By Hugh Acheson
Clarkson Potter; $35
If you know about old-time farm tools, you may know that a broad fork is used to manually break up soil. (I had to look that up.) And while the book’s subtitle implies that the word broad has more to do with the many and varied recipes within, the farm reference also resonates because Acheson, a Georgia chef and restaurateur (and Top Chef guest judge), was inspired by farms, farmers’ markets, and the beloved but often dreaded CSA box. He says he wrote his newest book to answer a question put to him by his neighbor and fellow community supporter of agriculture: “What the hell do I do with kohlrabi?” Not only does Acheson answer that question (politely, in the form of recipes), but he also tells readers what they can do with apples, carrots, corn, tomatoes, salsify, yacon (yes, yacon), persimmons, and much more. In chapters organized by season, he offers three or four recipes for each fruit or veg, from super simple to much more involved. For parsnips, for example, you’ll find an easy purée, a sauté with country ham, parsley, and basil, and then–whoa!–Oat Risotto with Oxtail, Roasted Shallot, and Parsnips.
His tone in the book is a bit sardonic, often hilarious, but also unpretentious and honest. His Southern allegiance comes through via pickle recipes (lots of them), grits, and an abundance of pecans. Most recipes are accompanied by stunning fullcolor photos. And although some of them don’t exactly match the recipes, they still make me want to head to the farmers’ market to buy something delicious to cook–maybe even kohlrabi, now that I know what the hell to do with it.
Beets with Serrano Ham, Young Manchego, Boiled Eggs, Arugula, and Smoked Paprika Dressing
Salt-roasted beets meet Spanish flavors in a super satisfying salad. The creamy-smoky dressing was a welcome change from the usual goat-cheese-and-beet matchup.
Roasted Eggplant with Boiled Peanut Sauce
A garlicky gremolata-like mix of chopped parsley, mint, and oregano adds bold flavor to roasted eggplant. Maybe Acheson likes the accompanying puréed peanut sauce on the thin side, but I’ll add less water next time.
|Fried Green Beans with Yogurt Sauce||Salmon with Ramps and Peas||Steamed New Potatoes with Green Garlic|
Photos by Rinne Allen