- 2016 INDIES Finalist
- Finalist, Cooking (Adult Nonfiction)
As much a garden book as it is a book to cook from, The Power of Pulses is a lively collaboration between seedsman Dan Jason and foodie siblings Hilary Malone and Alison Malone Eathorne. Published in celebration of the United Nation’s designation of 2016 as the International Year of the Pulses, this book offers many glorious and persuasive reasons to grow, buy, and eat more of these super vegetables, which are surprisingly easy to cultivate, harvest, and store. Crystal-clear prose reveals that pulses self-fertilize and even enrich the soil after they are grown, unlike the majority of other crops. As fuel for the body, not only are they creamy, filling and delicious, they are dense with fiber, protein and other nutrients.
The authors spike their exhortations to use more of these legumes with gorgeous photomosaics of dried beans and peas and pulse-porn photography of them curling luxuriantly on the vine. Much of the text is devoted to discussion of how to grow the different kinds of pulses, particularly the strikingly colorful heirloom varieties. Subsequent chapters on methods for drying and storing crops and saving seeds finish with a crescendo of fifty innovative vegetarian recipes, from Lentil and Mushroom Pate to Mac and Peas. Pulses even star in desserts, like the toothsome-sounding Black Bean Brownies with Espresso Ganache.
This volume will be most useful to kitchen gardeners, especially those who enjoy experimenting with new vegetables each season, but even folks who prefer to buy their produce at the market will learn scads about how to incorporate more of these alluring plant dynamos in their daily meals. North American farmers have been growing many kinds of pulses, primarily for export, but with persuasive cookbooks like this one and the UN’s promotions, there will undoubtedly be fewer pulses sent overseas and more of us chowing down on them on the homefront.
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