REVIEW: Savor by Ilona Oppenheim
SAVOR by Ilona Oppenheim encourages the use of farm fresh ingredients, pasture-raised eggs and meat, plus grass-fed raw or non-homogenized milk, as well as reverting back to a simpler way of life by processing your own food. The author shops at farm stands, plus belongs to a CSA and dedicates a chapter to this bounty. The recipes are tantalizing and seem fairly easy with simple ingredients. Part memoir and part cookbook, Ilona Oppenheim’s love of rustic ingredients shines through.
Some of the recipes are on my list to try in the future. The homemade Hot Chocolate made me drool. I was intrigued by the Root Vegetable Chips and 24 Hour Bone Broth. I will dream about the Garlic Scape Compound Butter as well as the Zucchini Tart and the Tomato Tart, complete with a self-milled tart dough. I learned a secret tip for Crispy Roasted Potatoes that I know my husband will love. The Slow Cooker Applesauce and Peach Marmalade are on my list to make as soon as I have the fresh ingredients.
Although I don’t normally forage for my family, I loved reading that section which included mushrooms, trout, pheasant, plus berries and nuts. Foraging was something I did when I lived in the country, but it’s not available in the city. An occasional blackberry picking day or fishing with my dad is as much as I do these days, other than foraging in my own garden. I enjoyed the notes about cooking over an open fire, something I enjoy when we camp. The Rosemary Flavored Popcorn over an open fire is high on my list to incorporate into our summer experiences. I loved the idea of baked apples in the coals of a fire and the recipe sounds amazing. I can see making that a priority this summer.
There are many things to learn in this book such as making clarified butter, pate and lamb sausages. Even Zabaglione, an Italian custard, is included. I have my eye on the Zucchini and Goat Cheese Quiche which looks amazing.
There’s a section on how to mill your own grain, the benefits of that practice, as well as what to make from it. Since I get milled organic grain from our farm share, it’s not something I will do myself often enough to invest in a mill. I enjoyed the ideas for cereal and bread, something I’m more apt to try. I liked the suggestions on equipment to make jobs easier such as a mandoline to slice vegetable chips evenly. That’s something I’d use since I love roasting root vegetables into chips. There’s a section in the back that lists resources for items that you might not be able to source locally such as grains or yogurt starter. That’s especially helpful for city dwellers who don’t have access to a farm share.
The photographs are beautiful scenic shots from Colorado, enhanced by picturesque depictions of food and delightful family peeks in the act of foraging or enjoying the fruits of their labor. I think this part of the book is best enjoyed in print. My digital advanced review copy was only available in Adobe Digital Editions software which loaded the photos extremely slow. That’s the hardest part of reviewing recipe books in digital because I don’t get the true feel of what it will be like on a Kindle or in print. Instead, I read the book on my laptop where I have to enlarge the print, which then skews my enjoyment of the photos. I understand the need for the software to protect copyright, I just wish there was an easier way for a reviewer to enjoy beautiful books seamlessly, as well as being able to retain the book in our library.
SAVOR by Ilona Oppenheim is the perfect choice for CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members who receive a wide variety of products in their farm share. I found several recipes to try this summer when the produce comes rolling in. The items for these recipes can also be easily purchased through a good fresh market or roadside stand in Amish country. I’m fortunate to have access to all, as well as farms and my own garden, so this book will eventually land on my print shelf. Simple recipes for healthy food makes SAVOR a good resource for those who believe in getting back to basics.
Review by Dorine, courtesy of The Zest Quest. Digital copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley.
Savor: Rustic Recipes Inspired by Forest, Field, and Farm by Ilona Oppenheim
Publisher: Artisan Books (March 22, 2016)
Rated 4 out of 5
What do you like best about the “back to basics” approach to feeding your family?