More Summer Cookbooks – Eat Local

A few weeks ago I started a series looking at the new crop of summer cookbooks. Specifically, we’re looking at the kinds of books that go well with those products we get from farmers markets.

Today’s book continues the joys of local food, a movement that is gaining ground in the U.S. every day.

Eating Local: The Cookbook Inspired by America’s Farmers, by Sur La Table and Janet Fletcher, hardcover, 320 pages, Andrews McMeel Universal. Retails at around $35.

This one is the book you give as a gift to your locavore friends when they invite you to the beach house for a week. Like most Sur La Table books, it’s a feast for the eyes: lushly photographed, and somehow both elegant and earthy. Haven’t got any friends with a beach house? Yeah, me neither, actually. Fortunately, Eating Local cooks as good as it looks. Most of these recipes use strong seasonings (lemon zest, caraway seed) in smart little combinations you wouldn’t have thought of yourself (at least not on a hot summer day when you’re sweating in some parking lot next to the farmers market). Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Tahini Sauce and Summer Squash Carpaccio with Arugula, Pecorino, and Almonds are good examples of the kind of fancy-looking food that actually isn’t all that hard to make that you find in this book.

For those afternoons when you’re feeling very “let’s not and say we did,” you could do worse than to lie around reading about the small farms that inspired the book, like Red Fire Farm with its yearly heirloom tomato festival, and Full Belly Farm in California with its 360!-day harvest.

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