I'm head over heels for this book. It took no time at all to become a top favorite. I've been cooking through each season as the calendar advances and expect it will inspire delicious eating for years to come.
Here's what I love about this book:
Not all seasons are equally rich with ripening produce, so instead of giving the four seasons equal weight like others have done, McFadden expands beyond the four to give the particularly productive summer months extra weight by expanding it into three seasons (early-summer, mid-summer, and late-summer). I loved the note in the forward by his former farm-boss about how seasons aren't confined to the dates on the calendar: "We like to say that there are 365 seasons of the year, when each day finds certain ingredients in their absolute prime state."
I have a slightly biased view on this section, a number of the products mentioned are imported by the company I work for and I know firsthand that they are some of they best you can buy. I had no idea McFadden wrote about our products before buying the book, but it was a nice bonus to discover my pantry is already stocked as he recommends.
As you cook through you begin to see repeating flavor themes. I loved the combo of lemon juice + zest + good olive oil + red chili flakes, a formula that is fantastic every time and never feels over done. I love that I can now take that formula and apply it to my own improvisational cooking.
The thing I love about ingredient driven books is to see the range and creativity of what you can do with a single product. Many sections include raw preparation, cooked, salads, pastas. I can't get enough, the moment I make one recipe I'm off to bookmark the next.
My full review coming soon.
Sub-recipe: Basic Vegetable Pickle Brine with Cherries and Thyme
Full review coming soon!
Sub-recipe: Cacio e Pepe Butter
This was the first recipe I made from the book and it completely won me over. Full review to come soon! Apologies for the lame photo.
Review to come soon!
Review coming soon!
Sub-recipe: Fish-Sauce Sauce