Buddha’s Hand, Burdock, Celeriac, Kohlrabi, Nettle, Persimmon, Quince, Sorel…are not ingredients you find in most grocery stores. Most people including myself wouldn’t know what most of these even are, but Dandelion & Quince does a phenomenal job at making each of these ingredients and many more accessible and enjoyable.
Now, I know you must be thinking I like this cookbook because I am a foodie. Well the answer is yes and no. Even my husband thinks of me, or at least used to, as a picky eater. Growing up I would only eat cold hot dogs, pickles, and Klondike bars (or so my mother says). However as I grew up so did my pallet.
Recently we went to the doctor for a basic physical. We both were told that our bad cholesterol was too high, more exercise and a healthier diet was prescribed. I wasn’t thrilled. No one is going to ever get me to give up my chocolate chip cookies but I know enough to try and expand what we eat for our meals. That’s when I came across this cookbook. Being that I am intrigued by foraging and we live on rural acreage, I wanted to know what can you do with burdock and nettle because we have it all over! I also am working on restructuring our diet to be very seasonal and wanted to have more resources to help me identify interesting seasonal cuisine and this book does just that.
I started with Rye Berries, Chicory, Pear, and Walnuts. It seemed safe as most of those were familiar and Asian Pears were hitting the markets. The recipe taught me new techniques for cooking the rye berries and sparked my imagination with how I could tweak it to make it my own. My husband and I loved it enough that I have now made it several times.
Feeling confident with the book I went to the section on persimmons. Here I started with Escarole Salad with Fennel and Fall Fruit. This was delicious! We eat salads a lot so discovering a salad that highlighted fall flavors in the fresh and bright way was fantastic! My husband is always trying to find different ways to increase his dietary fiber and one way he likes to do that is with fruit and veg, one particular is Kohlrabi. This lead me to making the next recipe in this section Kohlrabi Salad with Persimmons and Sheep’s Milk Cheese. I made this as a snack for him and he loves it!
Any cookbook that gets me at least 3 winning recipes is a keeper and is highly recommended. You may not know what the ingredients are but I can’t stress enough as to how wonderful this cookbook is. It will break you away from the norm and meat is never the focus of her dishes. If you’re feeling bold and daring I say get this cook book!
Next up I will be making Farro with Persimmons, Arugula, and Pancetta-Fried Hazelnuts as well as her Dried Persimmon Tea! Loving fall!