food Program

Cookbook Review - Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables

Gibbs Smith Publishers

Have you ever walked through the farmers' market feeling a little overwhelmed by the selection of produce, wracking your brain to try to figure out how to prepare all of the vegetables? Or are you a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)  Gmember, trying to get a handle on that bumper crop of cauliflower, or the bunch of greens that appeared in your weekly box from the farm? This book helps the seasoned (and not-so-seasoned) veggie buyer, from the CSA member to the farmers' market shopper to the grocery store produce aisle maven, figure out exactly what to do with all of those vegetables!

The Real Dirt on Vegetables, by Farmer John Peterson and Angelic Organics, is the companion book to the movie The Real Dirt on Farmer John, the story of Farmer John Peterson’s journey into the world of organic and community-supported farming. The Real Dirt on Vegetables is peppered with essays by Farmer John himself, letters from Angelic Organics CSA shareholders, excerpts from Rudolph Steiner (founder of the biodynamic  Gmethod of farming), and other interesting tidbits and stories, plus beautiful color photographs of Angelic Organics farm life.

The organization of the book is rather less traditional than your typical cookbook - recipes are arranged seasonally (i.e., early season, mid-season, late season) instead of by food type (i.e., appetizers, entrées, side dishes, desserts). It also features a handy Illustrated Vegetable Guide (to help readers figure out the difference, for example, between a rutabaga and a turnip!) and tips on vegetable storage and preservation. From asparagus to zucchini, each vegetable has its own section on preparation, culinary uses and perfect partners (Brussels sprouts and shallots are natural culinary partners - who knew?).

Many of the 225 recipes in The Real Dirt on Vegetables were submitted by the Angelic Organics CSA shareholders or cooks on the Angelic Organics farm. Wide-ranging, delicious-sounding recipes like sweet potato enchiladas, basil cheesecake, and Cajun corn and kale salad, highlight the diversity of produce available from season-to-season.

Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables is available in bookstores and online. Visit the Farmer John website for more information, or visit the Angelic Organics website for more information on the Angelic Organics farm and CSA.