Don't you love hybrid books that are part gardening and part cookbook? Especially when they make that compelling connection between garden and dinner table, with a stop in the kitchen along the way? A new book by Jean Ann Van Krevelen does just that, along with nutrition information and clear preferences for various varieties. Grocery Gardening: Planting, Preparing and Preserving Fresh Food (Cool Spring Press, $19.95) is all about growing what you eat, with plenty of recipes tossed in for inspiration. From a vegetarian's point of view, I'm often surprised (and yes, disgusted...) at how many garden cookbooks feature meat recipes. But I'll ignore that with Grocery Gardening because recipes like "Mascarpone Crostata with Strawberries and Apples" and "Asparagus Salad with Chervil Pesto" sound delicious, and the authors do such a fine job of packing in information from seed-starting to garnishes.
The format is inviting, the layout simple, colorful and attractive with lots of color photos of the vegetables, herbs and fruit growing in the garden, cultivation and nutrition information, plus hungry-making photos of finished dishes. If you're looking for a selective guide on edibles from seed to table, Grocery Gardening may just be it.