Picture a Venn diagram of cookbooks. One circle contains collections with breathtakingly beautiful photography. The other, recipes I can actually re-create. The Forest Feast (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, May 2014) stands firmly in the overlapping area: super-simple recipes that won’t reduce you to tears, alongside photos ethereal enough to make you weep.
The cookbook’s layout is unique and really beautiful, with hand-painted lettering for every recipe. See for yourself:
Artist Erin Gleeson, a former F.I.T. professor who married a rabbi and moved to the woods outside Silicon Valley, shot every dish in the forest, but don’t picture sprout salad or tofu casserole. Instead think of nectarine-tomato salad and a blackberry negroni to serve atop a stump while wearing red lipstick. Here’s who shouldn’t buy this book: my friends. I’ve already bought them all copies. It’s that good.
These recipes are proof:
Lay a circular slab of watermelon on each plate (1 inch thick, rind removed). Top each with 3-5 slices of fresh mozzarella plus chopped (1 tbsp each) mint, basil, almonds and walnuts. Dress with olive oil and coarse salt.
A small slab serves one; a large slab serves 2-3 people.
Photo credit: Tumblr/Forest Feast