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Fresh from the Farm Hardcover – 7 Mar 2014


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About the Author

Susie Middleton is not only a cook and a writer, but a farmer, too. The former chief editor of Fine Cooking magazine, Susie also authored Fast, Fresh & Green and The Fresh & Green Table. Susie has been a life-long writer, and in addition to blogging regularly at www.sixburnersue.com and occasionally on the Huffington Post, she writes both essays and food features for national and regional magazines. She started growing vegetables

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Amazon.com: 24 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Fresh from the Farm 5 Mar 2014
By Stephanie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"...the vegetables-how we shaped our lives around growing and harvesting them and how we honored them in the kitchen-are the real stars. Here are their stories and ours."

Charming stories and recipes from a home gardener, Susie Middleton, who started it all with a small farm stand at the end of her driveway. She features interesting recipes with plants that she grows. I liked that the recipes were grouped by season, so plants that would be growing together at the time are in recipe together.

A lot of the recipes have new twists to it Gingery Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Brown Sugar-Pecan Topping that I can not wait to try! The Spicy Green Beans from the High Summer chapter also look interesting, and I always seem to grow a lot of green beans. I'm glad there was also a dessert recipe for all of those extra zucchini and a bunch of recipes for winter squash.

As a bonus, the end of the book contains design plans for a farm stand, indoor seed starting station, raised garden beds and a chicken coop.

A great book for any gardener who would like more recipes to use their in-season produce with or an indiscriminatory farmer's market shopper.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fresh from the Farm! 7 April 2014
By Ski-Wee's Book Corner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The story of Susie and Roy Middleton is told in this wonderful collection of farm fresh recipes cookbook. They started with a small stand and a few harvested items.

As their story develops, the book is filled with great recipes. The format is similar to a regular cookbook, but in the sidebar is the continuing narrative of how this venture began and grew.

Fresh from the Farm contains beautifully crisp and clear photographs of recipes and ingredients. In addition, the preparation instructions are easily readable.

I picked my favorites to be Spring Celebration Salad with Crab Cakes and Avocado-Chive Dressing and Roasted Beet ‘Jewels’ with Cranberries, Toasted Pecans and Balsamic Butter. Of course, I would replace the pecans with pine nuts. I am not a big pecan fan. Caramelized Carrots and Shallots with Spinach and Citrus Brown Butter seemed an interesting combination. I would try this because of my love for carrots and spinach.

At the end of the book, there is an appendix on different designs for your personal or market gardening. If you like trying new and exciting recipes, this is the cookbook for you. I recommend this book for anyone who loves to cook and as a gift opportunity.

I received this book free from The Taunton Press, Inc. through the Net Galley Review Program for an unbiased and honest review.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Way different from her previous two vegetable books 11 Feb 2014
By I Do the Speed Limit - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Familiar with Susie Middleton's previous books? You are in for a surprise with this one! The teaching lessons are over--at least for vegetables. In this book Ms. Middleton puts all her vegetable experience together--with all the flavor pairings and techniques that you learned in those first two books--and shows us how she now grows those veggies and prepares them for her family at a tiny, old farmhouse (with acreage) in Martha's Vineyard. If you read this book early in the year, you'll be wishing your garden to hurry up and get growing!

Did you come to this review wondering how this book differs from the other two? This third book teaches more about leading a satisfying lifestyle through gardening and, through her recipes, working with whatever you might find that day in your garden. If you are already armed with her previous books, the recipes in this book will come naturally to you. They will move you!

The recipes in this book are stellar. I will want to try them all, even though many are just variations on recipes that come naturally to an experienced cook with a vegetable garden in the back yard. There are about ten recipes in here that I've already tried with variations because of the season, (see my disclosure at the end this review), and want to keep and use throughout the growing year. There are many, many simple recipes that are take-offs on what she's taught us in her previous books, common-sense pairings based on what you might have picked from your garden that day, and variations of recipes that you've run across before and are already in your repertoire.

This book contains beautiful and colorful photography, a blog-type running commentary on all the antics of starting a garden and setting up and running a front yard vegetable stand, plus the recipes. The fact that blocks of the story run alongside the recipes, ...and blocks of comments on the recipes, ...and pictures of the vegetables, the garden, the stand, ...and the finished dishes ...and Ms. Susie (in the same set of clothing again and again and again...) is overwhelming. For me, it is way too much a mish-mash and hard to follow. While, I appreciate each of these elements separately, together on one page it is more than frustrating. (That's why I wanted to ding my rating one star, but didn't. Because this type of layout bothers me, it may not bother you.) Maybe you keep up with her blog and can pass over the story for your first run-through of the cookbook, but I found I wanted to read the story and the recipes at the same time. And, that did not help me retain recipe information as I proceeded through the book.

Just a little insight into what transpired since her second cookbook: Ms. Middleton is way happy with having dumped the city life and moved out to the country with her new husband. She considers it a great move and is thrilled with growing things and wants to spread the word. I completely understand: So many of us have been there, done that. Her stories sound very familiar and the quaintness is enviable for those stuck in the city.

Personally, I'm all for growing your own vegetables and raising chickens for eggs. We've been doing it for years on an acre of land. We live in a rural community in a century-old house. The novelty never wears off and the craziness of farm stand antics is never-ending and provides a lot of stories and memories. So, I think my issue with this cookbook is just how everything is so jumbled together and nothing more. If you're just getting out of town and into vegetable gardening, this might be a perfect book for you.

Her first two The Fresh & Green Table: Delicious Ideas for Bringing Vegetables into Every Meal and Fast, Fresh & Green contain a wealth of information on how to make the most of a multitude of vegetables. Almost like reference books, those books not only contain recipes, but techniques and suggestions and tips.

