A book like this feels like an invitation to sit at someone's table. It feels intimate and cozy from page one, and the dishes that follow are infused with their creator's personality: that extra squeeze of Meyer lemon, an unexpected addition of spicy jalapeño, the warmth of cinnamon. The Sprouted Kitchen is all of these things.
• Who wrote it: Sara Forte, with photography by Hugh Forte
• Who published it: Ten Speed Press
• Number of recipes: About 100
• Recipes for right now: Grilled Eggplant Pita Pizzette, Almond Meal Cookies with Coconut and Cacao Nibs, Pumpkin Pecan Granola, Roasted Acorn Squash with Hazelnuts and Balsamic Reduction
• Other highlights: Sara Forte says in her introduction, "This should be fun. Trust yourself. Find good company. Meyer lemons. Lots of herbs. Salt + pepper. Be well." True words for both life and cooking! Having fun and being well is what this cookbook, and Sara's blog that started it all, is all about: wholesome ingredients, letting instinct be your guide, and cooking the kind of good food that makes you break out in smiles.
The dishes themselves will feel familiar, but will also challenge your expectations and teach you a new trick or two. A savory tart piled with fall vegetables, but baked into a whole-grain buckwheat crust—why not? Squares of polenta topped with a relish of raw corn and blueberries—let's do it! You'll find a lot of veggies, fruits, and whole grains here, but the cookbook isn't strictly vegetarian. There are plenty of fish and meat dishes, too.
I've made the pumpkin pecan granola (pictured above) and an appetizer of spicy red grape salsa with goat cheese on mini toasts, and I found both recipes to be easy to follow and uncommonly good. In particular, that red grape salsa was an absolute winner and will be coming with me to many parties this fall.
• Who would enjoy this book? Fans of Sara's blog, folks who love throwing dinner parties (lots of good recipes for entertaining in here!), and if you're just looking for some wholesome recipes to add to the meal rotation
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods by Sara Forte with photography by Hugh Forte
• Visit Sara Forte's website: Sprouted Kitchen
(Images: Emma Christensen)