Verjuice, the juice of unripe grapes, was once a staple of French provincial cooking. It lends a gentle acidity to food and is lemony but not harsh on the palate, fresh but not too tart. Its balance of acidity and sweetness make it a marvellous ingredient, particularly in sauces and dressings. Verjuice is extraordinarily versatile: you can also use it to reconstitute dried fruit or blanch vine leaves for stuffing, or reduce it to make sweet syrups to serve with desserts. Maggie Beer is renowned for her love of regional produce and for championing traditional methods. After working for years to perfect her verjuice, she now sells it commercially, and her interest in the product has encouraged other grapegrowers to produce their own versions. In “Cooking with Verjuice”, Maggie reveals all you need to know about verjuice and offers many tips and recipes from her own collection and from friends and colleagues, among them Stephanie Alexander, Stefano de Pieri, George Biron and Philip Johnson.
Of all acidulants, Verjuice is the most gentle. It truly lifts the flavour of food without dominating, and Maggie knows no better way to enhance flavour, no better way to make food taste fresh and alive. This book is for those of you who have never heard of Verjuice, or have bought a bottle and found that it languished at the back of the fridge for ages while you tried to find a use for it, it provides a simple explanation of what Verjuice is and how Maggie thinks it can improve your cooking.
Maggie Beer operated the Barossa Valley’s famous Pheasant Farm restaurant with her husband, Colin, for fifteen years. Since closing the restaurant in 1993 she has worked on her farm produce for both domestic and export markets, making and selling her popular Pheasant Farm verjuice, pheasant pate, quince paste, duck egg pasta, mushroom pate, luscious desserts and an ever-increasing range of regional products. Maggie writes for the Australian colour magazine and is the author of three highly successful cookbooks, Maggie’s Table, Maggie’s Farm and Maggie’s Orchard, and co-author of the bestselling Stephanie Alexander & Maggie Beer’s Tuscan Cookbook.