Novice and seasoned gardeners alike will discover sprig upon sprig of useful information in this rich combination herb primer/cookbook. Drawing from her own organic gardening experience--a 20-year labor of love inspired by an attempt to make her family "entirely self-sufficient"--author Carole Ottesen tells the story of growing and cooking with more than 100 healing herbs. A helpful sketch of each plant shares a full page with its general facts (including botanical name, use, and harvest time). After Ottesen discusses her own relationship to the herb--buying Mexican mint after her tarragon plants expired; discovering plants of gotu kola for sale at the local garden center--she relates interesting facts regarding the herb's historical use, its various healing properties, whether it's approved by the German Commission E, and how the little treasure prospered (or didn't) in her own garden. She also offers a handful of savory recipes showcasing the featured herb. Here, Ottesen's schooling at l'Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, Maryland, mixes delightfully with her wit and kitchen savvy. Recipes range from entrées like Hyssop Chicken for Sadness to simple accents (Carrots with Rosemary Butter); from tinctures and teas to elegant desserts (The Only Good Fruitcake). Her cozy writing style and true wealth of carefully detailed knowledge about each herb make this guide much more than a mere cookbook or herbal encyclopedia: each entry reads like a letter from a dear friend, and a highly informed one at that. --Liane Thomas
From the Inside Flap
Lavender oil to help you sleep--and for a deliciously soothing crème brûlée . . . fennel to aid digestion--and for a refreshingly cool salad with apple . . . garlic to cure infections--and for a great chunky gazpacho with lemon balm . . . dandelion as an effective blood purifier--and for a tasty lasagna with shiitakes . . . These are just some of the amazing uses and unique tastes featured in The Herbal Epicure, a one-of-a-kind treasury of practical gardening instruction, healing techniques, and fantastic recipes.
Here are the miracle medicines that our great-grandmothers nurtured on sunny windowsills and in kitchen gardens, the folk wisdom passed from generation to generation, and the latest scientific confirmation of the efficacy of these traditional remedies. In addition, The Herbal Epicure provides a varied collection of innovative, contemporary and heirloom recipes for favorite and newly rediscovered herbs like burdock, nettle, lambsquarters, and lovage. Gardeners, health-conscious people, and haute cuisine and organic cooks are joining forces to spread the joy of herbal cooking for great taste and total nutrition.
This carefully researched A-to-Z collection presents you with more than one hundred herbs, healing plants, and restorative fruits and vegetables--all selected for their health-promoting compounds, outstanding nutritive value, and indispensability for flavorful cooking every day and on special occasions. An experienced organic gardener as well as an inspired cook and recipe collector, Carole Ottesen tells you everything you need to know for tapping into each herb's potent properties, including:
- How to cultivate herbs and plants, indoors and out
- Knowing stem from stern: the uses of leaves, flowers, and roots
- Botanical facts and healing traditions--including feverfew for melancholia and anxiety, heart's ease for heartache, and parsley for good digestion
- Preparing medicinal teas, infusions, tinctures, ointments, sachets, syrups, beautifiers, and many other forms of application
- Delicious recipes for blackbean cornmeal muffins; lambsquarters crepes; elderberry flower tempura; crab cakes with beebalm; peppermint sorbet, and dozens of other dishes that bring elegant new flavors to the dinner table
Beyond an introduction to growing and using herbs, The Herbal Epicure gives you the wherewithal for a lifelong partnership with the earth--and all the joys of good gardening, good food, and good health.