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Sustainably Delicious: Making the World a Better Place, One Recipe at a Time

  • Sustainably Delicious
  • Risotto-Style Summer Heirloom Farro
  • Lobster Breakfast

By Nadia Arumugam, contributing editor

June 14th, 2010

Update: Congrats to athoughtforfood, who is lucky enough not only to participate in a CSA, but also a CFS, so the more than a dozen seafood recipes in Sustainably Delicious will prove quite useful.

Thanks for your comments, everyone!

Win this Book:
Post a comment and share your approach to cooking and eating orgnically raised, locally produced, responsibly harvested food. In short, I want to know how you eat "sustainably delicious!" I'll pick a comment at random on Wednesday, June 23. The winner gets a free copy of the book. 

The Review:
Sustainably Delicious by Michel Nischan with Mary Goodbody (Rodale, $35)

More than just a cookbook, this is a manifesto on how to eat today. According to chef Michel Nischan, who, with Paul Newman, founded the Dressing Room restaurant, in Westport, Connecticut, we should cook with wholesome, seasonal ingredients for the health of ourselves, our families, and the planet. His cheerful enthusiasm for this lifestyle is contagious, and the evocative anecdotes that precede his recipes will certainly compel you into the kitchen. One such instance: Musing on his garden’s bountiful harvest, Nischan offers a recipe for refreshing Garden Gazpacho, thick with avocados, peppers, and homegrown tomatoes. Good food that’s kind to the planet—surely there’s no lesson more relevant for today’s cook.

Excerpted Recipes:

Butter-Roasted Oysters Lobster Breakfast Risotto-Style Summer Heirloom Farro
Butter-Roasted Oysters   Lobster Breakfast   Risotto-Style Summer Heirloom Farro

Recipe photos: Andre Baranawski © 2010

posted in: Blogs, Sustainably Delicious
Comments (24)

rioazul writes: To me organic and sustainability is key in my life and in my family. I tried to instill in my son the concept and essence that we need to contaminate less, save more, create more, use our land and never, ever waste. This applies completely to our food, we have been growing year after year a garden that provides us with the food for a great part of the year, and although we don't have too much land we try to use as much as possible and make it productive and rich. We compost, we fertilize our garden with that compost, we pick the bugs from the garden, we don't use pesticides, we don't use herbicides and we don't use chemical fertilizers. I planted perennials to decorate the garden, and we planted blackberries to make juice for all year round. We freeze (Strawberries locally picked, our beans, our peas, squash, onions) We preserve fruit, we can tomatoes and make the best spaghetti sauce, salsa, pasta etc. What a wonderful feeling is to know that you are being self-sufficient, help the world and at the same time eat fresh and without artificial chemicals in my family's food.
I have learn this since I moved to Canada in 2001, I was not used to look at the food by the seasons, I lived in a country where I had food year round.
I still learn more and more from books, my neighbors, friends and the internet. My next step I would love to buy a goat, so I don't have to pick weeds or cut my grass, and I can make goat cheese. :) Posted: 4:04 pm on June 29th

shallhenry writes: I have four raised beds where I grow 8 different kinds of heirloom tomatoes. I am also growing heirloom peppers, pole beans, garlic, mesclun, carrots, spinach, collard greens, ground cherries, hot peppers, broccoli rabe, along with the usual herbs: basil, rosemary, parsley, chives, cilantro (still trying to figure out how to keep it from bolting), lavender, tarragon, marjoram, sage, thyme. I order my seeds and plants from Seed Savers in Wisconsin/Iowa. Living in the Western Suburbs of Chicagoland, it is challenging to live/eat sustainably. The only option for securing food is to drive to the chain grocery store. I am dedicated to turning my urban/suburban yard into an urban garden - one raised bed at a time. We eat quite a bit of fish and I try to select fish that are wild-caught and sustainably harvested. When we purchase meat, we visit a local butcher shop. Posted: 3:59 pm on June 26th

