In Preserving Wild Foods, chef Matthew Weingarten and collaborator Raquel Pelzel celebrate wild and seasonal foods of the coastline, pasture, garden, forest, and wetland — and the preservation techniques that can make these treasures available year-round.
• Who wrote it: Matthew Weingarten and Raquel Pelzel
• Who published it: Storey Publishing
• Number of recipes: 63
• Recipes for right now: Citrus-and-Spice Confit of Duck Leg, Old-World/New-World Sauerkraut, Pickled Chanterelle Mushrooms, Smoked Mussels, Stinging Nettle Cordial, Sweet Bergamot Marmalade
• Other highlights: Preserving Wild Foods is a recipe book as well as an expression of the "wonder and joy" that comes from a connection to the seasonal, natural world. Chef Matthew Weingarten passionately shares his experience foraging in urban NYC and more rural areas, and discovering folkways like herbalism and the preserving traditions of his Slovakian in-laws.
Although it doesn't cover ingredient identification, this would be a great book for beginning foragers, as the authors interweave foraged foods with those you might find in a cultivated garden or farmers' market. From wild cattails and Irish moss to more familiar ingredients like cucumbers and rhubarb, the book has plenty of ideas for preserving the seasonal bounty. Preservation instructions are clear and easy to follow, so that readers can confidently start canning and pickling fruits and vegetables, curing meat, and smoking fish.
• Who would enjoy this book? Anyone interested in seasonal food, foraging, hunting, fishing, and preserving
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Preserving Wild Foods by Matthew Weingarten and Raquel Pelzel
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(Images: Emily Ho)