The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor, and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden: A Cookbook
The Art of Simple Food II takes the basic themes of The Art of Simple Food one step further by bringing in the garden. The book is arranged into two parts. Part one, the larger section, is about garden grown ingredients and accompanying recipes. Beginning with Fragrant and Beautiful (herbs) and Tender Leaves (lettuces and salad greens) the book moves on to Hidden Flavor (garlic, onions, etc.), Growing Underground (roots and tubers), Heading Into Winter (Cabbage, Cauliflower, etc.) as well as many chapters to cover most of the fruits and vegetables available.
Each chapter opens with a general description of the subject, instructions on how to grow it, and a list and description of the many types and varieties, followed by recipes. The recipes are written out with the ingredients as a part of the narrative (as opposed to listed individually before the instructions.) The ingredients are bolded so it’s easy to scan the recipe beforehand to see what you’ll need and then follow along with the narrative when it comes time to cook. (The Joy of Cooking also writes their recipes this way.)
Part two of the book, a much smaller back section, is called Seed to Seed and goes into specifics about gardening. It ends with a Tools and Resources section, a glossary and an index. There really is an enormous amount of information here, both for the garden and the kitchen. I really like having it all in one volume and how it reflects Ms. Waters’ mission to keep the path between the garden and the kitchen well-used.
The book is styled simply, with beautiful line drawings of the many herbs, fruits and vegetables by Patricia Curtan. Like many of the Chez Panisse cookbooks, the names of the recipes are printed in red ink and the whole book has a somewhat handmade, letterpress feel. Former Chez Panisse chef Kelsie Kerr is listed as a co-author.