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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2009
I love this book in so many ways. The recipes are not only organized by season, but the outside page boarder color matches the index color of the section (green - spring, red - summer, etc). If I want a recipe for something that just came out of my garden in July, I can flip the red edged pages and be pretty sure that my veggie in in there. The first page in each section contains a listing of all the recipes, and the side border of the pages has all of the produce listed that may be in that section with the items for the recipe page listed in black and the others (not on that page) grayed out. I think the thing I love most about this book's format is that each ingredient is listed with the directions for that item immediately following. The next item (or set of items) is then listed with those directions following, etc... I don't have to look up and down several times while making my dish to get the job done. Oh, and the recipes are wonderful! I highly recommend this book.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2010
I love the simple goodness of this kitchen companion - easy ingredients, straightforward recipes, nutritious emphasis and delicious food. The wholistic outlook makes this more than just an excellent collection of recipes. Simply in Season is also a guide to intentional, sustainable eating.

After replacing my well-used original copy, I was delighted to find an expanded new edition. I like the smaller size and spiral binding that allows it to lay flat without taking up too much counter space. Some other features I like include the general fruit and vegetable guide, seasonal organization and key ingredients listed along the sides for quick reference. The comprehensive index is fantastic. For example, if I look up sweet peppers, it lists summer garden ratatouille and fajitas in addition to stuffed peppers and over 40 other recipes - it goes beyond just the main ingredient or recipe title. When trying to decide what to make with what I already have, this is always the first place I look.

Many of the main dishes are vegetarian, and there are also plenty of recipes with meat - I appreciate the variety. As a side note, if you want to try growing some of your own veggies, I would recommend Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2009
This cookbook was recommended to me by a friend, and I have to say, I love it. This cookbook is really fun to flip through, and it makes me want to cook up a storm. I've tried a bunch of recipes, and not a single one has disappointed. It has a really interesting organizational format (by seasons). Lots of healthy but yummy recipes, and you really can't beat the price. I am giving some as Christmas gifts this year.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2009
Limited on some vegetables, but covers the most common local/seasonal vegetables such that this will be great for most people. If only there were more turnip recipes... All in all good, gets you started thinking about food in the right way.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2010
I purchased this book 2 months ago in order in increase our household's recipe armory with which to do battle with the massive amounts of CSA produce which attempt to overpower us weekly. It's done very well -- I think we've used it every week since then. It's worth mentioning that I am not a recipe follower; I like to tweak (adding chocolate chips to pumpkin bread, decreasing the amount of pasta and increasing the amount of cayenne...) So most of the recipes I have made from this book have been tweaked, but they would probably have been fine as written.

Likes: A variety of recipes using fruits and vegetables. It isn't vegetarian, but meat is not the star of the meals. Some not-very-fruit-or-vegetable recipes are included -- e.g. granola, flavored butter, naan, yogurt-- so it is almost a stand-alone cookbook.
The layout of the book is very clear with good use of color: an initial section on the basics of fruits and vegetables -- what they look like, how to store and cook... Then chapters on spring, summer, fall, winter, and anytime foods, each of which is organized by type of dish (breads, soups, main dishes, desserts, canning...) Along the vertical edge of each page are faintly printed the basic fruits and vegetables of that season, while those used specifically in that page's recipe are in bold. Recipes often list alternate vegetables that can be used, and some offer variations of seasonings or fruits used in a pie.
The index is wonderful: First an alphabetical index of recipe names, then an index by fruit, then an index by vegetable, then by protein/dairy/grains, then by herbs. Definitely makes using up your CSA box easier.
Favorite recipes we've made: Nutty Pumpkin Bread and Meltaway Cabbage. (These are also wonderful in that they use large quantity of vegetable, rather than just a little.)

Dislikes: Layout of individual pages. Recipes are written with a few ingredients, then cooking steps. Next, more ingredients, followed by the next set of cooking steps. Repeat. Ingredients are bolded, but it's a little hard to scan the whole page to make sure I have everything.
Also, at the bottom of many pages (below short recipes) are random factoids and quotes or paragraphs about the importance of local/organic methods. I'd probably prefer blank space.
We have difficulty using our cucumber, and these recipes seem uninspired (i.e. it still tastes like cucumber). For more vegetable recipes, especially for beets, cucumbers, and root vegetables, check out Farmer John's Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables which I also own (and reviewed).

