Bravo to Brittany Wood Nickerson for writing an herb-centered cookbook that appeals to the average home cook.
Recipes from The Herbalist’s Kitchen mainly use herbs that just about everyone has heard of – mint, oregano, sage, cilantro – stuff that’s easy to find in grocery stores, or that typically grows in an herb lover’s home garden. The most uncommon herb I found was turmeric root, a rhizome that’s getting lots of attention lately, and that’s getting easier and easier to find.
Although Herbalist’s Kitchen is geared toward eating for health, the recipes are for things you’d want to cook. Burgers, for example, are topped with a fresh salsa that eases digestion. For detoxification, try Apple and Parsley Salad. There’s recipes for gut-friendly fermented foods, such as purple sauerkraut and kimchi, and also for more filling dishes, such as Baked Ricotta and Sweet Potato Rice. I’m especially thrilled that the author calls for using oils such as real butter, olive oil, and coconut oil. It seems health researchers are just learning that natural oils are the way to go, and Nickerson’s recipes reflect this forward thinking.
Beginners of the “eat for healing” movement will enjoy recipe headers and sidebars, which explain nutritional significance. This information compliments the book’s introductory material, fifty-eight pages that highlight scholarly research on the culinary and medicinal uses of herbs. (Big bonus – the Introduction is written in a way that doesn’t put the reader to sleep.)
My only complaint is that there are relatively few recipes for beef, chicken, and fish. But with all the fantastic vegetarian soups, entrees, sides, and even desserts, I doubt I’ll miss them.