4. The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook
The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm
By Amelia Saltsman, Blenheim Press, 2007. Paperback. $23; 216 pages
We looked through basketfuls of market-based cookbooks before picking The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook as best infield. This is not a guide to healthy eating per se, but as an inspiration for moving fresh produce to the center of your plate, it’s a winner. Saltsman believes that the best recipes are often the simplest, and that local crops, “nourished by the sun, picked at their peak, and brought to market fresh are more nutrient rich.” She adds, “To say that cooking from the farmers’ market is more ‘nutritious’ or ‘healthier’ makes it sound medicinal instead of the delectable pleasure it is.” For her, variety is critical. Flavor is first. And sustainable is best. All sentiments we endorse.