Among the pleasures of a well-written cookbook are discovering an author who writes with authority, enthusiasm, and a sense of practicality laced with a willingness to be adventurous.
Abra Berens, who is also the author of a popular vegetable book, Ruffage, deftly addresses grains, seeds, beans, and other legumes in this 400+ page book. Most recipes come with suggestions for variations that further demonstrate the versatility of these staple foods.
Recipes are arranged by core ingredient, with each chapter opening with information on basic cooking times and water ratios, signs of doneness, place of origin, yield, and so forth. Berens also addresses issues of cultivation, particularly from the standpoint of small farmers (an occupation she once held).
You'll likely find ways of using these foods that you have never tried: oats served in the style of French panisse, pan fried and topped with a mint-almond relish; marinated split pea salad; barley with roasted parsnips, endive, and mornay sauce; wheat berries with cucumber and parsley, dressed with pickle brine.
There is years of good cooking in this book.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.
For a limited time we have bookplates signed by Abra Berens.