Add as bookmark

Organic Cookbook

by Ysanne Spevack

listed in organic food

[Image: Organic Cookbook]

This is a gloriously illustrated, literally mouth-watering, large format and heavy (250 pages) coffee table book, which is a most appealing and informative title concerning all aspects of food.

The Introduction is a well-reasoned and factual overview putting the argument for organic agriculture – fruits and vegetables, livestock, fish, dairy products, even products such as hemp and flowers. There is also a succinct handling of some of the more important health issues implicated in organic agriculture, including avoiding chemical pesticides, additives, antibiotics and hormones, as well as issues such as food safety, animal welfare, wildlife, the environment and fair trade.

The book then proceeds, in logical and beautifully illustrated chapters, to discuss the many aspects of the organic kitchen – fresh produce, supermarkets, convenience foods, juicing and preserving. Followed are informative sections on the major foods we eat: Alliums (onions, garlic, leeks, scallions and chives); Tubers, Roots, Pumpkins and Squashes, Greens, Salad Vegetables, Vegetable Fruits (Tomatoes, Chillies, Aubergines, Peppers), Mushrooms, Peas, Beans and Corn, Sea Vegetables (Nori, Wakame, Kombu, Dulse, Arame, Kijiki, Laver, Agar-agar), Herbs and Edible Flowers, Apples and Pears, Summer Fruits, Berries and Currants, Grapes, Melons and Figs, Citrus Fruits, Tropical Fruits. There then follows a comprehensive section on Meat, Poultry and Game (Beef and Veal, Mutton and Lamb, Pork, Duck and Goose, Poultry, Game), Fish and Shellfish, Dairy Foods and Eggs, Beans and Pulses (including soya bea products such as Tofu, TVP, Tempeh), Grains (even less known grains such as quinoa and couscous), Flour and Pasta, Bread and Baked Goods, and Condiments (sugars and honey, molasses, maple syrup, Cocoa and Chocolate), Nuts and Seeds, Oils, Seasonings and Drinks.

The foregoing is only the first 70 pages. The majority of the book then contains sumptuously illustrated organic recipes, arranged by season. Hence in the Spring section there are such delights as chicken, avocado and spring onion soup, pasta and chickpea soup, leek and mussel tartlets, asparagus with lemon sauce, beetroot and red onion salad, marinated salmon with avocado salad and penne with cream and smoked salmon, lamb stew with new potatoes and shallots, and desserts including rhubarb and ginger ice cream, ricotta cheesecake and Russian poppy seed cake.

The Summer section has cold somen noodles, grilled aubergine parcels, tarbouleh, tomato and mozzarella salad, country pasta salad, grilled vegetable pizza, olive oil roasted chicken with summer vegetables, chocolate meringues with mixed fruit compote and coffee crêpes with peaches and cream.

A small sample from the Autumn chapters include roasted garlic and squash soup, slow-cooked shiitake with shoyu, tofu and vegetable Thai curry, moussaka, spicy venison casserole, honey baked figs with hazelnut ice cream, butternut squash and maple pie, baked apple dumplings, hot blackberry and apple soufflés, oat and raisin drop scones, Hungarian fruit bread.

Finally in the Winter section there are such favourites as Moroccan spiced mutton soup, braised red cabbage with beetroot, barley risotto with roasted squash and leeks, marmalade-glazed goose, mutton shanks with beans and herbs, steak, mushroom and ale pie, luscious desserts such as Christmas ice cream torte, Moroccan rice pudding, and semolina and nut halva.

There is a separate chapter about sauces (tahini, guacamole, mayonnaise), salsas, chutneys and breads (focaccia, olive bread chapatis, pitta, sourdough, cornbread, sunflower and walnut breads).

A useful glossary and supplier and information list is provided, and, thankfully, the book is well-indexed, invaluable when you want to find that special recipe with, say pumpkins.

The author, writer and broadcaster is a key figure in the international organic movement and has her own internet site

To order a copy of Organic Cookbook for only £14.99 including p&p (RRP £16.96) please call Grantham Book Services Tel: 01476 541080 and quote order number L10186PH.

Sandra Goodman PhD
Lorenz Books

top of the page