Friday, August 22, 2014

Vibrant Food ~ Kimberly Hasselbrink (arc) review [@TenSpeedPress @theyearinfood]

Vibrant Food: Celebrating the Ingredients, Recipes, and Colors of Each Season
Ten Speed Press
June 17, 2014
224 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

The vivid colors of fresh produce inspire this artistic collection of whole foods recipes from the creator of the acclaimed blog The Year in Food.

Kimberly Hasselbrink, photographer and creator of the acclaimed blog The Year in Food, invites you to look at ingredients differently and let their colors inspire you: the shocking fluorescent pink of a chard stem, the deep reds and purples of baby kale leaves, the bright shades of green that emerge in the spring, and even the calm yellows and whites of so many winter vegetables. Thinking about produce in terms of color can reinvigorate your relationship with food, and in this collection of recipes, Hasselbrink employs aesthetics, flavor, and texture to build gorgeous yet unfussy dishes for every season.

Recipes take you on a journey through spring’s Pasta with Nettle Pesto and Blistered Snap Peas, summer’s Berry–Coconut Milk Ice Pops, fall’s Turkey Burgers with Balsamic Figs, and winter’s Sparkling Pomegranate Punch. Featuring photo pairings that celebrate not only the finished dishes but also the striking ingredients that create them—plus a photograph of each and every recipe—this book reveals an artistic picture of whole foods eating.

If Saturday morning for you means a stop at the farmer's market, then Vibrant Food is definitely the cookbook for you. From Kimberly Hasselbrink the creator and photographer of The Year in Food blog proposes we be inspired by the color of our food.

There's no doubt that the recipes featured in Vibrant Food look like something you want. It truly is a book of vibrant food, Hasselbrink's photographs are gorgeous. If you like looking at cookbooks, then do not miss Vibrant Food and its gorgeous photographs.

That's not all it has, though. The recipes are arranged by season - Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter - each section then subdivided by feature ingredient (stone fruit, persimmons, tomatoes). It's a very logical and helpful organization. It also aids readers in one of the books goals: using in season produce and ingredients.

The paragraphs that provide an introduction and background to each recipe, let readers know what gave Hasselbrink the idea for the recipe or what makes it unique and special. Then come the recipes. While I tend to prefer those presented in list form (ie 1, 2, 3) I do like how these are done in paragraph form. It allows for more description of what to do (how to choose and prepare squash blossoms without damaging them, for example).

Vibrant Food is a gluten free cookbook. More common (for those not following a gluten free diet) substitutes are given in the introduction. Though, if you're unfamiliar with the gluten free options, it can be hard to know what would be the best substitute for a given recipe.

The ingredients that make Vibrant Food so appealing both visually gustatorily, can also make actually making them difficult. While the author mentions living in San Francisco and what is available there, some things - fresh sardines, millet, etc - can be hard for those in other areas to procure. At least those in areas less metropolitan or nowhere near a Whole Foods.

The recipes themselves are tantalizing enough, though, that I know if/when I am able to get the ingredients, I wan to try additional ones. If you want a cookbook where you can easily run to the nearest grocery store and have all of the ingredients available, Vibrant Food may not be for you. But if you like cookbooks that can inspire, are visually stimulating and may just push you to try something new, check out Vibrant Food. Even if you're not able - right now - to make everything, you'll love looking at it.

received from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review

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