“Have you ever found yourself in the kitchen wanting to make
something new and exciting but not knowing where to start? Are you interested in mixing things up? Look no further! Leslie Cerier?s book, Going Wild in the Kitchen, will easily help you add
more spice to your life!”
Leslie will take you on a unique ride, introducing a variety of ingredients to make part of your culinary repertoire. In this book you’ ?ll find an informative glossary of these new
ingredients as well as helpful charts categorizing them by season and taste: wild mushrooms, herbs and spices, edible flowers, wild greens and roots, ancient grains, and sea vegetables. Other features of the book include handy guides for cooking grains, soaking beans, mixing and matching recipes, adjusting flavors, and converting measurements. And while many of these ingredients can be found at your local health
food store or farmer?s market, a resources section is available to readers looking to purchase organic ingredients online.
When you cook from this book you will find Leslie?’s recipes to be wildly entertaining to the palate and an indulgence for the senses. Going Wild offers an array of options to flavor every meal of the day! My favorite section detailed ways to turn ordinary oils and vinegars into tasty and aromatic dressings; you and your guests will undoubtedly love them! With over 150 mouth-watering vegetarian recipes that are both imaginative and simple to follow, you will find plenty of opportunities to go wild in your kitchen!
Garlicky Potato Soup with Fresh Nettles
The rich flavor of fresh spring nettles can?t be beat! This is a perfect first-course soup to rejuvenate the senses after a winter of root vegetables. Because fresh nettles have stingers, don?t forget to wear garden gloves when handling them. Fortunately, the stingers melt away when cooked in the soup.
Yield: 4-6 servings
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
10 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
8 cups water
8 cups unpeeled potatoes, cut into ¼-inch cubes
2 cups fresh nettle tops
2 tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
1) Heat the oil in a 6-quart stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and
sauté, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften and the
ingredients area fragrant. Add the water, potatoes, nettles, salt, and pepper.
2) Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer covered
for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
3) Carefully ladle some of the soup into a blender until it is half full, and pureé until
smooth. Pour the pureé into a large bowl and continue to blend the remaining soup.*
4) Return the pureed soup to the pot and simmer until heated through. Adjust the
seasonings, if desired.
5) Ladle the hot soup into bowls and serve.
*If you have a immersion blender, you can pureé the cooked soup right in the pot.
Yield: About 2 ½ cups
3 cups coarsely diced Anjou pears
¼ cup orange zest
2 ¼ cups apple cider vinegar
1) Fill a quart jar with alternating layers of pears and orange zest, and add enough
vinegar to completely cover. Put the cap on the jar, and add a label that includes the
jar?s contents, date prepared, and approximate date the vinegar will be ready (5 or 6
weeks from the preparation date). Store in a kitchen cabinet or another cool, dark place.
2) Give the jar a daily shake for the first few days. If needed, add more vinegar to keep
the pears covered.
3) After 5 or 6 weeks, taste the vinegar. If a stronger flavor is desired, let it steep
4) When the vinegar is ready, pour it through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a
bowl, wide-mouth jar, or measuring cup. Before discarding the strained ingredients,
either squeeze them through the cheesecloth or press them gains the strainer with the
back of a spoon to get every last drop of vinegar.
5) Transfer the vinegar to a clear bottle or jar, and label it with the type of vinegar and
date. Store in a cool, dark place, where it will keep for at least a year.
Recipe excerpted from Going Wild in the Kitchen by Leslie Cerier, © 2005, Square One Publishers, Inc. Used by permission.
This review appeared in pages 5&6 of the Christina’s newsletter in 2010: