Edible Books


Fall Reading List

by Nancy Oster

Fall is a great time to hit the books. But instead of textbooks, we have two cookbooks and two food-related books that you will want to put on your must-read list. And looking ahead to the holidays, all four of these would be perfect for the gift-giving season.


Nourished: The Art of Eating and Living Well

By Luna Paige Smith

(goodwitchbooks, 170 pages, paperback, $28)

Number of recipes: 72

Local cookbook author Luna Paige Smith starts off her mornings with Quinoa Pancakes served with fresh figs, goat yogurt and honey or maybe a serving of Banana Buckwheat Breakfast Porridge topped with honey and toasted nuts. Luna’s wholesome innovative recipes are gluten free and primarily organic vegetarian. An occasional meal with meat, eggs or fish focuses on grass-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free proteins simply prepared with flavorful accompaniments—such as Orange-Miso Salmon with Fresh Ginger and Baby Bok Choy. Drawing from her working knowledge of fresh vegetables, fruits and gluten-free grains and flours, she presents an appealing collection of beautifully photographed drinks, soups, entrees, accompaniments and desserts. For the winter holidays, she recommends her Wild Arugula with Orange, Pecans & Shaved Fennel Salad. And for dessert, perhaps, a slice of Ginger Molasses Cake with Coconut Cashew Cream. Gluten-free meals that will satisfy everyone at the table.


Salade: Recipes from the Market Table

By Pascale Beale

(M27 Editions, 216 pages, softcover, $29.95)

Number of recipes: 90

Pascale Beale’s salads begin with a trip to the farmers market, where she selects the freshest seasonal ingredients to mix with olive oil vinaigrette, a sprinkling of coarse salt and a twist of spicy black pepper. Yes, it’s that easy. Layering texture, flavor and color, Pascale shows you how to create stunning salads—as you will see from the gorgeous full-page photos that accompany each recipe. Salads, such as the Mache, Mint and Pluot Salad shown on the cover, can easily become the focal point of any meal. Pascale groups her recipes by key ingredient. Those sweet colorful carrots you found at the farmers market today? Choose the Roasted Kale and Rainbow Carrot Salad or the Carrot, Radish and Orange Salad. Historical and personal anecdotes make this book a treasured resource
for any cookbook library.


The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food

By Dan Barber

(The Penguin Press, 486 pages, hardcover, $29.95)

Chef Dan Barber of the Blue Hill restaurants in New York embraces the farm-to-table approach, but questions the sustainability of “cherry-picking of ingredients that are often ecologically demanding and expensive to grow.” Today’s cuisine forces farmers to grow crops that require lots of soil nutrients and to raise lambs to sell just the chops, rather than alternating crops that add nutrients to the soil and offering other flavorful cuts of meat. Barber says the role of the enlightened chef is to “create demand for soil-improving crops and enlarge our sense of what is delicious.” Taking us deep into the web of soil, land, sea and seedling, Barber illustrates how these elements of our food system can come together in harmony to feed us more sustainably. His future (third plate) entrée features a steak-sized root vegetable garnished with a braised meat sauce. Well-researched, timely, thought-provoking work!


Local: The New Face of Food and Farming in America

By Douglas Gayeton

(Harper Design, 272 pages, hardcover, $35)

Number of recipes: 3

“Your words can change the world,” says writer/photographer/filmmaker Douglas Gayeton. “Words are the building blocks for ideas.” Taking us on an annotated photographic journey across the country, Gayeton interviews farmers, fishermen, dairymen and educators. Their stories help him define more than 200 words commonly used in the sustainable food movement, exploring the nuances of their use and the underlying issues they address. What does the word “local” mean for example. Are the boundaries defined by distance, geography, region, culture, personal connection—or does it matter? “After reading this book,” Gayeton says, “please give it away.” He explains that the real audience for this book might never buy it, but the stories reflected on these pages could inspire them, armed with a deeper understanding of the movement, to speak out and help find ways to support and promote a healthier, safer food system for America.

Categories Fall 2014 Featured Read