With so much great produce in our kitchen right now, I’ve been looking to recipes more and more for inspiration on how to prepare things in new ways. No cookbook captures seasonal and fresh ingredients better than Terry Walters’ Clean Food .
The recipes are broken into four categories – spring, summer, winter, and fall – and all utilize fresh ingredients that are specific to the season. Seems like a no brainer, but no one else is doing it. Her recipes are the perfect balance of unique and delicious, but simple and approachable. Short ingredient lists are always a plus!
Last night I spent a good hour flipping through the pages trying to pick out a few dishes to pair together for dinner. I ended up settling on a few that highlighted some of the fresh goodies I picked up at the market this past weekend. The first recipe called for fresh herbs – something I rarely have on hand. But the more I cook with fresh herbs, the more I realize that they are absolutely essential for good cooking. If only I could keep plants alive! For now I will stick to the cut variety.
I started my grain recipe first – Quinoa with Sweet Corn. This one actually fell into the “cook anytime” category, rather than a specific season.
I made a few slight substitutions here, only because of what I had on hand in my kitchen. Instead of chopped parsley, I used tarragon, and I think it gave the final result a great flavor boost. I also used a mix of red and white quinoa, just to make the colors pop a little more – so pretty!
The second recipe made use of the rest of these delicious tomatoes. The difference between good tomatoes and bad tomatoes is like night and day.
I made the White Bean Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Arugula, from the summer section of the book, because I knew that roasting these awesome farmer’s market tomatoes would bring out their sweetness. Also, I had a nice big bag of arugula waiting to be eaten, so this recipe was a perfect find.
All together on the plate, with the bean and tomato dish served on a bed of crispy arugula. So much fun color!
This quinoa salad was absolutely delicious – I’m glad I took Terry’s suggestion and finished it with sesame oil. It gave just the right hint of flavor, without being overpowering.
The red and white quinoa mix gave a nice visual contrast, as well as a bit of a texture contrast – the red ones are just a bit crunchier – yum!
The roasted salad was to die for – I ended up using black eyes peas instead of great northern beans (because that’s what I had), and sadly I was missing the fennel, but those were my only two small substitutions.
So far I have loved everything I’ve made from this cookbook. One of the first things I’m planning to do as soon as I graduate is spend more time in the kitchen, and I will definitely be cooking a lot more from Clean Food .
And now for a chance to win your own copy of Clean Food ! One lucky reader will receive a copy of Terry Walter’s fabulous cookbook. Since the book is all about seasonal cooking, and we’re heading into summer, tell me…what is your favorite summer food or dish? Leave a comment below for your chance to win! Giveaway ends Thursday (5/20) at midnight – winner announced Friday morning!