Hasselbrink left art school to write about and photogtraph food, which included the launch of her award-winning blog, The Year in Food. This led to a series within the blog, “Color Studies,” celebrating color in seasonal produce, which in turn led to “Vibrant Food.”
Vibrant Food is notable because the recipes in the book are nothing like your average collection of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
The recipes include some of the more unusual items you see at the market – ramps, pea shoots, bee pollen, culinary lavender – and also takes your seasonal favorites blueberries, apricots, corn, squash – and hands them back to you with a new twist. To name a few: Turkey Burgers with Balsamic Figs. Grilled Halloumi with Strawberries and Fresh Herbs, Tomato Fennel Soup, Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes, Chili-Roasted Delicata Squash.
You’d enjoy this book even if you weren’t much of a cook; visually it’s a knockout. But for people who like to think about their food, or pick up an unfamiliar item at the local farmers’ market and wonder, Interesting: what can I do with this? or enjoy a fresh look at an old favorite, it’s a sophisticated addition to a kitchen bookshelf.
A bonus: all of the recipes are gluten-free, but can also be made with wheat flours. Many are also vegan, or can easily be made vegan.
You could easily hang around your local farmers market all year with a copy of Vibrant Food in hand, and break new ground every week. But quick, while there are still fresh cherries, try Hasselbrink’s Cherry Buttermilk Clafoutis. It’s tangy, fresh, simple and sweet.
Hasselbrink makes this dish with cherries, but it’s wonderful with any stone fruit, or with berries. You can enjoy it all summer – right up through the late peaches and plums, and the last few berries from your local blackberry bush.
CHERRY BUTTERMILK CLAFOUTIS
Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Food written and photographed by Kimberley Hasselbrink (Ten Speed Press, © 2014).
- ½-cup natural cane sugar
- 16 ounces sweet cherries, pitted
- 3 eggs
- 1¼ cups buttermilk
- ⅓ cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoons brown rice or all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch pie pan with unsalted butter. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the sugar.
- Arrange the cherries in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, remaining sugar, almond flour, brown rice flour, vanilla, ginger, and salt until smooth. Pour evenly over the fruit.
- Bake for about 50 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and set in the center. Test by inserting a toothpick in the center—if it comes out clean, the clafoutis is ready.
Allow to cool slightly, then dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.