By: Andrea Bemis
Andrea Bemis, the creator of the popular farm-to-table blog Dishing Up the Dirt builds on her success with this beautiful, simple, seasonally driven cookbook, featuring more than 100 inventive and delicious whole-foods recipes and dozens of color photographs.
For Andrea Bemis, who owns and runs a six-acre organic farm with her husband outside of Portland, Oregon, dinners are inspired by what is grown in the soil and picked by hand. In Dishing Up the Dirt, Andrea offers 100 authentic farm-to-table recipes, arranged by season, including:
Spring: Honey Roasted Strawberry Muffins, Lamb Lettuce Wraps with Mint Yogurt Sauce, Spring Harvest Pizza with Mint & Pea Pesto, Kohlrabi and Chickpea Salad
Summer: Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Biscuits, Roasted Ratatouille Toast, Kohlrabi Fritters with Garlic Herb Cashew Cream Sauce, Farmers Market Burgers with Mustard Greens Pesto
Fall: Farm Girl Veggie Bowls, Butternut Molasses Muffins, Early Autumn Moroccan Stew, Collard Green Slaw with Bacon Gremolata
Winter: Rutabaga Home Fries with Smokey Cashew Sauce, Hoisin Glazed Brussels Sprouts, Country Girl Old Fashioned Cocktails, Tumbleweed Farm Winter Panzanella
Andrea’s recipes focus on using whole, locally-sourced foods—incorporating the philosophy of eating as close to the land as possible. While many recipes are naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegetarian, many others include elemental ingredients like bread, cheese, eggs, meat, and sweeteners, which are incorporated in new and inventive ways.
In short essays throughout the book, Andrea also presents an honest glimpse of life on Tumbleweed Farm—the real life of a farmer, not the shabby-chic fantasy often portrayed—offering fascinating and frequently entertaining details about where the food on our dinner tables comes from. With stunning food photography as well as intimate portraits of farm life, Dishing Up the Dirt allows anyone to be a seasonal foodie and an armchair farmer.
My Thoughts on this Cook Book:
From an idea sparked from a simple hike and blueberries, to a dream fully realized with her small and growing Tumbleweed Farm in Oregon, Andrea Bemis opens up to the readers about the ups and downs of farm life she and her husband face with each season on top of Portland’s unique weather conditions. I quite enjoyed the wide variations and plant based recipes in this book (as I presume most people will).
There are a handful of recipes that I came across which include meat, but for the most part it seems to be semi-meat free. In fact, if I were to categorize the recipe options, it would be a cross between vegetarian and Paleo diet friendly.
*Note: I’m a vegetarian, so I’m just going off what I know of the Paleo dietary guidelines.
I also really loved that Bemis includes drink recipes for smoothies and cocktails. 🙂 Likewise, whenever I come across new cookbooks, I usually enjoy picking one or two things that I’ve never made from scratch before (which can turn out really awesome, or really bad).
Following suit with this, I decided to try making Bemis’ Tahini dipping sauce and the Penne with Parsley Pesto, White Beans & Parmesan.
While it was good, my attempt at this sauce seemed to be more of a dressing rather than a sauce, as it resembled a kind of vinaigrette.
*Note: After chilling in the fridge a few hours, the sauce thickened.
Penne with Parsley Pesto, White Beans & Parmesan:
This experiment went a lot better (I mean it is pasta!). And my taste test guinea pigs, aka my family, enjoyed it. However, instead of using white beans for this recipe, I swapped it out for chickpeas just for a personal preference.
Another thing I enjoyed about this book was the fact that Bemis separates the dishes based on season and I think other foodies and cookbook lovers will appreciate this as well. Personally, I think that separating them by season (Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter) kind of inspires the little chief that could within us all, you know?
I had to fold a few corners for a few recipes for the Summer. Like her Summer Squash & Corn Pasta with Garlic Tahini Sauce, Roasted Ratatouille Toast and their Tumbleweed Farm Bloody Mary 🙂.
Even my brother (a self-proclaimed experimentalist in the kitchen) has already queued a few recopies to try out for late Summer and Fall! ^_^
Andrea is the writer, recipe developer, and photographer behind the food blog DishingUpTheDirt.com. Her recipes and Tumbleweed Farm have been featured in publications such as the New York Times, Well and Good NYC, and Eating Well Magazine. She lives on her farm in Oregon with her husband and dog.
Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out my review for Dishing Up The Dirt! I hope you all get a chance to pick a copy for yourselves and make something amazing.
Until the next post,