Recipes from the Herbalist’s Kitchen
By Brittany Wood Nickerson
Suggested Retail: $24.95
It’s been a long time since I have been so excited about a cookbook! Not only is it replete with recipes I want to try, it also is full of information on herbs and how they infuse food with flavor and impact the health-factor of the dish. My rule of thumb is that a cookbook is worth buying if you find at least six you want to try and includes tips on technique that will enhance your abilities in the kitchen. This book more than exceeds in both categories. I have already filled the book with sticky notes and pieces of paper to mark recipes and segments about specific herbs I want to re-read.
The book avoids making extreme claims for the herbs, but carefully explains their historical uses for health and the way in which they work with other elements in a recipe to provide flavor and to enhance the flavors of the prime ingredients. In no way should you construe any of the health benefits listed as a substitute for seeing a physician for health problems.
Although most herbs do not have side effects, if you have a compromised immune system, are pregnant, or have any other health condition, consult your physician before making any major commitment to a particular herb.
This afternoon, I am embarking on an experiment to make tarragon vinegar. Later this week I plan to make use of some fresh figs I was given in Nickerson’s chicken with figs recipe.
So many recipes, so little time—but so many leftover fresh herbs from supermarket packets that I will now be able to preserve in oils and vinegars. So many new ideas for pesto recipes!
Most people believe in the power of vitamins to help the immune system—why not get vitamins and stimulate your body’s natural healing powers directly from food and the herbs used to flavor them?
“Connect to the healing power in your foods”, is the advice on the back of the book. Certainly, her guidance in the use of herbs will enhance the quality of each dish so that each one works with the body to increase your health.
At the very least you will enjoy tastier meals and have a better understanding of how to use herbs in your cooking. At best you will enjoy improved health.