BY DORIAN YATES
In The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook, food columnist and Dishing Up Vermont author Tracey Medeiros takes the reader on what feels like a private tour of some of the finest kitchens in the state and the farms that supply them.
Table’s 150 recipes range from reworked classics like French toast (cleverly made with day-old dinner rolls) to original dishes like Sage and Cherry Tomato Polenta. Designed to satisfy a range of dietary preferences—carnivore, omnivore, paleo or vegetarian—every course is covered. Full of luscious gluten-rich foods, there are plenty of gluten-free offerings as well, including numerous recipes made with potatoes, corn and vegetables as well as gluten-free Whole-Grain Waffles.
While I sampled most of the recipes—all delicious—the ones that most intrigued me were those that focus on utilizing a high percentage of locally grown and unusual ingredients, such as Food Works’ Winter Root Pancakes, the Warren Store’s Harvest Hash and Foote Brook Farm’s Stuffed Collard Greens, a New England twist on stuffed grape leaves.
Medeiros addresses the old joke about why Vermonters lock their cars in August (so people won’t put zucchinis in them) by including recipes for Chocolate Zucchini Cake, Squash Blossom Fritters and Zucchini Spread. Turnip lovers, of which I am one, will be thrilled with the Turnip Green Salad, Roasted Roots and Turnip Potato Gratin.
Some of Table’s recipes have been passed down through generations; others are new creations making use of Vermont’s growing number of distilleries, specialty foods and ethnic cuisine. Dishes made with wild edibles—ramps, nettles, fiddleheads and mushrooms—are included as are recipes for farm-fresh basics such as homemade mayonnaise, salad dressings, tomato paste and fresh ricotta cheese.
Medeiros celebrates the bounty of local food and the brilliant people who produce it by sharing profiles on Vermont farms, restaurants and food producers, bringing the reader into the lives of the varied, talented and committed agripreneurs in the Green Mountains. A portion of the Table Cookbook proceeds are being donated to the Vermont Food Bank, expanding connections between farmers, chefs and communities and extending access to local foods to all Vermonters.
As Vermont continues to be a pioneer in locally grown food, the burgeoning “culinary-supported agriculture,” as coined by Screamin’ Ridge Farm founder Joe Buley Jr., is championed in this easy-to-use cookbook, which brings the possibility of food sovereignty and the bounty of Vermont’s farms and culinary expertise into everyone’s kitchen.
The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook: 150 Home-Grown Recipes from the Green Mountain State, by Tracey Medeiros (Countryman Press, 2013) More on the book at Facebook.com/vermontfarmtablecookbook.com. To get a listing of Tracey’s book tour dates visit TraceyMedeiros.com.
COOKING LOCAL IS WHAT WE LOVE TO DO!
Edible Green Mountains Kitchen Events at Brook Valley Appliance is a place to feature our local farmers and artisans, as well as talented chefs who are coming together to share their craft. We believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home and the garden is a place of comfort and joy.
Our events are designed for home cooks. We are developing the curriculum to help you learn new skills from hands-on classes to demonstrations to tasting and savoring. Our first featured guest will be cookbook author Tracey Medeiros (Dishing Up Vermont and The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook) on Wednesday, June 19 for lunch and Friday, July 19 for dinner.
To make your reservation or for more information please visit EdibleGreenMountains.com