Harvest to Heat: Cooking with America’s Best Chefs, Farmers and Artisans,” (The Taunton Press 2010), by Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kochendorfer, includes 100 imaginative recipes by more than 55 of America’s foremost restaurant chefs. Along with the inspiring photographs of ©2010 Ellen Silverman, the book also contains compelling stories of the farmers and artisans who produce the foods we love to cook and consume. “Harvest to Heat” publisher, The Taunton Press, is already a familiar name to those of us who enjoy Taunton’s “Fine Cooking” magazine, in circulation since its debut in 1994. Some 111 issues later (I have them all), devotees of “Fine Cooking” remain loyal as the magazine continues to be relevant through fluctuating food budgets and ever-evolving life styles. Like many of the “Fine Cooking” recipes I’ve enjoyed over the years, some of the recipes contained in “Harvest to Heat,” are a tad intricate, but many are not. Recipes for “Chilled Tomato Soup with Aged Feta and Olives” and “Strawberry-Tomato Gazpacho” are good examples of the latter. These recipes also make exceptional use of ripe seasonal produce, readily available at our local farmers markets. Over the next two weeks, you may expect to see other cookbooks profiled here, with recipes from the “Tupelo Honey Café,” in Asheville, N.C., and the great “Heartland.” “Harvest to Heat” is available wherever fine cookbooks are sold, or by visiting The Taunton Press website, at www.finecooking.com.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at email@example.com.
Chilled Tomato Soup with Aged Feta and Olives
Recipe used with permission: “Harvest to Heat: Cooking with America’s Best Chefs, Farmers and Artisans,” by Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kochendorfer, The Taunton Press 2010; photographs by ©2010 Ellen Silverman
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, preferably Sun Golds or other heirlooms, cored
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
½ cup thickly sliced leeks, white part only (1 small leek)
¼ cup diced fresh fennel
¼ cup diced celery
1 large red bell pepper, split and seeded
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
Bouquet garni (2 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf, and 2 sprigs fresh basil tied together with butcher’s twine)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
For the garnish
1⁄3 cup feta cheese, preferably barrel aged, crumbled
1⁄3 cup black Taggiasche (Ligurian) or Niçoise olives, pitted and roughly chopped
12 fresh basil leaves, julienned
Extra-virgin olive oil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and plunge in the fresh tomatoes for 1 minute. Drain and when cool enough to handle, slip off and discard the skins and seeds. Roughly chop the tomatoes, put in a bowl with their juices and set aside. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, leeks, fennel, celery, red peppers, garlic and bouquet garni. Cook until the vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the tomato paste, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the chicken or vegetable broth, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chopped fresh tomatoes, return to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the vegetable-broth mixture from the heat and let cool. Transfer to a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate until cold, 1 to 2 hours. Remove and discard the bouquet garni. In a food processor or blender, purée the soup (in batches if necessary) until smooth Season to taste with hot sauce, celery salt, and salt and pepper; cover and chill until ready to serve. The soup will keep in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for a few days. To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls or one large serving bowl and garnish with the feta, olives, basil and a drizzle of olive oil. Serves 6.
Recipe used with permission: “Harvest to Heat: Cooking with America’s Best Chefs, Farmers and Artisans,” by Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kochendorfer, The Taunton Press 2010; photographs by©2010 Ellen Silverman
2½ pints fresh strawberries
½ pound red cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small red bell pepper, seeded
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 slice day-old country bread, crusts removed and cut into ¼-inch dice
1 small cucumber, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice, for garnish
Hull the strawberries; set aside ½ pint and cut the remaining 2 pints in half. Put the halved strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, chopped cucumbers, sherry vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a food processor. Purée until smooth, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl. Season with salt and set aside. In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat and add the bread cubes. Toss the bread in the oil and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate. Cut the remaining ½ pint strawberries into ¼ -inch dice. To serve, ladle the gazpacho into serving bowls and garnish each with a spoonful of diced strawberries, diced cucumbers and a few croutons. Serves 4.