Farm-fresh cooking

The Davis Farmers Market Cookbook

Photo by Craig Lee

In celebration of the Davis Farmers Market’s 40th anniversary, market co-founder Ann M. Evans is releasing a revised edition of its namesake cookbook.

With a forward from Chez Panisse’s Alice Waters, The Davis Farmers Market Cookbook (Elderflower Press, $26.95) outlines why it’s important to shop at local markets without feeling pedantic. There are photos of familiar farmers as well as a new focus on second-generation farmers and local schoolchildren fortunate enough to eat farm-to-fork lunches on a regular basis.

Evans kept the original structure—recipes divided up by season and course, along with a few basics that can be altered depending on what’s fresh—but included 20 new recipes, including a delightful zucchini and Parmesan salad.

We’re surprised the book isn’t more vegetarian-friendly, though it’s also refreshing to read about local ranchers and sustainable fish vendors. Regardless, the most important aspect of any cookbook is whether the recipes actually work. We tested three and found them simple and easy to follow with delicious results. Given the fruit at the market right now, Evans recommended we try her roasted pears dotted with blue cheese, walnuts and honey (pictured). And yes, they were lovely.

The first edition’s 5,000 copies sold out within two years, so don’t sleep on this version. Starting Tuesday, November 1, find it online, stores or at the Davis Farmers Market.