It’s hard to stop staring at the photo of agrodolce ramps on grilled bread. Chopped ramps, chile flakes, raisins, and pine nuts cooked with a glug each of olive oil and red wine vinegar — put all that (juices included) on top of grilled bread schmeared with whipped ricotta. This could have been just any other toast, but it’s a testament to the way Portland, Oregon, chef Joshua McFadden wants you to cook. Big tangy-sweet-pungent flavors, wild fresh vegetables, and approachable methods you can pull off in your own kitchen. The title of the book is, of course, a giveaway: He’s honoring the seasons — not just spring, summer, fall, winter but each day that something is at its peak. It shows on every plate. Wait ’til you see the cauliflower couscous with almonds, dried cherries, and sumac … or cucumbers, yogurt, rose, walnuts, and herbs … or delicata squash “donuts” sprinkled with pumpkin seeds, chile, and Pecorino Romano and drizzled with honey. Swoon.
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