Vibrant Food: Celebrating the Ingredients, Recipes, and Colors of Each Season

Ten Speed: Crown. Jun. 2014. 224p. photos. index. ISBN 9781607745419. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781607745426. COOKING
In her first book, food blogger Hasselbrink ( finds inspiration in the colors and textures of her ingredients. This work therefore celebrates the loveliest fresh food throughout the year, organized by season. Cooking by color is not a distinct theme for a cookbook; however, since bright colors serve as a proxy for nutrition, flavor, and seasonality, these recipes (such as pasta with nettle pesto and blistered snap peas or chocolate truffles with bee pollen) remain relevant. The recipes are vegetarian and gluten-free friendly, but the author offers some meat, fish, and gluten options. Hasselbrink's book feels much like her blog: casual, accessible, and replete with beautiful photos. However, this also means that it lacks structure and balance, functioning more like a series of posts than a complete work. Pulling together a harmonious meal from the assorted entrées, sides, drinks, and desserts scattered throughout the book would be a challenge.
VERDICT This enjoyable title would be a nice addition to the shelves of voracious seasonal cookbook readers, but it does not do enough to distinguish itself for most cooks, other than readers of the author's blog, to seek it out specifically.

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