A few weeks ago I received my copy of Under The Walnut Tree by Anna and Fanny Bergenstrom. The cookbook’s byline was Great Recipes From Our Kitchen and it was a labour of love by the authors sharing the food from their Scandinavian heritage as well as all around the world. Prior to receiving the cookbook, I had it on my wish list for several months. The muted almost poetic cover of a table set with exotic looking food had captured my fancy. I soon set out to explore the 430 page glossy hardback journey of the culinary adventures of mother and daughter.
Everything about the book was simple. The photography was crisp and no frills. The writing easy to grasp and recipes extremely approachable. The content of the books were categorized in chapters made up of ingredients. Starting off with avocados, the cookbook weaved its way through leafy greens, horseradish, citrus, nuts, cardamom, mango, tea and finally winded down with chocolate with a few extras in the middle. The cookbook also featured a handy menu system towards the end, grouping recipes from the book to easily plan family meals and gatherings.
The book is based on some of the author’s favourite ingredients and was created in their summer country home. An old walnut tree outside their kitchen was where they swapped ideas and photographed the recipes. Hence the name. The recipes are a joy to explore for any home cook and span a wide variety of cultures and destinations including India, Sweden, France and Chile. There are 400 recipes and 16 chapters in the book. Each chapter sheds some light on the history of the ingredient it is named after followed by a selection of recipes.
The book starts out on a high note with a Green Goddess recipe that you want to whip up instantly because it feels light, fresh, beautiful and incredibly easy. This ode to avocado continues with various salads, sandwiches, dips and soups. The focus on healthy vegetarian fare meant to be shared is pretty evident in Savoury Tomato Bread, Crispy Feta Cheese Patries, Chard Pie, Sesame Cream Cheese, Cardamom Cake, Pickled Mangoes, Raspberry Soup, Harissa Paste and Rocket Frittata. And then there is plenty to satisfy the carnivores amongst us.The book is full of infused oils, amazing dressings, flavoured butters, pickles, pastes, rubs, syrups and a zillion other pantry gems that you could cook to stock up your own or give away as edible gifts.
I have enjoyed my time exploring and cooking from this amazing resource and adapted some of the recipes in the cookbook. I have written about them in depth - Coconut And Lime Cake With Rum Frosting, Kachumber And Salad Bruschetta, Vanilla Rice Pudding With Wine Poached Plums.
Today, I have a copy of Under The Walnut Tree to give away to one lucky reader of the blog, courtesy of Hardie Grant. To be eligible for the giveaway,
1. You MUST have an Australian postal address.
2. You MUST leave a comment to this post and tell me "If you had to submit a recipe of your own to publish in a cookbook collection, what would it be and why?"
The giveaway runs until May 21, 2012. A winner will be picked by me based on the originality and creativity of the answer. The winner will be announced on the blog on May 24, 2012.
Good Luck everyone!!
Wow!! So many lovely ideas and creative replies!! You are all awesome!!
It was very hard for me to pick just ONE winner and Hardie Grant kindly agreed to giveaway TWO.
Teague for Moroccan Chickpea Burgers
Racheal for Wholemeal Spelt Earl Grey & Date Loaf
have won themselves each a copy of Under The Walnut Tree!!
I will be in touch with you shortly