Vermont chefs have long appreciated the culinary benefits of local, seasonal fare. Dishing Up Vermont includes contributions from restaurants and farms around the Green Mountain State.
“Page through Dishing Up Vermont and you’ll get a vivid picture of this state’s colorful, vibrant cuisine.”
The most cutting-edge book of the recent New England crop is Dishing Up Vermont by food writer Tracey Medeiros, which showcases the products and recipes of farms, orchards, restaurants and inns in that increasingly food-centric state. The Vermont Fresh Network, which benefits from a portion of the book's proceeds, was the nation's first statewide farm-to-restaurant program.
Sometime this fall, you simply must put aside your normal brunch dish for the book's exquisitely decadent Vermont Croque Monsieur. This version of the traditional French bistro sandwich, contributed by a chef from Cliff House at Stowe Mountain Resort, features cinnamon-raisin bread cooked in egg and slathered with a spread of mascarpone cheese blended with chives and a bit of maple syrup, then piled high with ham, turkey and Gouda and baked.
The book's flourishes are fun, but some of the best food in Dishing Up Vermont is simple. With just eight basic ingredients, the Flip-Over Apple Cake is a good example. Its slightly crunchy yet buttery underbelly serves as a fine foil for its tender, pretty apple topping. Though the book's recipe, contributed by owners of a 114-year-old Vermont orchard, calls for Northern Spy or Rhode Island Greening apples, I found that a combination of Ginger Gold and tasted just fine.
Dishing Up Vermont brings to life that food community across the state through appetizing dishes like mini frittatas with zucchini, goat cheese, and tomatoes from Does' Leap Farm in East Fairfield, grilled quail salad with maple vinaigrette from The Inn at Weathersfield in Perkinsville, and gingerbread cupcakes with orange-cream cheese frosting from Izabella's Eatery in Bennington.
As Medeiros says, "It puts a face on the farmers and chefs in Vermont who grow, market, prepare, and cook the state's freshest foods." Not only is it great food, she adds, "but we care about how we grow it.
A beautiful, inexpensive cookbook; recommended for libraries building a regional collection.