More than winter tomatoes

When I think about Florida food, I think of either tropical fruit or rock-hard January tomatoes. But a new book shows that the eat-local movement and artisan food products are as strong in Florida as in other parts of the country.

“Field to Feast: Recipes Celebrating Florida Farmers, Chefs and Artisans” by Pam Brandon, Katie Farmand and Heather McPherson (University Press of Florida, $28) offers stories of small farms, creative producers and innovative chefs, with recipes from all three camps.

Most of the recipes are simple and highlight the ingredients. While a few might be difficult to prepare outside of the Sunshine State – a ceviche that calls for a tropical fruit called longan, for example – the majority of recipes use produce found everywhere.

Several use kale, recently proclaimed a “superfood,” and of interest these days. One uses the green as the base for a pesto and another a spicy-sweet version using balsamic vinegar that I will have to try. If I can’t find sugarcane skewers, I’ll just do the scallops with lime, mint and rum without them – they sound great either way.


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