simply-in-seasonBy Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert
Herald Press, $19.99, 368 pages

“The average food item travels more than a thousand miles before it arrives on our tables,” writes Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert in the preface to their newly expanded version of Simply In Season, a cookbook that aspires to combat this dilemma by offering tasty, seasonal recipes the home cook can prepare using fresh, local-grown ingredients. It is an indispensable guide to those who frequent farmer’s markets or seek out the freshest produce available at the corner grocery store.

An attractive spiral-bound hardcover book, Simply In Season is user-friendly thanks to its color-coded end tabs. Broken up by season, it is further subdivided into categories including breads and breakfast, soups, salads, sides, main dishes, desserts, and extras. It is easy for one to plan an entire menu based on the harvest of the moment. A springtime stop at the farmer’s market for seasonal produce, for instance, could yield a meal encompassing Spring Celebration Soup, Strawberry Spinach Salad, Lemon Asparagus Pasta, and Rhubarb Pie. The recipes are straightforward and simple enough to appeal to cooks of all skill levels, and are interspersed with essays, anecdotes, and nutrition tips, adding a touch of personality that is lacking in many cookbooks.

Simply In Season is the perfect choice for those who believe fresh and local is a philosophy they’d like to embrace.

Reviewed by Mark Petruska