LisaL55 writes: We're lucky enough to have a couple of great farmers markets within walking distance. We're also lucky enough to have a university meat sciences lab that sells beef and pork that's raised without hormones and horrible treatment of the animals within walking distance. Good support for the community and low carbon footprint to get to them. It makes it easy and we get our exercise. Posted: 12:10 pm on June 26th

bananaanna writes: It's so nice to see more information about this lifestyle. I am a member of our local chapter of "Slow Food". I encourage others to join and support local farmers and being a part of the 100 mile diet. Healthy and happy eating. I guess it's as simple as eating what your grandmother ate! Posted: 10:16 pm on June 23rd

trudys_person writes: I shop at farmers' markets, farm gate stands and I grow as much as I can on my apartment deck. Love the photo of sage on the cover of the book - I have three varieties of that in my garden! Thank you for the giveaway! Posted: 7:15 pm on June 22nd

abaco66 writes: Cooking for my daughter has made me think twice about the food that goes into our bodies. I’m growing, reading, visiting farms, and trying to do better…small step by small step. Posted: 12:17 pm on June 22nd

CPeterman writes: I'm growing my first garden this year and loving the experience and results. I also shop at farmer's markets and my local food coop which supports local farms. In general I focus on eating seasonally, though things like lemons, limes, and bananas that are never local/seasonal for me I do tend to buy all year long. It's more exciting to cook with fresh local ingredients and I enjoy being "in the moment" with seasonal foods. Posted: 11:58 am on June 22nd

lennia writes: We have a share in an organic CSA which provides almost all of our produce. If there is anything else that we need, we usually get it from a local farmer's market. I talk to all the farmers first to determine how they are raising their crops or animals and then stick with those farms that use good practices. Posted: 11:15 am on June 22nd

jmc49120 writes: Located in Southwestern Michigan we have numerous farmers markets and home-grown/organic vegetable stands in the area. This year we started our own garden with an assortment of heirloom tomatoes along with hot peppers, herbs, green beans, zucchini and pickling cucumbers. Every year I can tomatoes, pickles, jalapenos and make homemade strawberry jam. I'm excited to use my own produce this year! We may have to supplement with some product grown locally but I'm hopeful that we'll feast off our garden far into the winter months. It's been a great experience for the kids (4). There is nothing like tomato slices fresh off the vine or snacking on green beans still warm from the sun. Posted: 10:54 am on June 22nd

sharkness writes: I shop at our local farmer's markets twice a week and buy what ever is fresh. We have a guy who sells local, raw cows milk - the highlight of my week :) Posted: 10:47 am on June 22nd

Norigeyser writes: I try to buy most of my meat from a local farmer/ butcher who has organic beef, elk and pork. He makes wonderful fresh sausages from all thrre (no nitrites!) too. Shop the farmers market in the next town (take the bus) so I save money and have a smaller footprint as well. Also am looking into a community garden on the property of the renovated mill I live in. Posted: 9:01 pm on June 18th

brasilian_cook writes: I make all of the baby food my daughter eats. I'm getting up early tomorrow to go to the farmer's market to buy some fruits and veggies so I can make her food for the upcoming week. I'm also going to be looking for some nice steaks to make a special meal for my husband for his first father's day!

I learned recently that a lot of the produce that is not sold at farmer's markets goes to waste. We have a program in our community that allows the sellers to donate their left-overs to a local homeless shelter. I think it's a great idea. Posted: 2:05 pm on June 18th

athoughtforfood writes: My husband and I are a part of a CSA as well as a CSF (Community Supported Fishery). Each week we get a box of produce and from the CSF we get either a whole fish (haddock or cod) or fillets.

We also grow our own herbs (basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, lavender, rosemary, sage) and tomatoes and peppers in planters outside our apartment building. Posted: 2:56 pm on June 17th

FoodByMarissa writes: I throughly enjoy exploring the numerous farmers markets in my area and I grow as much as I can (that will survive my anti-green thumb. Basil and tomatoes do well for me!).

