Dandelion & Quince: Exploring the Wide World of Unusual Vegetables, Fruits, And
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McKenzie, a San Francisco culinary instructor, wants you to be interested in unusual vegetables and fruit. Chapter by chapter she extols and provides recipes for a wide range of different produce. Some are familiar but not commonly cooked with at home, such as dates, horseradish, and Asian pears. Others are common in some ethnic traditions and little used outside them, like burdock, gooseberries, and tomatillos. And still others surprised us: celery leaves, for which McKenzie has recipes for roasting and infusing into a savory custard; fig leaves, which add a coconut-peat-vanilla-green-walnut fragrance to a braised chicken dish, to baked rice, or to shortbread cookies. And kumquats! McKenzie uses them in short ribs braised with kombu as well as an almond-poppy seed cake. This is surprising and full of smart ideas.