I am really excited to share another gorgeous cookbook today, Vibrant Food. The verve of the title is probably enough for me to snatch it off the shelf but a gander at only a few recipes would certainly seal the deal.
Vibrant Food celebrates foods of the season, building inspired, tasty recipes around what is at its peak as well as capturing the artistry of color from the food. Truly developed through a culinary artist’s eye, each recipe is a vision to behold with breathtaking flavors to match. Rhubarb Compote with Cacao Nibs, Smoky Red Pepper Soup with Pumpkin Seeds and Feta, Apple Sage Walnut Bread, Concord Grape and Mint Sorbet. You get the picture.
The cookbook is organized by season with each recipe and photograph created by the talented Kimberley Hasselbrink; who also has a food blog ‘The Year of Food’, clearly showcasing her talents as a Food Photographer. The Summer chapter as an example is broken into the subcategories of Berries, Stone, Summer Greens and Herbs, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, and Peppers; each section including unique recipes starring that particular seasonal ingredient. The recipes are very ‘clean’ without filler ingredients allowing the flavors to shine through unencumbered. Each season begins with a short dedication from Hasselbrink, spoken lovingly through an artist’s view.
“Summer is a reward for the rest of the year…..Summer’s produce comes in big and loud and fun and full of boisterous color. It is a season of not holding back: those snazzy reds and bright yellows and bold oranges and deep purples and big, rich greens. It is the season forever tied to leisure and joy and simplicity.’ –Excerpt from Summer, Vibrant Foods by Kimberly Hasselbrink.
We all love a cookbook with photos of the finished dish as reference however Vibrant Foods offers coffee table book quality images to behold on their own. It feels like a picture book for those loving food in addition to illustrating the sumptuous recipes.
In the reread, this feels like a very short review but that is thanks to the spirit of the book. It’s simple, not overly complicated offering beautiful seasonal food with recipes that are not over-complicated and gorgeous, captivating photographs to boot. I can think of at least a handful of people I’m going to order a copy for as soon as I finish this post!
GRILLED HALLOUMI with STRAWBERRIES and HERBS
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar
- 1 serrano chile , seeds removed if desired, minced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces strawberries , hulled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 (8- to 9-ounce) package halloumi cheese, cut into 8 slices
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, agave nectar, serrano, and pepper to taste. Toss the strawberries with the dressing and set aside.
Heat a very large skillet over medium-high heat and add the 1 tablespoon olive oil. When hot, add the halloumi slices. Cook the cheese for 2 to 3 minutes per side without disturbing, until a deep brown crust forms.
Remove the cheese from the skillet and spoon the strawberry mixture over the slices of cheese. Serve immediately, while the cheese is still warm.
Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Food written and photographed by (Ten Speed Press, © 2014). I received a copy of Vibrant Food for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.