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‘Fresh’ takes cue from seasonal abundance


Better Homes and Gardens

(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $29.99)

Quick look: If the farm-to-table movement is alive in your kitchen or you’re desperately seeking inspiration for the vegetables and fruits from a CSA or garden, then “Fresh” from the editors at Better Homes and Gardens might be a good place to start. The heart of the book is simple, fresh recipes centered on seasonal ingredients.

What’s inside: There are about 300 recipes in the hardcover book, including snacks and appetizers, breakfast, salads, soups, casseroles, main dishes, meatless main dishes, sides and desserts. The recipes are inspiring and contemporary. It will not overlap with the classic red-and-white cover Better Homes and Gardens cookbook if you already have that on your shelf.

The “6 Fresh Ideas For …” features include tips for using up abundant produce. Basil, garlic, blueberries, lemon, jalapenos and mint are featured – I didn’t see a section on zucchini.

What’s not: Recipes in the book are not organized by season – they are organized by course, but each recipe includes a guide to the main ingredient and when it is at its peak. A produce guide in the back section of the book offers history and preparation tips, along with a guide to selecting and storing the produce. There are some nice visual guides to lettuces and greens, herbs, potatoes and winter squash. The full-color photos make the dishes look scrumptious but do not appear with every recipe.

Featured recipe: Look inside today’s Food section on Page C3 for the recipe for Quinoa-Nectarine Gazpacho with Crispy-Spice Tortilla Strips.