Fellow sustainability foodies have likely swooned over Kevin West’s Saving the Season, because a recipe book that includes poetry and historical references is rare. Rare and welcome.
The author provides information on the origin of dishes, and when necessary, refers to a plant by its scientific/botanical name; features a curious reader appreciates. Historical notes are included, like the journey of the Blenheim apricot to American tables, as well as interviews with food writers and a recipe for Nocino (a beverage made with immature English walnuts), all of which provide distinction on the crowded food scene.
On to the pickled beets.
A combination of red wine and star anise transform the earthy beet. Mr. West prepares the vegetable with a scrub, a trim, and a boil. Once soft, the roots are peeled and chopped while the vinegar, wine, sugar and spice come to a boil. The beets are packed into sterilized jars, covered with pickling liquid, and processed in a hot water bath.
With peaches ready for preservation, a jar of cherry brandy in the cupboard alongside dilly beans and sweet pickles; Saving the Season has been a reminder that not only is preserving food at the peak of ripeness worth the trouble, it’s a privilege. The winter is looking pretty yummy.