The Forest Feast
Simple Vegetarian Recipes
from My Cabin in the Woods

By Erin Gleeson

the forest feast, food books, plants and books, book club review, garden book
Raise your hand if you've ever grown a fruit or vegetable and ended up with too many of them?  
C' know who you are.  
There's a woman in my neighborhood who has, for years, hired my young son to help her pick her grapefruit tree so she can put them on the curb for free.  He's counted...he picks hundreds.  There is another woman in our neighborhood who introduced our family to Pineapple Guavas when she hired my son to pick her three trees, so they wouldn't drop their fruit only to have it subsequently rot in the grass and bushes beneath.  
Now we have 2 pineapple guava trees of our own!.  Also, in our yard is a now-giant Pakistanni Mulberry Tree that makes the yard smell like good wine when it blankets the grass beneath it with berries in season.  We feed the birds, the squirrels, the coyotes, the rabbits, raccoons and possums, and I invite my Indian friends to come pick to their heart's content.  It reminds them of home.  Same with our loquat tree.  All producing too many to eat on our own.
When you have your own produce coming out your ears, or your neighbors do and they are (graciously) pawning off their excess on you (just think lemons!), you will undoubtedly find yourself scrounging for good recipes!  And if we're honest, sometimes we cook with our extra squash or zucchini in order to turn it in to sweet bread and THEN give it away.  
The Forest Feast is your answer!  Serious Recipe Bible. The author, Erin Gleeson cooks from a lifetime of experience. She's not making this stuff up.  Best part is, these are recipes for cool things you actually want to eat.  I tried some of the recipes and...hello...YUM!
Erin is a talented artist.  She personally created the watercolor paintings and visual presentation of each dish in the book, and it IS art.  Even the simplest dish, like hexagonaly cut melons, are artfully stacked and stuffed with a delish yogurt concoction, then served as if a gift.
You will be delighted to learn that you need no particular talent in the cheffy arena to pull off what's in this cookbook.  Every recipe fits on a single page with big writing accompanied by minimal total ingredients plus oodles of colorful photography to guide you to creating your own masterpieces.  If you entertain, this is a spectacular book to have in your back pocket.
Just pick up this book and start flipping through it.  You will find yourself instantly hungry (and happy).
Happy Reading!  And thanks again for being a part of our book-loving community.
Review by Siri Jostad


The best you can takeaway from a book filled with recipes is good food!  The Forest Feast is filled with oodles of incredible-looking things to eat PLUS the book itself is a feast for the eyes.

  • How to cut Avocado Rings (as opposed to Avocado Slices that we are all more familiar with)

  • How to Chiffonade greens and herbs

  • How to cut vegetable ribbons

  • 18 Easy Appetizers (including standouts like guacamole deviled eggs, strawberry salsa, sage chips and French radishes)

  • 10 Make-Ahead "Special Drinks" (fancy little cocktails like Blackberry Negroni, Lemon-Basil Mojitos, and Rosemary Gin Fizz to help amp up the beer & wine offering at any gathering)

  • 17 Salads--so many....Persimmon Salad, Eggplant Salad, Butternut Caprese, Beet Salad with Pink Eggs to name just a handful)

  • Dressings you can make in a jar!

  • Dressings you can stir

  • Dressings you can make in a blender

  • 32 Vegetable Dishes that are great on their own or that can be served as a side to a non-veggie Main (think Squash Blossom Pizza, Roasted Cabbage with Cherries and Pecans,  Scallion Quiche, Corn and Cauliflower Tacos and Polenta Portobellos)

  • 15 Sweets...never to be missed! (Apricot Hand Pies for when your apricot tree buries your yard with its fruit, Plum Thyme Sundaes for when your plum tree does the same in your yard, and Rosemary Shortbread)


Photographer, artist and author, Erin Gleeson, grew up in an apple orchard in Sonoma County, California in the 1980s, Her family was vegetarian and cooked with the vegetables from their garden. Now Erin  lives in an idyllic cabin near San Francisco.  There, she paints beautiful watercolors, cooks with inspiration from the local, seasonal ingredients that show up in her weekly CSA box. There, she writes her beloved food blog, The Forest Feast along with a weekly "Delish Dish" column for Better Homes & Gardens. She has garnered attention from Design Sponge, Food52, Bon Appetit and Saveur.

Read more about her journey at

Follow her progress and get inspiration from Erin's Instagram @theforestfeast

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