If I can't make it to a farmes market I buy my produce from the small locally owned produce store which buys all of their items from the markets. Posted: 2:29 pm on June 17th

MichaelsKilleRecipes writes: I grow a few of my own herbs and vegetables, and I love to shop local farmer's markets, and local farms that deliver assorted veggies, breads, etc. I composte my scraps, but generally- I do so after cooking them! I shave citrus peels/zest and freeze them befoore I peel the fruit to eat. I can candy them, use them in teas, soups, sauces, stir fry- you name it! Even veggie shavings, like carrots, zuchinni, celery create a great broth by themselves (the whole house smells like soup!), and this maximizes the flavor of things I cook, and maximizes the utility of the produce I purchase. It also means I have plenty of FRESH broth in the fridge or freezer when I need it, and I don't have to hop in the car and run to the store to get some! Creating a sustainable kitchen extends to conservation in the rest of my life as well, including saving on gas and trips to varying stores. If I can stock on up things I use in the kitchen all at one place, I've reduced my carbon footprint (and saved money! time, and gasoline), and made things simpler. And, it has inspired me to build recipes around what is common nearby, or on sale that week, and you can find some of those on my blog ( ). Posted: 1:50 pm on June 17th

Vindee writes: I love the bit "this is a manifesto on how to eat today'. I am a complete locavore, and an advocate of the same. I have now begun preserving a lot, grow my own herbs, and experiment with local substitutes in recipes. I make my own mascarpone, ricotta, quark etc, and share my knowledge on my blog! This does sound like a great book! Posted: 1:42 pm on June 17th

ccpb writes: We love gardening, farmers' markets, buying straight from local producers - in general, we strive to get our food from as close to the source as possible. Traditional preparation methods like soaking and sprouting grains, lactofermentation, etc., also help us get the greatest nutritional impact from our food. Posted: 12:58 pm on June 15th

pjhopper writes: I grow some of my own veggies, raise chickens, and try and but organically as much as possible. Posted: 12:52 pm on June 15th

merrycarol writes: After I steep my tea I pour all my leaves into my herb garden boxes that helps provide my herbs with a nutrition boost that then provides me with lots of fresh herbs...even in the city! Of course, I head to Farmers Market on Thursdays or Sundays. Easy to buy local in Southern California!
Posted: 11:35 am on June 15th

lauralop writes: i belong to a CSA and buy all my produce and eggs from local farmers. i rarely eat beef, and when i do it is grass-fed and organic. Posted: 11:29 am on June 15th

holmes1 writes: Love saving veggie scraps in the freezer to make broth to keep on hand, then toss the the scraps into the compost. Saves me money and adds more flavor to what I'm preparing, and then goes back to the earth. Sounds silly, but it adds to my sense of well-being.

This is in addition to joining our new community garden and teaching my young children about healthy eating, food prep and making good choices with food to prevent too much food and food packaging waste. Posted: 11:04 am on June 15th

Momatad writes: I have put in a backyard garden and am constantly looking for ways to inprove and enlarge it. I have started 'putting up' veggies and fruits when in season so that I can enjoy them later in the year without worrying 'what' beside the fruit/veg is in it. Posted: 10:33 am on June 15th

DawnP writes: Trying to maintain my own kitchen garden and keep potted herbs. Working with different ways to use and preserve the bounty that comes from each. Posted: 10:31 am on June 15th

dineindiva writes: I've been growing and preserving my own food for over 25 years. The organic strawberry jam I made this weekend will remind me of a sunny June day on a snowy winter day when I get a jar from the pantry.

I am really pleased to see the growth of our local farmers markets. We now have an excellent selection of produce, honey, eggs, poultry, and grass-fed meats.

I am a huge Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) fan. I am in two this year, one with a meat share, and one of my personal chef clients also became a member, and I'll be preparing her share.

When food is seasonal and at it's peak, simple preparations are best. Let the food and freshness shine through. Posted: 7:04 am on June 15th

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