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The Herbal Epicure: Growing, Harvesting, and Cooking Healing Herbs Paperback – January 30, 2001

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Editorial Reviews Review

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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wellspring/Ballantine; 1 edition (January 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345434021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345434029
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,666,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carole Ottesen, who gardens in Maryland and Cape Breton, attended the University of Wisconsin and the Universitaet Heidelberg in Germany and spent a decade as an artist before embarking on a career of garden writing and photography. In addition to a column in the Potomac Almanac, she translated garden books and contributed to periodicals including Flower and Garden, American Nurseryman, Hortus (Britain), Garden Design, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, House Beautiful, Organic Gardening, and Martha Stewart Living.

After working on the Time-Life garden series, she joined the staff of The American Gardener from 2001 to 2004 and continues to contribute to that magazine. She also served as garden editor for Washington Home and Garden magazine .

Her garden books include The New American Garden (Macmillan, February, 1988), Gardening with Style, with Graham Rose and Peter King (Bloomsbury Press, Britain, 1988), Ornamental Grasses, The Amber Wave (McGraw/Hill, October,1989; paperback, 1995), The Native Plant Primer, (Harmony, 1995), The Herbal Epicure: Growing and Cooking Plants that Heal (Ballantine, February, 2001) and the Guide to Smithsonian Gardens, March 2011.

Dying for the Christmas Rose, June 2012, is her first garden mystery.
Coming--hopefully in late 2012--will be Murder House.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joeth Keller on June 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Carole Ottesen's new book, The Herbal Epicure, tells you everything you want to know and more about the planting, growing, harvesting, cooking and eating with healing herbs. The recipes, including old favorites, are easy, mouth-watering, and, now made even more nutritious----a great gift for any occasion!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Rose VINE VOICE on January 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
Well-written and conveniently organized, inviting the reader to take an integrated approach to the diverse values of herbs for growing, preserving, eating and healing. Totally useful!
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By pat taylor on October 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this is a very good book . Its easy to read and understand. Very informative Im glad that I bought it
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