Q&A with Rosalind Creasy, Author of “Recipes From The Garden”

By Shelley Pierce | May 7, 2017
by Shelley Pierce
May 7, 2017

Rosalind Creasy is a garden and food writer, photographer, and landscape designer with a passion for beautiful vegetables and fruits and a conviction that gardening should be an ecologically positive endeavor. Her first book, the award- winning, The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping, helped popularize the term “Edible Landscaping,” now a part of the American vocabulary. It was followed in 1988 by Cooking From The Garden, which introduced the American public to heirloom tomatoes, mesclun salads, and edible flowers.  She presently is on the board of the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa.

Rosalind has written 18 books on gardening and cooking.  Her latest book,  Rosalind Creasy’s Recipes From The Garden, helps readers celebrate the incredible flavors of garden-fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Read on for more information about this Tuttle Publishing book and enter to win one of five copies!

1.      For those wanting to cook directly from their own garden - how small or large a garden would be required in order to enjoy a majority of the recipes in your book with minimal grocery store expense?

I don’t see many people growing all the edibles for the majority of the recipes in my books. It would take a very large yard and would be a full time job. Recipes From The Garden is not about quantity it’s about bringing your garden’s harvest to life with a new insight as to what is possible with exciting flavor experiences and new techniques. For instance: instead of basil pesto, how about rosemary pesto; instead of vichyssoise made with white potatoes use purple ones to make a striking lavender vichyssoise; and taking your dried paste tomatoes and reconstituting them and marinating them in olive oil, garlic and basil to serve with rustic bread slices?

2.      How does this book inspire us to become not only a better cook but a more passionate gardener?

Recipes From the Garden inspires gardeners because you can create the excuse for a party just by seeing what’s available in your garden and find new ways to get your family to eat in a more healthy way. Your Cinderella pumpkin is ripe and you fill the empty cavity with onions, garlic, leeks, and Swiss cheese, bake it, and gather your friends around and scoop all the gooey goodness out into bowls and feast. Or gather young children around and candy edible flowers for a coming birthday party. And I find I can get young people in my household to eat my vegetable laden garden pizza and lasagna that are filled with nutrition and flavors.

3.      What are some of your favorite recipes in this book and why?

My favorite recipes would have to be the rosemary pesto over minestrone soup and the roasted Pimento pepper soup.

4.      In your book you discuss your culinary journey.  At what point in your journey did your culinary awakening go into overdrive?

My culinary journey went into overdrive when I signed the contract for my book: Cooking from the Garden in 1984 and I took out the front yard and put in a gourmet vegetable garden.

5.      When developing new recipes, how do you keep your creative juices flowing – what is your inspiration?

My cooking creativity can be inspired by a particularly large harvest one day, such as yesterday when a lot of cilantro needed harvesting to make room for young tomato plants and I made a pesto using peanuts, Parmesan cheese, and peanut oil and served it over Asian noodles with sugar snap peas. Other times a friend or someone attending one of my lectures will tell me to try a new technique or I see some feature on TV.

6.      What’s growing in your garden?

Presently, my garden is changing gears from cool season to warm season crops. I’m harvesting lots of salad greens to make room for peppers, taking out chard to plant basil, and harvesting the last of the sugar snap peas to make room for lima beans and tomatoes.

WIN ONE OF FIVE COPIES OF ‘Rosalind Creasy’s Recipes From The Garden‘!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post by midnight on Sunday, May 14, 2017 (be sure to provide a valid e-mail address) in answer to the following question:

Which garden fresh vegetable do you need recipe ideas for?

Be sure to include a valid e-mail address. The winner will be drawn at random from all qualified entrants, and notified via e-mail. (See rules for more information.)

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