When I first received my copy of Savory Sweet: Simple Preserves from a Northern Kitchen I was up to my ankles in fresh peaches and looking for some simple stone fruit recipe inspiration. As I scanned the index I was surprised (though later, VERY much appreciated) by its lack of peach recipes. As I dug further I corrected myself and realized, “duh Erin, why would a cookbook with the word “Northern” in its title feature recipes of non-local fruits!?” Published earlier this year, Savory Sweet written by Minnesota based Beth Dooley and Denmark born Mette Nielsen, is a preservation cookbook that showcases “old-world Danish traditions… with the freshest ideas and latest techniques… with the best of the season, all year long.”
In addition to its brilliant photography and straightforward recipes, what really wowed me was how Savory Sweet‘s authors simply dispelled the century-old expectation that food preservation is merely a method of putting up food for the winter and thus survival. In what they define as “Preserving 2.0”, Dooley and Nielsen offer the “New Northern Approach” where they outline “nothing fancy” preservation techniques staple to the modern kitchen. No water-bath canning, small batch, no pectin, year round… simple! They present necessary tools and offer quick tips in each chapter. Savory Sweet reminded me that sometimes, over-the-top recipes, merely for the sake of blog weirdness, can just complicate things.
Dog-earing my way through the pages, I’m hoping to make their Pickled Golden Beets with Chili and Grapefruit (page 23), their Fermented Radishes with Juniper and Coriander (page 74), Danish Pickled Carrots (page 33), and their Mushroom Ketchup (page 57).
For beginner and well-read “preservers” alike and for those of you who harbor a bit of Nordic kitchen curiosity, I highly recommend adding a copy of Savory Sweet to your library.