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Dishing Up the Dirt: Simple Recipes for Cooking Through the Seasons Hardcover – March 14, 2017
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“Andrea’s approach to food is honest, real, and down-to-earth. Her descriptions of life on the farm are beautifully timeless, while her recipes breathe new life into the idea of cooking dinner after a long, hard day’s work. Dishing Up the Dirt is packed full of flavorful dishes that are not the least bit fussy.” (Dana Shultz, author of Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-Based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes)
“Reading this book makes me yearn for the joy of cooking vegetables right out of the garden and warming up by a woodstove in winter. Andrea’s recipes are refreshingly uncomplicated, delicious, and a wonderful way to celebrate the seasons.” (Amy Chaplin, James Beard Award winning author of At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well)
“Andrea’s approach to food is honest, real, and down-to-earth. Her descriptions of life on the farm are beautifully timeless, while her recipes breathe new life into the idea of cooking dinner after a long, hard day’s work. Dishing Up the Dirt is packed full of flavorful dishes that are not the least bit fussy.” (Molly Yeh, author of Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from an Unlikely Life on a Farm)
“Proceed with caution: Contents may inspire you to drop everything and start an organic farm. Bemis’s recipes are as farm-to-table as they get.” (Tasting Table)
“The creator of the popular farm-to-table blog “Dishing Up the Dirt” builds on her success with this beautiful, simple, seasonally driven cookbook.” (Publishers Weekly)
“CSA subscribers and farmers market devotees, Andrea Bemis’ Dishing Up the Dirt is the 2017 title for you. Organized by season, killer farm-to-table recipes are interspersed with snaps of the couple’s farm and honest, memoir-like writing.” (Nicole Perry, Popsugar)
From the Back Cover
Some recipes are dreamed up in the kitchen. Others are dished up from the dirt. For Andrea Bemis, who owns and operates an organic vegetable farm with her husband in Parkdale, Oregon, meals are inspired by the day’s harvest. In this stunning cookbook, Andrea shares simple, inventive, and delicious recipes for cooking through the seasons. Welcome to life on Tumbleweed Farm—where the work may be hard, but the stove is always warm.
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About a week ago I received DUTD in the mail. As I opened the padded envelop I was struck by the cover -- Andrea lugging a huge basket of kale. Not posed, the photo seems to have captured her in a moment unawares. Humble. Not flashy or over-produced, the recipes (which I'll get to in a moment) are simple to prepare, beautiful on the plate, and unbelievably delicious. The book is divided into seasons but that's as organized as it gets -- she wants people to explore the book and not to feel confined by labels or perceptions. Cookies for breakfast is what I had this morning with my coffee and at her urging I didn't feel bad. Her Chocolate Chip and Real Mint Cookies are quite incredible. The butter (in my case I use coconut oil) is heated and infused with fresh mint thereby imbuing the cookie with the most wonderful mint flavour. The flavour was subtle, yet honest (not to mention the texture was chewy in a fudge-y way). She also encourages home cooks to explore and experiment, which is what I did with the cookies (as well as the scones and muffins). I took these baking recipes and attempted to 'veganize' them. I am happy to report that each recipe was easily converted into a delicious vegan version. In all cases I subbed coconut oil for butter and 'Chia eggs' (1 tbsp ground chia whisked w/ 3 tbsp water then left a few minutes to thicken and congeal). Even my husband was surprised -- everything turned out really well and the cookies are now on his 'favourites' list.
But I think the key to success is that all of the recipes are simple enough that any level of cook can use and/or experiment with them and find success. While firmly plant-based (emphasis on what their farm is producing) there are recipes that use meat, dairy, honey, and eggs. But if you're vegetarian or vegan there are more than enough recipes to appeal to your dietary sensibilities. For instance, when I made this Roasted Beet and Carrot Lentil Salad I used a dairy-free coconut based yogurt in the dressing and omitted the cheese when I made it for a vegan friend.
So far I've made and enjoyed:
-Strawberry Mint Smoothie
-Chocolate Chip & Real Mint Cookies
-Burst Tomatoes & Cashew Ricotta Tartine
-Roasted Vegetable & Chickpea Tacos w/ Herbed Tahini Sauce
-Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
-Butternut Molasses Muffins
-Roasted Beet & Carrot Lentil Salad
-Cranberry Anise Scones
-Roasted Acorn Squash w/ Tahini & Hazelnuts
-Honey Cardamom Lattes
I can honestly say her recipes really are this easy to make and enjoy. Notably, there isn't a pantry section -- all of the ingredients are easy to source. Just go to your market and pick up what is in season. While not a subscriber to a CSA box myself, I can imagine that if you are a subscriber this would be a perfect cookbook for you because the book is so full of recipes and inspiration. At Andrea's Tumbleweed Farm they have a CSA program -- and judging by her Instagram photos they must be incredible boxes to receive. The only ingredient that stood out to me and was in many of the recipes was walnut oil (she also offers alternative oils to use if walnut isn't in your kitchen). In terms of kitchen equipment the standard applies -- blender, food processor, stove/oven.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Harper Wave / Harper Collins Publishers for providing me with a free review copy of this book. I did not receive monetary compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.