Dandelion and Quince: Exploring the Wide World of Unusual Vegetable, Fruits, and Herbs

Dandelion and Quince is a beautifully produced cookbook aimed at the home cook who loves to experiment. It focuses on unusual ingredients that are increasingly available from farmers markets, CSAs and many grocery stores, such as kohlrabi, Buddha's Hand, green garlic and purslane, and some that have been widely available for longer, such as Asian pears, radicchio and shallots. Michelle McKenzie is program director and chef at a San Francisco cooking school, and her interpretations of Chinese medicine influence her recipes. She explains how to build a small temporary smoker, and how to harvest pollens to use as condiments. There are teas and jellies, a minestrone, a slow-cooked lamb shoulder, Celery Leaf and Duck Egg Custard, Grilled Quail with Treviso and Fava Leaves, a nettle sandwich, and Short Ribs with Kumquat and Kombu. Most of the recipes are technically simple, and McKenzie also offers detailed advice on shopping, storage, equipment and original recipe composition. --Sara Catterall

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