YOU CAN STOP READING HERE as I think I've covered the basics. But keep on reading for more info if you are still undecided about this book.

So, let me mention a few recipes from the book in an effort to help you decide if this is a book you want to own:

--A majority of the recipes involve fresh un-cooked greens. There are many salads with a little of this green and a little of that green. Ms. Middleton firmly believes in baby bok choy. So do I. One of my favorite from the book is a stir-fry of bok choy with a lemon sauce: Simple with sugar, soy sauce, lemon, garlic, cornstarch and peanut oil. Another is Grill Roasted Baby Bok Choy and Creminis With Garlic-Chile-Lime Oil and Spaghetti. It all comes together in a grill basket; so simple, with clean tastes.

--One of my favorite dishes in the book is Swiss Chard (all colors), Fresh Peas With Ham and Maple-Balsamic Sauce.

--We love radishes at our house, and they are so easy to grow. We eat them all the time, but never thought to serve with a dressing of crystallized ginger, lemon, OJ and peanut oil: May Day Radish and Parsley Salad.

--Love the colorful southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Farm Stand Veggies. It has quite a long list of ingredients, but it all comes together easily.

--Also love the roasted beets with cranberries, pecans and balsamic butter.

--Another really fantastic recipe is the Roast Parmesan-Crusted Cod with Potatoes, Peppers, Onions and Thyme. It all comes together in one roasting pan and she has "hit the nail on the head" perfectly with her combination and quantities of flavorings. She does a similar one-pan roasted dish with chicken and Fall vegetables.

--There is a very nice recipe combining shrimp, chorizo, white beans, kale, fennel, tomato, onion, peppers and more, then served over rice.

--Then there are some recipes that don't have much to do with vegetables: Pan-Pacific Grilled Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Fried Rice and Toasted Coconut, for instance. It is only the fried rice that contains peppers, scallions, eggplant, corn and onion.

--There is terribly un-authentic paella that is loaded with veggies. It is not a bad recipe, but to call it paella is almost sinful...

--There are some very simple recipes: Basil processed with mayo; a salsa with serranos, cilantro and lime; a gazpacho with grill-roasted veggies; a tomato-basil salad with different colored tomatoes; steak fajitas with grill-roasted peppers and onions.

-- There are also some egg recipes and some dessert recipes, mostly using berries or pears.

At the end of the book are plans for a farm stand, raised beds and a chicken coop (courtesy of her carpenter husband). The index is adequate and also lists the recipes by type of dish.

Recipes are arranged not so much by the four seasons, but by the growing season of her garden. She has not tackled a true winter garden yet, so some veggies are missing.

*This review is being posted on the day it was released to the public. Many months ago, I received a temporary download of a preliminary copy of this book from the publishers, through NetGalley. I have been working with the recipes in this book for several months now.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful in every way! 11 Feb 2014
By Lisa of Fresh Eggs Daily - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The very best cookbooks, in my opinion combine easy-to-follow, delicious recipes with beautiful photographs. Susie Middleton's new cookbook does this and more. In addition to stunning photographs not only of the finished dishes but also of her chickens, gardens and herself puttering around her farm, there are numerous gardening and cooking tips sprinkled throughout this visually appealing cookbook.

The recipes are arranged by season, and rely heavily on homegrown or locally sourced fresh ingredients, making them very nutritious and healthful which is an added bonus. Simple enough make regularly for your family on a busy weekday for dinner, they are also sophisticated enough to serve at a dinner party for friends and range from herbed corn and bean saute to pan-grilled pork chops with rice and coconut. There are loads of recipes for grilled and pan-fried vegetables and fruits, offering a variety of ways to use your garden bounty. Although heavy on the veggies, there are main dish recipes that include chicken, shrimp, pork and beef. Desserts include claufoutis, crepes, ice cream, crisp, and compote.

There are also rudimentary sketches for a farm stand, raised bed and chicken coop in the back of the book.

I highly recommend this cookbook for anyone who grows their own produce or is looking to incorporate more fresh ingredients into their cooking. If you follow Ms. Middleton on her blog or other social media and enjoy her writing, I think you also enjoy this peek further into her life.
Delicious and great to read! 1 Aug 2014
By Librarian Lavender - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I like reading cookbooks, especially if they're filled with stories. Fresh From The Farm offers some fantastic recipes. It's too bad I don't live closer to Martha's Vineyard, because I would love to visit Susie Middleton's farm stand with fresh produce and taste some of the gorgeous products. The photographs in this book are amazing and I love how they make both the stories and the recipes come to life. Susie is a good narrator, I enjoyed reading about how she started farming very much and her tips and tricks for growing vegetables are quite useful for those who want to start doing something similar. I think it's great that she dared to leave her job and start a whole new adventure. It meant moving into a house that hasn't got many modern luxuries, but which is peaceful and romantic. Susie sounds happy and content and gives a clear insight into farm life. Of course there are obstacles, but she talks about them in a light and optimistic tone of voice and Susie and her husband always manage to find a solution. Each season brings a different kind of happiness and I really liked how Susie managed to enchant me with her vivid descriptions over and over again.
The recipes in this book are amazing. They're vegetable orientated and they've been arranged according to season. Everything has been prepared with fresh products and if you want to make full use of the recipes it's best to follow the seasons and do the same. I've tried to make two of the recipes and they tasted really good. The roasted ratatouille pasta is delicious! And the zucchini and corn pancakes with Greek yogurt and honey were great. Susie's Deviled eggs at the beginning look so tasty and the same goes for the cinnamon caramelized pears, so those two will be the next things on my list. I love the simple, but wonderful food. Everything is easy to make and the descriptions are clear with many understandable steps. There are cook's tips for every recipe. I liked those a lot! It's pretty obvious that in my opinion this is a fabulous cookbook.
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