Rubeslippr56
The newest addition to my cookbook collection is Near and Far by Heidi Swanson. This beautiful book is full of vegetarian recipes, which I did not actually realize until I started... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Emily G
Great book! I love the designs (both cover and layout), and the photographs (I'm a designer so my standards are pretty high). Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Beautiful photography, beautiful food. I am a fan of Heidi, a regular 101cookbooks.com reader, and I own Super Natural Everyday so when I saw that she had a new book I didn't... Read morePublished 4 months ago by A. Cunningham
I am completely smitten with this book and have already made two recipes from it (I bought it the day before yesterday). Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer