Local Dirt : Seasonal Recipes for Eating Close to Home
Author(s): Andrea Bemis
The author of the popular farm-to-table cookbook Dishing Up the Dirt returns with a dazzling collection of inventive recipes using farm-fresh ingredients, inspired by her commitment to supporting the local food movement.
For Andrea Bemis, eating locally is a way of life. After all, her and her husband own and operate an organic vegetable farm in the Pacific Northwest, and the produce they grow—from kale and kohlrabi to beets and butternut squash—is at the heart of the meals they serve and eat at their dinner table. They supplement their harvest with food produced by their neighbors, including the ranchers who supply their meat, and the orchardists who provide their fruit.
Andrea has always identified as a sustainable eater—until one day, when she opened a can of coconut milk and realized she had no idea where it came from. This propelled her to look more closely at her pantry, taking stock of the other ingredients that may have traveled some distance. Considering the energy used to transport the avocados, olive oil, and lemons to her Northern Oregon kitchen, she came up with an idea—a 30-day challenge to cook and eat only local food grown from local dirt, using ingredients produced within 200 miles of her home.
In Local Dirt, Andrea shares her journey through stories, photographs, and more than 80 recipes, re-creating a not-so-distant world when the ingredients cooked and eaten were produced within local communities. Organized by season, the delicious and creative dishes in this truly sustainable cookbook includes Fennel Gratin, Kohlrabi Yogurt Salad with Smoked Salmon, Winter Squash Toast with Honey & Hazelnuts, and Zucchini Swiss Chard & Chickpea Stew. Best of all, the recipes can be adapted to utilize any local fare.
Ultimately, Andrea found that the “challenge” she set out for herself wasn’t a challenge at all, but an opportunity to go back to basics, slow down, and connect even more deeply with her community. In Local Dirt, she offers the inspiration, instruction, and advice we need to eat deliciously and sustainably.
"In Local Dirt, Andrea Bemis nails the argument for eating locally. She has created an incredibly useful tool for learning how to cook with fresh and local ingredients and provides tips and tricks for adapting to a locavore diet. We can’t wait to try dishes like the Spring Vegetable Stew and the Fennel and Hazelnut Gratin. This is not just a beautiful cookbook—Bemis takes us on a lovely, culinary journey."
“By now we're familiar with the clear and time-tested wisdom in favor of eating locally all year long. Doing so supports our local economies, takes better care of our planet, and it tastes great. Learning to follow the rhythms of seasonal eating however, is not always as obvious; this book provides a straightforward, practical approach for seasonal eating.”
"Andrea shows us how eating locally is an opportunity to be more connected to the people in our community and to ourselves. And of course she always has the best flavor combination ideas. I mean, zucchini butter? Grilled garlic scapes? Farmhouse onion rings? Yes, please!"
"Local Dirt is so much more than an inspiring cookbook full of delicious recipes - it's a tool for anyone seeking to nourish themselves with good food from local, trusted sources. Andrea makes you rethink where your food comes from and how to truly shop local to nourish your body and soul."