**ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
2017 seems poised to deliver a bumper crop of vegetable cookbooks. Josh McFadden, chef of Portland’s Ava Gene’s, rolled out Six Seasons in May; Chef Jenn Louis’ Book of Greens and Jeremy Fox’s On Vegetables both came out in April. But, do you really need another vegetable book in your life? Well, don’t you need more vegetables in your life, period?
Every spring, just as we’re coming out of the darkness, out of kale-cauliflower-cabbage (repeat x 1000), I start leafing through my cookbooks in anticipation of the spring veg to come. In the Pacific Northwest, spring has a way of dragging out, so that we’re a month or more behind for gorgeous tomatoes, summer squash and peppers. It feels like we have even more time to savor the sugar snaps and favas and young lettuces.
Although summer has just arrived, on the calendar at least, I can already say: Six Seasons is the cookbook I need to carry with me every weekend I hit the farmers market. It helps you look differently at your market and encourages you to give an unfamiliar vegetable a chance. It’s the book you’ll flip through now and mark pages for winter, when you’re ready to come back to cauliflower and cabbage. For summer, when it seems you hardly need more than salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar to make something amazing, Six Seasons offers up deliciousness like: Sautéed Corn Four Ways, including Pancetta, Black Pepper, Arugula and Hot Sauce; a cheesy dip of Sweet and Hot Peppers with Nduja and Melted Cheese; and Farro with Tomatoes, Corn, Mint, Basil and Scallions. Tell me your mouth isn’t watering already! It should be a very good summer indeed.
I’ve cooked three dishes from Six Seasons so far — the cucumber, celery and apricot salad, the asparagus and pea shoots, and the carbonara with English peas. A few recipes are usually enough to give you a feel for what to expect from the rest of the book, but I think it’s too early to call this a full review. On mechanics, the recipes are straight-forward and easy to follow, the ingredients are included upfront, only a few require preparing some element in advance.
What I can tell you for now is I’ve loved what I’ve cooked so far, and I have so many other dishes bookmarked, we’ll have no shortage of options through the year.
If you’re interested in trying the Pasta Carbonara with English Peas, the recipe is available in the book obviously, and also on Epicurious.