Alternative varietal wines in Australia


Maggie's Harvest

A beautiful new book by Maggie Beer

Book review by Darby Higgs

The Rich Harvest of the Barossa Valley

maggies harvest by Maggie Beer Good cookbooks should be more than just a collection of recipes. They should reflect the passion of the writer for food prepared with love and care. Good cookbooks inspire as well as inform. You should be able to read then like a biography or a guidebook as well as use tehm in the kitchen.

Nobody has a greater passion for the surprising array of foods produced in the Barossa Valley than Maggie Beer. And that passion is there to see on every page of this beautifully bound book.

Maggie sees the preparation of a good meal as starting in the paddock, the vineyard, the garden or the orchard. The rhythm of the seasons is followed into the structure of the book, four major sections each with a dozen or two chapters each dealing with a particular seasonal ingredient.

  • Summer - Anchovies, Apricots, Basil and so on to Zucchini
  • Autumn - Almonds, Beef, Crabapples down to Wild Duck.
  • Winter - Cavolo Nero, Celeriac, Chestnuts and so on to Witlof via Pigeon and Squab
  • Spring - Artichokes, Asparagus and finishing with Veal and Vine leaves

Each chapter deals with a particular ingredient and starts with a substantial and informative section detailing history, varieties, advice on choosing the best fresh ingredients, storage etc. But it is all written in Maggie's chatty style - informative and entertaining. You know that every recipe is well thought out, rooted in the local environment and tested.

A few recipe titles at random, Fig and Gorgonzola Tart, Quince Allioli, Oxtail with Orange, Olives and Walnuts, Chicken Brests with Rosemary, Pine Nuts and Verjuice.

This is a splendid book. It is illustrated with gorgeous photographs of the Barossa Valley. It is an ideal gift, or you can treat yourself. I know my copy of Maggie's Harvest will give me loads of pleasure for years to come.

Order it online here. You will get a discount that will more than pay for the shipping costs.

About Maggie Beer

Maggie Beer has lived in the Barossa Valley since 1973. She and husband Colin started out farming pheasants and selling them direct to the public. Within a few years the business had grown to a farmshop selling local produce and it metamorphosed into the celebrated Pheasant Farm Restaurant. The restaurant has closed but Maggie is still heavily involved in the development, production, processing and especially the marketing of a substantial range of locally produced foods. Over the years Maggie has bought a number of relatively obscure foods to our attention. Quince paste, verjuice (made with Sangiovese) and preserved lemons are among the myriad of goodies available from her store. She has a number of cookbooks to her credit and is co-host of the highly successful The Cook and the Chef on ABC TV.

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Copyright 2008 Darby Higgs