Thursday, June 9, 2011
I have been sitting on this cookbook review for a long, long time now. The nice people over at Sterling Publishing sent me a copy of The Green Market Baking Book by Laura C. Martin, and asked if I would like to cook something out of it, or do a review of the book itself. I read a summary and quickly said yes. Well that was a couple months ago, and I am just now getting around to this post.
It wasn't for lack of interest, that is for sure. Things like school and work, vacations and appointments, weddings and funerals, cake orders and homework got in the way. The cookbook is wonderful, separated into seasons, providing a guide of produce that is ripe for the picking for that season, and corresponding recipes to use that produce. It has a lovely little canning guide in the back, for when you get a little too grabby at the farmers market and buy 20 pounds of peaches. It has beautiful illustrations and most importantly, delicious recipes. It is not necessarily a 'healthy' cookbook, but it is geared towards using fresh food in your baking, and finding natural ways to use natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup.
Since one of my goals this summer is to get my butt to the farmer's market more often, I think this book will come in handy when looking for things to do with my bounty. There were quite a few recipes that I was wanting to try right off the bat, but I could not resist spinach and goat cheese wrapped in crispy filo dough. I am glad I picked it first, they were a delicious little treat, and would make a great appetizer, or a main course when paired with a nice green salad.
Completely out of character, I followed the instructions exactly from the book, and the results were great. Me being me, however, I couldn't just leave it at that. I had to make my own version. I nixed the spinach, and instead made some turnovers with brussels sprouts, shallots, bacon, thyme, lemon, and goat cheese. I won't say which version I liked better, they were both outstanding, you can decide for yourself. You can find the recipe for my version here at Honest Cooking.
Spinach & Goat Cheese Turnovers
recipe by Laura C Martin from The Green Market Baking Book
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 green onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large bunches spinach, stemmed and chopped
2 ounces softened goat cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
4 frozen phyllo sheets, thawed
1/2 cup, 1 stick, unsalted butter, melted
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat to high, and add the spinach. Saute until spinach has wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain the spinach mixture by pressing it with a wooden spoon to get rid of as much excess moisture as possible.
Transfer spinach mixture to a bowl and let cool. Add the goat cheese, pine nuts, parmesan, herbs, and zest. Mix to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place one phyllo sheet on your work surface. Cut the phyllo lengthwise into 3 equal strips. Brush one of the strips with melted butter and place 1 heading tablespoon of filling at one end of the strip. Starting with the corned, fold the dough over the filling to form a triangle. Repeat folding the triangle over itself the entire length of the strip. Brush top with butter and place on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 F and bake for about 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Serve hot, or at room temperature.