I just wanted to give a shout-out to my new favorite cookbook, The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market Cookbook. I happen to be lucky enough to live a 15-minute bike ride away from the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market, but the recipes will easily adapt to a farmer’s market anywhere (or, for that matter, a supermarket, although you’ll lose the magic of learning to cook by what’s in season). The genius of the book (besides the deliciousness and simplicity of most of the recipes) is organizing it by vegetable. I know most cookbooks do this to some degree, but it’s wonderful to see the seasons unfold along with the produce, and to get ideas for cooking with things you can buy at your local farmer’s market that you might not otherwise try.
Case in point: I am not usually a fan of broccoli, but some got left in our fridge after my mom came to visit, so I opened up the book to the broccoli section and found a great, easy recipe that uses anchovies for bonus points (good for pregnant ladies!). I tossed in some wild rice leftover from dinner last night, and shazzam! A tasty and nutritious lunch. It’s not that pretty to look at, but it’s really exciting to think I can use this cookbook to approach many of the scarier-looking veggies at the market. Anything that makes the farmer’s market and seasonal produce (maybe even from your own garden!) more approachable is a great thing. (Check out the Chronicle Books site to sample a few of the recipes from the book.)