The dynamic stars of Planet Green TV’s The Fabulous Beekman Boys offer up the ultimate volume of their most treasured, hand-me-down recipes.
In order to “relinquish the overly indulgent and instantly gratified existence to which we had become accustomed,” memoirist Kilmer-Purcell (The Bucolic Plague, 2010, etc.) and Ridge, a former vice president at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, relocated to the 60-acre Beekman farm in upstate New York. Inspired by the country life, their cookbook emphasizes the use of fresh, organic, homegrown ingredients—and not just because their farmhouse is located 20 miles from the nearest grocery store. The authors organize the sections seasonally, beginning with springtime offerings that include greens from the garden to make Dandelion or Spinach salads; asparagus, both roasted and baked into a “custardy” torte; and homegrown peas in a white wine risotto with freshly picked strawberries and rhubarb for sweeter creations. While somewhat light on creativity, heirloom garden fruits and vegetables highlight cool, basic summery offerings such as Chanterais Melon Salad, Grandma’s Potato Salad, Meat Loaf Burgers using the authors’ signature “Blaak Cheese,” and Buttery Peach Cake. The bountiful harvests from fall and winter inspire more rustic, hearty meals like Hungarian Pork Goulash, Baked Apple Dumplings and Spiced Carrot Cake. Vibrant photographs and personal memories and anecdotes round out this obvious labor of love. The authors shine best when tweaking commonplace recipes with alterations of their own, which, they write, add flavor, sophistication and spicy diversity. For instance, “Supermoist Corn Bread” benefits from the addition of buttermilk and sour cream, while linguine is transformed with freshly chopped mint and lavender. Epicurean advice on toasting nuts and making buttermilk, poultry stocks and greens further enhances this uniquely homespun collection of throwback recipes.
Classic, unfettered goodness with a sustainable mindset.