Cookbook Book Club (my
once a month most months “cooking from the same cookbook” meal with Jan and Jenn) it’s back! Due to, well, life, we haven’t met (for a cookbook club because we’ve certainly met up for other things) since May! For this month’s instalment we chose to work from a book we unanimously decided on – Hugh Acheson’s The Broad Fork.
I loved The Broad Fork as soon as I saw the inside cover where it says “What the hell do I do with kohlrabi?” because, quite frankly, that’s what many people think, I’m sure. This is a book for those of us who sometimes shop a little too enthusiastically at the farmers market. Or who purchase produce we have no idea how to prepare (it sounds wonderful at the market and all but the reality once you get home is different). The Broad Fork is a guide to 50 farmers’ market favourites with over 200 recipes.
I loved reading about Acheson’s approach in the introduction where he suggests this book might help you eat “deliciously” as well as “healthfully” but he also admits that he is not perfect and that some items you find in his kitchen might surprise you (store-bought mayo, juice boxes, pancake mix) because well, reality… Acheson subscribes to the theory that “it’s all about taking small steps” because he does recognise that home cooking is always going to be “a struggle against time.” But his goals seem do-able – “Go and eat your vegetables,” for example – and that’s where this book comes in…
We started out with tiny versions of Acheson’s Brussels Sprouts with Boiled Eggs and Celery Remoulade on Crostini brought by Jenn.
We all agreed that though it was an unusual combination of flavours (and one we would never have thought of ourselves), it was a winner. It somehow felt very Scandinavian – smørrebrød-esque. Definitely not something I would have thought to do with Brussels sprouts myself – one of the reasons I like the book, because it does give you different ideas for more common veggies too.
Jan’s soup was a winner too – Sweet Onion Soup with Caraway Seeds and Croutons.
Get the recipe for Hugh Acheson’s sweet onion soup here.
To accompany our soup, Jan brought Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apple.
As well as looking the part for autumn, this salad was truly tasty with the addition of Acheson’s apple cider dressing (the recipe calls for a scant tablespoon of olive oil and the juice of one lemon which we all thought was a little odd – this is a salad that needs a dressing), though we all agreed that it could perhaps use a little cheese. Oh and bacon. But it’s the base for a great kale salad that even kale haters will get behind.
Get the recipe for Hugh Acheson’s Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apple here.
I was tasked with dessert which, with a book like The Broad Fork, isn’t the easiest… While it might become your go-to vegetable recipe book, it certainly won’t cater to your sweet tooth. I decided to go with what I had on hand anyway – tons of local apples – and Acheson provided me with an intriguing apple butter recipe (made in the slow cooker).
Of course, since I couldn’t just serve Jan and Jenn pots of apple butter (though I did consider serving it poured over ice cream!), I turned it into an apple-themed tart… a version of my apple crumble galette. I present Apple Butter Crumble Tart!
Apple Butter Crumble Tart
An apple-themed tart for your autumn table
- approx 200-250g puff pastry
- 2 medium apples (approx 200g each), peeled, cored and sliced thinly
- 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup (50g) plain flour
- 1/4 cup (60g) dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (40g) large flake rolled oats (not instant)
- 4 tablespoons apple butter
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Pre-heat the oven to 375˚F.
- Roll out your pastry to approximately 25cm (10 inch) round if using a block of pastry.
- Spread the apple butter evenly across the surface of the pastry, leaving a border of approximately 2cm around the edge.
- Place the apple slices evenly over the pastry base.
- Mix the melted butter, flour, brown sugar and rolled oats together in a small bowl.
- Scatter the crumble evenly over the apple slices.
- Fold the uncovered edges of dough up and around the filling, working your way around the galette. You'll end up with pleated edges that are a little rough and you might need to trim some uneven parts to ensure you don't end up with a thick area of just crust.
- Brush the edges of the crust with the egg wash.
- Bake for 40 minutes until the crust is puffed and golden.
This was a winner. With a dollop of cream or ice cream? You can’t go wrong.
Get the recipe for Hugh Acheson’s slow cooker apple butter here.
This was a perfect fall meal and, to be quite honest, it’s the way I love to eat. Lots of smaller bites so I get to taste many different flavours. And the book? While there are a lot of vegetables featured, we all decided we would prefer to have less vegetables with more recipes per chapter (there are four recipe in each). I guess, more than anything this book is a starting point. I spent a long time reading the book and so often found myself thinking “What a great idea/ use for XYZ vegetable or fruit.” It’s a book to help get you out of that cooking rut (you know, where you find yourself making the same seasonal dishes over and over).
Interested in our Cookbook Book Club? So far we’ve enjoyed dinner with Marcella, dinner with Nigella, dinner with Ottolenghi, dinner with Maria Speck, dinner with Naomi Duguid, lunch with Jamie Oliver, a dessert party with Butter Baked Goods, dinner with Jacques Pépin, dinner with Smitten Kitchen, recipes from Rachel Khoo, we brunched with Donna Hay, dined with Mark Bittman, got together over a Gatherings-inspired baby shower brunch, dined with Simple Bites and cooked from Food 52’s Genius Recipes.
Canadians – win a copy of The Broad Fork on Recipe Geek! Details here.
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