The Perennial Kitchen: Simple Recipes for a Healthy Future (Hardcover)
Recipes and resources connect thoughtfully grown, gathered, and prepared ingredients to a healthy future—for food, farming, and humankind
Knowing how and where food is grown can add depth and richness to a dish, whether a meal of slow-roasted short ribs on creamy polenta, a steaming bowl of spicy Hmong soup, or a triple ginger rye cake, kissed with maple sugar, honey, and sorghum. Here James Beard Award–winning author Beth Dooley provides the context of food’s origins, along with delicious recipes, nutrition information, and tips for smart sourcing.
More than a farm-to-table cookbook, The Perennial Kitchen expands the definition of “local food” to embrace regenerative agriculture, the method of growing small and large crops with ecological services. These farming methods, grounded in a land ethic, remediate the environmental damage caused by the monocropping of corn and soybeans. In this thoughtful collection the home cook will find both recipes and insights into artisan grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables that are delicious and healthy—and also help retain topsoil, sequester carbon, and return nutrients to the soil. Here are crops that enhance our soil, nurture pollinators and song birds, rebuild rural economies, protect our water, and grow plentifully without toxic chemicals. These ingredients are as good for the planet as they are on our plates.
Dooley explains how to stock the pantry with artisan grains, heritage dry beans, fresh flour, healthy oils, and natural sweeteners. She offers pointers on working with grass-fed beef and pastured pork and describes how to turn leftovers into tempting soups and stews. She makes the most of each season’s bounty, from fresh garlic scape pesto to roasted root vegetable hummus. Here we learn how best to use nature’s “fast foods,” the quick-cooking egg and ever-reliable chicken; how to work with alternative flours, as in gingerbread with rye or focaccia with Kernza®; and how to make plant-forward, nutritious vegan and vegetarian fare. Among other sweet pleasures, Dooley shares the closely held secret recipe from the University of Minnesota’s student association for the best apple pie. Woven throughout the recipes is the most recent research on nutrition, along with a guide to sources and information that cuts through the noise and confusion of today’s food labels and trends.
Beth Dooley looks back into ingredients’ healthy beginnings and forward to the healthy future they promise. At the center of it all is the cook, linking into the regenerative and resilient food chain with every carefully sourced, thoughtfully prepared, and delectable dish.
About the Author
Beth Dooley is author or coauthor of several cookbooks, including Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland, The Northern Heartland Kitchen, Minnesota’s Bounty, The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook, Savory Sweet: Simple Preserves from a Northern Kitchen, Sweet Nature: A Cook’s Guide to Using Honey and Maple Syrup, and The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen (Best American Cookbook, James Beard Award, 2018), all from Minnesota. In Winter’s Kitchen is her memoir about finding her place in the Midwestern food scene. She lives in Minneapolis.
Mette Nielsen’s photographs have illustrated numerous books, newspapers, and magazines. A talented master gardener, she created the edible garden for the Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis, collaborated on The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook and Minnesota’s Bounty, and was a coauthor of Savory Sweet and Sweet Nature.
"Beth's natural ability for warm and descriptive food prose is such a joy to read and experience, and it shines in The Perennial Kitchen."—Sean Sherman, author of James Beard Award–winning The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen
"Beth Dooley’s The Perennial Kitchen is not only a cookbook but also a guide for how to transform our food and agriculture systems. The regenerative agriculture practices described here are good for the planet—and delicious!"—Danielle Nierenberg, president, Food Tank, and 2020 recipient of the Julia Child Award
"Dooley’s goal, really, is to connect readers with the farmers, ranchers, processors, and artisans—many of them Black, Indigenous, and POC—who are boldly growing grains, beans, meats, fruits, and vegetables in ways that build up, rather than degenerate, our soil and water."—Midwest Home
"Through Beth’s experience on the board of The Good Acre, a St. Paul-based food hub and teaching center, she’s developed an expertise in writing recipes for institutional audiences, and we’re grateful she’s bringing those skills to this project."—Crumb
"The Perennial Kitchen provides recipes that bring out the best in a wide range of ingredients coming out of a new generation of Minnesota farms."—Star Tribune
"The Perennial Kitchen is a cookbook that manages to be both universal and forward-looking."—Civil Eats
"If you’re looking for a cookbook that is more than a farm-to-table guide, pick up a copy of The Perennial Kitchen."—Hutchinson Leader
"Whether you are a foodie looking for new recipes to try or someone committed to nature, the environment and good food, The Perennial Kitchen has a lot to offer."—Northern Gardener
"The sum of our daily choices will ultimately impact our collective future. If you are hungry for hope and comfort, cooking is a great place to start." —Minnesota Women’s Press