The region in western Massachusetts known as the Berkshires is famous for winter sports, summer cultural activities — and local agriculture, which is the inspiration for this beautiful cookbook. The authors, experienced food professionals who have a home there, enjoy food and cooking and appreciate the value of using fresh, organic, local ingredients to prepare meals. In their introduction, they discuss the difference between foods raised in a commercial factory environment and those produced on small farms and sold locally.
The 125 recipes presented in this book are inspired by these local ingredients. Beautiful color photographs and the stories of the farmers who grew the foods used in the preparations accompany the recipes. The book is divided into chapters on breakfast (recipes include Balsamic Stone Fruit over Yogurt, Hawthorne Valley Farm Camp oatmeal), soups (Chilled Melon Mint Soup, Vegetable Nabe with Kale), vegetables (Brussels Sprouts with Smoked-Almond Butter, Savory Beet Latkes), sandwiches, pizza, and savory pies (Tempeh Reuben, Leek Tarts with Chèvre), pasta, grains, and beans (Mushroom Ragout over Pasta, Rice, or Polenta; Bean Chili), poultry and fish (Garlic Chicken, Crispy-Skin Salmon), meat (Lamb Ragu, Braised Beef Shanks with Eggplant and Scarlet Runner Beans), and breads and desserts ( Warm Cranberry Cobbler, Blueberry Pie). The recipes are not kosher- there are several pork recipes in the meat section and others that call for sausages of various types. Creative kosher cooks can easily adapt them with substitute meats and non-dairy shortening instead of butter where necessary. The interviews with farmers provide insight and inspiration to adapt a more sustainable and eco friendly lifestyle.
This is a lovely addition to any cook’s collection.