Over the last few decades, interest in eating locally has grown quickly. From just-picked apples in Washington to fresh peaches in Georgia, local food movements and farmer's markets have proliferated all over the country. Desert dwellers in the Southwest are taking a new look at prickly pear, mesquite, and other native plants.
Many people's idea of cooking with southwestern plants begins and ends with prickly pear jelly. With this update to the classic Tumbleweed Gourmet, master cook Carolyn Niethammer opens a window on the incredible bounty of the southwestern deserts and offers recipes to help you bring these plants to your table. Included here are sections featuring each of twenty-three different desert plants. The chapters include basic information, harvesting techniques, and general characteristics. But the real treat comes in the form of some 150 recipes collected or developed by the author herself. Ranging from every-day to gourmet, from simple to complex, these recipes offer something for cooks of all skill levels. Some of the recipes also include stories about their origin and readers are encouraged to tinker with the ingredients and enjoy desert foods as part of their regular diet.
Featuring Paul Mirocha's finely drawn illustrations of the various southwestern plants discussed, this volume will serve as an indispensible guide from harvest to table. Whether you're looking for more ways to prepare local foods, ideas for sustainable harvesting, or just want to expand your palette to take in some out-of-the-ordinary flavors, Cooking the Wild Southwest is sure to delight.
Carolyn Niethammer is a wild-food expert, a master cook, and the award-winning author of several books, including The New Southwest Cookbook, American Indian Cooking and The Prickly Pear Cookbook. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.