Cooking Books -> Condiments
The Herbfarm Cookbook
Published: March 2000
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Since 1990, Jerry Traunfeld has been the chef at the Herbfarm, a restaurant-nursery nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State devoted to propagating an exceptional variety of culinary herbs, edible flowers, and
greens. People wait months for a table at this restaurant, where Traunfeld's unaffected yet sophisticated cooking unfolds in a nine-course dinner. Reading his recipes, you understand why. It is hard to get through even the first chapter, on soups,
without starting a shopping list for making Green Gazpacho, a cooling blend of cucumbers and green pepper with spearmint, parsley, and cilantro, or Herbal Chicken Noodle Soup, lavish with fresh basil, chives, tarragon, and marjoram.
you with the story of his signature dish, a green salad made with up to 30 ingredients, each literally harvested and assembled on the plate one leaf and blossom at a time, Traunfeld shows how, using more typical resources, you can construct a salad
friends will declare a delicious work of art. To make it really simple, he provides a chart listing 50 possible choices that helps you balance the flavors, including hot, sweet, bitter, and aromatic, and the colors and textures that make a salad more
than a plate of lovely greens.
However, if you don't live in a culinary paradise like the Seattle area, only have access to a typical supermarket, and you don't want to grow your own herbs, you can still infuse your cooking with the same enticing
magic Traunfeld creates at the Herbfarm. Just tuck sprigs of thyme, rosemary, or oregano between the slices of a loaf of country bread spread with butter or olive oil and roasted garlic, wrap it in foil, and pop it in the oven for a quick 12 minutes. Or
try Mashed Potatoes with Toasted Coriander, the seeds adding earthy flavor to a perennial favorite, and serve with chicken piccata enlivened with fresh dill.
Traunfeld is such a good teacher and clear writer that you follow with confidence when he
guides you through Herb-Smoked Salmon--first dry-rubbed, then smoked over dried stems from basil, thyme, or fennel and finally baked until the fish is just gently set. You also get an introduction to the Japanese concept of umami, a state of food
perfection that Traunfeld achieves in his Umami Carrot Soup with Mint.
Following the 200 recipes and alluring photos of some prepared dishes, you learn about growing herbs, both in the garden and in containers. A section describing herbs and
edible flowers, from angelica to violets, is ample and articulate enough to stand on its own as a book, and those interested in gardening will appreciate the list of nurseries here. Finally, this section includes a table covering 29 herbs that will help
you transform your own favorite dishes simply by adding fresh herbs. --Dana Jacobi
From Publishers Weekly
In his debut cookbook, Traunfeld elevates herbs to celebrity status. Chef at the Herbfarm restaurant near Seattle, he marries friendly
flavors (Tomato and Fennel Soup, which includes French tarragon, and Pork Chops with Sage, Onion and Prosciutto). He also employs unusual and bold strokes to create such tantalizing dishes as Oysters on the Half-Shell with Lemon Verbena Ice, Potatoes
with Lavender and Rosemary, Grilled Marjoram-Scented Corn, Saut?ed Duck Breasts with Mint, Coriander, and Olives... read more
Not so long ago, parsley was the only fresh herb available to most American cooks. Today,
bunches of fresh oregano and rosemary can be found in nearly every supermarket, basil and mint grow abundantly in backyards from coast to coast, and garden centers offer pots of edible geraniums and lemon thyme. But once these herbs reach the kitchen,
the inevitable question arises: Now what do I do with them? Here, at last, is the first truly comprehensive cookbook to cover all aspects of growing, handling, and cooking with fresh herbs.
Jerry Traunfeld grew up cooking and gardening in
Maryland, but it wasn't until the 1980s, after he had graduated from the California Culinary Academy and was working at Jeremiah
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