Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables

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By Farmer John Peterson and Angelic Organics (Gibbs Smith, 2006)

Created to familiarize members of a Chicago-area CSA with the plentiful vegetation in their weekly delivery boxes, Farmer John’s Cookbook is a terrific introduction to cooking with seasonal harvests. It’s also a practical complement to the award-winning documentary film The Real Dirt on Farmer John, which chronicles the author’s extraordinary and eccentric experiences as a biodynamic farmer. Rent the movie to learn more about Farmer John Peterson. Read this book to absorb a wealth of edible local-foods wisdom. Here you’ll find an illustrated guide for identifying mystery veggies by sight, and plenty of seasonally grouped recipes for individual vegetables — recipes that have been field-tested by shareholders and the farm cook. No idea what to do with a rutabaga or a sunchoke? Each section explains what a given veggie is; what spices, oils and other veggies partner well with it; and offers three or four delicious preparations. The book is also packed with marginalia full of educational information about biodynamic farming practices, the “life forces” of individual plants and plenty of entertaining excerpts from the farm’s weekly newsletter. A great cooking resource and a fun read that will increase your pleasure in healthy eating.

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