Overall, if you want one CSA cookbook, I would start with this one; if you have large quantities of produce to deal with or get bored easily, add on the Farmer John's cookbook for a greater variety of vegetable recipes.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2009
Great recipes that are tested in real kitchens. Not Haute cuisine, but food that will please a family on a normal budget, and in all parts of the country. Seasonal cooking also means that you can take advantage of better prices when fresh local vegetables are available in the grocery store.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2010
This is the cookbook I use most often, and my favorite of the cookbooks I have. The recipes are easy to cook, taste great, and use herbs you're likely to have on hand. The recipes are all based on combinations of vegetables (and meats) that are in season at the same time, so you really can use what's growing in your garden or available at the farmer's market. The index includes both a listing by the recipe name and more importantly an index by ingredient, so if you have a lot of parsnips (or whatever you have), you can look up all the recipes that include that ingredient. The recipes also often list various substitutions that would work well, so it helps you realize that the recipe is just a guide and you can improvise. In that way this cookbook has also helped me become a better cook, to think through what ingredients we have and how they would work well together, based generally on a recipe that I'm used to from the book. The grouping of recipes by season is useful if you just want to page through and decide what to cook, you only have to look through the pages for the season you're in. The only thing that could be improved is the index, if you want to find a specific recipe but don't remember it's title you have to look it up either by key ingredient or by paging through its season. All around, the best day to day cookbook I have, great all year long.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2010
I have been trying to get back into truly seasonal cooking - it gets kind of boring with almost everything available all year round... tasteless or otherwise! Anyway, I had a look at a number of books and decided this was the one. It has not disappointed, tho I have many of the recipes still to try. As well as being packed with what look like great recipes (I've tried a few and so far so good!) I LOVE how this book is organized by season, and how it provides lists of so many different fruits and veggies alphabetically and describes each one's tastes, uses, seasonality and handling/storage tips etc. Definitely recommend it for these reasons, plus the thought-provoking snippets and insights into local and global food production and consumption for enhanced personal and world health, happiness and prosperity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2010
When I bought this book, I was looking for something to complement Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson, whose blog I read. This one had the best reviews of the ones that looked interesting to me, and I love it even MORE than Heidi's book. I think of myself as kind of a foodie, and the simplicity of the recipes caught me off guard at first. Some of them don't use any spices or even salt or pepper. I trusted, though, and gave a few recipes a try just as they were written. They completely exceeded my expectations, and every single recipe I've tried from this book has been fantastic.

I'm also an anti-religionist, and I didn't realize it until about the fourth time I perused the book that it's very religious - I think it might even be written by Mennonites? But there are other Christian religious leaders quoted, too. Anyway, I don't find it to be obnoxious at all, and I'm super sensitive to that kind of thing. The focus on cooking and eating in harmony with the seasons and with the earth's natural cycles happily coincides with my interest in fresh and seasonal foods, in terms of quality and a more European approach to seasonality.

There are lots of recipes with whole grains and that are vegetarian, but there are also some great meat recipes in the all-seasons section. Overall, this is my very favorite American cookbook (I think carnitas is the extent of the "ethnic" recipes) and I look forward to pulling it out and trying something new each time I use it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2010
I love love love this book. I actually have the original version, which was recommended to me by a friend. I've used it countless times, and it is by far my favorite cookbook. This is evident by the crinkled and splattered pages from its use, and post-it tabs marking favorite recipes I've made multiple times. I bought this expanded version for my dad for Christmas. He's an avid gardener and found himself paging through my copy all weekend when visiting last. I can't wait to give it to him, as he's usually very difficult to buy for! I'm a bit jealous of this expanded copy and want one for myself, since it offers more than the original does! It's a wonderful book and I'd recommend it to anyone!
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