We often regard wintertime cooking as challenging and without luster but Yvette Van Boven's new cookbook, Homemade Winter, says otherwise. She tames wild winter greens, transforms root vegetables, and bakes unbelievable desserts. You might be lured to this book by its beautiful photographs but the recipes are worth a try. A few standouts such as chickpea and sweet potato soup, speckled salad with quinoa, leek, bacon, and chervil, and BBQ pulled pork are must-tries. For dessert savor the cardamom cake with whole pears and white chocolate and the ricotta cheesecake. She also includes step by step instructions to making your own apple cider. Homemade Winter will guide you to ensure that this season is a delicious one.
What inspired you to write a follow-up cookbook to HOME-MADE?
Oh, I wasn't finished at all, when I finished Home Made. I still had loads of recipes and stories to tell, so I decided to make two more books with them. With a more seasonal atmosphere: I love Winter: winter food and long frozen walks, so that was the first thing that had to be featured in the new books and I love hot lazy Summers in the south of France. The produce, fruit, vegetable, eating outdoors. Inspiration was everywhere. Keep an eye out for Homemade Summer which is due to be released in April.
How does cooking in the winter differ from other seasons?
In the winter we need more comforting food, nourishing for for the soul. We have more time indoors, so preparing food may take up more time than in summer. We make time to bake cakes, cook stews and hearty soups that help to keep you warm.
What food products would you recommend making yourself as opposed to buying?
I never buy anything pre-mixed. I always buy pure ingredients, so I always know what I eat. In my book I explain how to make butter, I wouldn't recommend to make it every day, but for a spacial occasion it's so much more tasty! Also it's great fun to make you're own peanut butter! Done in one whizz, and really, I mean REALLY tasty!
What three recipes in the book would you recommend to a beginner in the kitchen?
Well, you should start off with the peanut butter of course, you can bake your own gingerbread and I definitely suggest you bake Cardamom cake with whole pears & white chocolate, as shown on the cover.
What changes would you advise to someone who wanted to become a more DIY cook?
Stop buying pre-mixed or pre-prepared food. Buy simple fresh ingredients that are in season. If you don't know what do to with certain ingredients, like for instance a whole celeriac, look it up online, or in my books of course. Just try to keep it simple and pure.