Serving Up the Harvest: Celebrating the Goodness of Fresh Vegetables, by Andrea Chesman, published by Storey Publishing, distributed by Thomas Allen and Son, is serving up over 175 of the best recipes to take you through all the seasons. Recipes for everything from Spring Asparagus to Winter Squash and Pumpkins.
About the Book
Whether you are an avid gardener or an avid eater of the harvest, chances are you live to experience the fresh bounty Mother Nature provides every spring and summer, and with the instincts of a chipmunk love to put away a few savory items for use during the fall and winter.
“Cooks who garden are thrilled by the harvest. We believe every overflowing basket of vegetables is an opportunity for a crispy fresh salad, a fragrant harvest stew, a terrific new pasta sauce. On the other hand, gardeners who cook will spend hours in the garden, making everything look perfect, and then find themselves stricken with guilt. Oh no, they suddenly realize, someone has to cook all those vegetables.
Of course, not everyone who enjoys vegetables has the chance or the inclination to grow her own vegetables. Some of my very best friends buy all their vegetables. And why not, with farmers’ markets, produce stands, and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farms distributing wonderful fresh produce to rural, suburban, and urban markets? Once these shoppers get their vegetables home, however, there is still the problem of what to do with them.”
Chesman shows you how by placing each recipe according to season, and also alphabetically. How much easier is that? She explains how to prepare a good pantry and all the things that should be there waiting to create masterpieces fit for vegetarians, omnivores and kings.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I particularly enjoy the basic recipes section which seems cover all, such a basic white sauce or pie crust, chicken broth and especially the recipe for roasted peppers which is so very easy. Chesman goes further on in the book to explain in extreme detail the methods of cooking she prefers, so there really is no excuse to fail with any of her recipes such as braising, grilling and my favourite roasting.
A few recipes you can expect to find, which are some of Chesman’s numerous best recipes are Fettuccine Alfredo with Vegetables, which is a luxurious and rich with an abundance of vegetables, Greek-style Baked Spinach and Shrimp which you can prepare well in advance for those special pot-luck lunches, and Roasted Spiced Cauliflower which can be served as a side dish, hors d’oeuvre or snack. I can go on and on. This book has so many super ideas and special ways to prepare veggies, you will never be bored in the kitchen with this book.
Choosing a recipe, one recipe from Serving Up the Harvest is quite the chore for me. They are all fabulous! I chose this zucchini recipe, as many of us have run out of ways to use this vegetable when the zucchini season is underway and an over abundance seems always inevitable. Chesman suggests peeling and seeding the zucchini and chopping it in small squares, and use it as you would apples in pies and muffins. She calls it “Zapple”
ZUCCHINI CHEESE SQUARES
“My kids love these “zucchini pillows”. The texture is softer than a bread and denser than a souffle, with just the trace of crunch from the onions. It makes a great side dish, especially on a picnic, where the squares can be eaten out of the hand. You can use slightly overgrown zucchini here.”
- 3 cups grated zucchini
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 onion diced,
- 2 cups grated cheddar
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or lemon pepper
- 1/2 cup oil
- 3 large eggs, beaten
Combine the zucchini and salt in a colander and toss to mix. Set aside to drain for 30 minutes. Squeeze out excess water.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 7- by 11- inch baking pan with butter
Stir together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add the onion, zucchini, cheese, thyme and pepper. Mx well with a fork, breaking up any clumps of zucchini. Whisk together the oil and eggs in a small bowl. Pour into the zucchini mixture and mix well. Spread evenly in the baking dish.
Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, until golden brown.
Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.
Win your own copy of Serving Up the Harvest: Celebrating the Goodness of Fresh Vegetables, by Andrea Chesman, published by Storey Publishing, distributed by Thomas Allen and Son by leaving a comment at the end of this article, as well as what is your favourite veggie and what do you do with it to make it such a favourite?