I really love to find cookery books that inspire me to grow and cook with ingredients from my garden and when such a book also contains beautiful artistic images of plants, gardens and recipes I am smitten!. Such a book is The Artist the Cook and the Gardener by Maryjo Koch. I came across this book in a recent review written by Lisa, author of the lovely blog The Gilded Bloom. Having quickly ordered it from Amazon I have since been escaping into its beautiful pictures and recipes and definitely felt it was worth sharing with you.
Maryjo is an artist living in California. She has a passion for painting, cooking and gardening and shares her artistic talent in art classes that are run from her home. The recipes in this book have come from a desire to create easy, light lunches and snacks for her courses largely using ingredients grown in her garden.
The recipes are divided into Soups, Salads, ‘Sandwiches, Pizzas & Tarts’ and Sweets. All the recipes are beautifully photographed and interspersed with pictures and paintings of flowers and vegetables either picked and ready to use or growing in the garden.
This is certainly a book to work through. On Lisa’s recommendation I will be trying the Candied Walnuts. Also appealing is the Rose Petal Syrup, the Fresh Fig and Crispy Proscuitto Salad, the Creamy Mushroom Soup with Sauteed Shiitakes and the Silky Tomato Gazpacho that will be perfect for using up my excess of tomatoes. In fact there is hardly a recipe I will not be trying.
Edible flowers appear in many of the recipes, which are another passion of mine. Guests are often surprised to find flowers in their food, but I have discovered this summer that not only do they add fantastic visual appeal to a dish, they also taste good too.
This is not a book that will sit on my coffee table – it will be at my side when I plan next years edible garden, it will live on the kitchen worktop as I work through its many seasonal recipes and I will be enjoying its beautiful colours and styling through the dark winter months to come and on into next spring and summer.