The minute Didi Emmons, a chef from Boston, met Eva Sommaripa-an almost legendary farmer whose 200-plus uncommon herbs, greens, and edible "weeds" grace the menus of many famous restaurants in the Northeast-something amazing happened. Not only did Eva's Garden become Didi's rural refuge and herb-infused Shangri-La, but the two women forged a lasting friendship that has blossomed and endured over time.
Wild Flavorsfollows a year at Eva's Garden through the seasons. It not only showcases Didi's creative talents using absolutely fresh ingredients, but introduces a whole cast of uncommon but sublime garden plants (cardoon, African basil, calaminth) and wild edibles (autumn olive, wild roses, Japanese knotweed). The author provides growing or foraging information for each of the forty-six plants profiled, as well as details on prepping, storing, preserving, and health benefits. The wide-ranging recipes reflect the shifting seasonal harvest and are easy to follow, allowing the ingredients and their bright flavors to shine through.But there's more. Through her stories about Eva (and often about herself) Emmons also shares some of the valuable lessons she has learned about maintaining a sane and healthy lifestyle in an increasingly hectic world, putting the emphasis on community, thrift, conservation, and other time-honored virtues. This book will appeal to a whole new generation of readers who want to connect to the earth and, at the same time, transform their palates-including cooks who want to try their hand at gardening and gardeners who want to broaden their kitchen knowledge. Wild Flavorsis a book and a cookbook that celebrates the interconnectedness and beauty of nature, farms, animals, and ourselves.
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