Beautiful design, poetic prose, inspiring recipes.
I am always excited to see my friends in the food world get book deals. When the person is as lovely as this author, Annelies Zijderveld, it’s even better. And her book Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea is a sweet treasure. In a million years, I would never think to use tea in recipes, let alone create enough recipes to make an entire cookbook. But Zijderveld’s long association with tea, having worked for Mighty Leaf Tea brand in the past, put her in the unique position to do just that. Combine that with her gorgeous writing (she’s a poet) and lovely book design, and you have the perfect gift book for Mother’s Day.
Layout and design:
The book first introduces different types of tea, recommended items for your tea cooking cabinet, and methods for cooking with it. The recipes come in sections: Morning Tea, Midday Tea, Afternoon Tea, High Tea, and Sweet Tea. She also provides a helpful index of recipes by the type of tea, so if you buy one specialty tea you can easily see what else to make with it.
The photographs by Stephanie Shih are lovely, showcasing tea in all its subtle forms, as well as highlighting some of the beautiful recipes.
A great variety of recipes, from baked goods to savory items to preserves. Recipes include blueberry scones with rooibos honey butter, strawberry chamomile jam, summer squash gruyere quiche, teabbouleh, fresh fennel lychee spring rolls with black tea dipping sauce, hurricane popcorn with tea furikake, forbidden chai horchata, chamomile corn chowder, black bean burgers with green tea basil aioli, and spelt shortcakes with cantaloupe and jasmine whipped cream. All recipes are vegetarian, and many are gluten-free. If you are very familiar with gluten-free cooking this book will be fine for you.
What I liked about the book:
Beautiful layout and size, lots of great information I didn’t know about tea. Inventive recipes.
I wasn’t so keen on:
Recipes were not coded for special diets; nutritional analysis is not provided, which would be helpful for low-sodium eaters.
Not recommended for:
Migraine, paleo, low-sugar, celiac, gluten-free, or low-sodium diets
A note about my cookbook reviews: In the past, I tested at least three recipes from each book, took photos, and described my experience. Due to my dietary limitations (extremely-low-sodium for my Meniere’s Disease and trigger-free foods for migraine relief), it is no longer possible for me to test the recipes and do them justice.