Maria Speck is the award-winning author of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals (Ten Speed Press), her first cookbook. It received the coveted Julia Child Award and an award in the Health and Special Diet category from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). Maria’s book also won a Gourmand Award as the US selection, Mediterranean category.
Both the New York Times and the Washington Post selected Ancient Grains as one of the top cookbooks of 2011, and Cooking Light magazine named it one of 100 best cookbooks of the past 25 years. Raised in Greece and Germany, Maria has a lifelong passion for whole grains. She is a journalist and has contributed to Gourmet, Saveur, and Gastronomica.
Food writer Maria Speck’s passion for propelling Old World staples such as farro, barley, polenta, and wheat berries to the forefront of new American cooking is beautifully presented in Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. In this inspired and highly personal book, Maria Speck draws on food traditions from across the Mediterranean and northern Europe to reveal how versatile, satisfying, flavorful, and sophisticated whole grains can be.
Rustic but elegant dishes–Creamy Farro with Honey-Roasted Grapes, Barley Salad with Figs and Tarragon-Lemon Dressing, Lamb Stew with Wheat Berries in Red Wine Sauce, and Purple Rice Pudding with Rose Water Dates–are sure to please discerning palates and become favorites in any whole grain repertoire.
Food lovers and health-conscious home chefs alike learn how to integrate whole grains into their busy lives, from quick-cooking quinoa and buckwheat to the slower varieties such as spelt and Kamut. The stunning flavors and lively textures of whole grains are enhanced with natural ingredients such as butter, cream, and prosciutto–in moderation–to create lush Mediterranean-inspired recipes. Maria’s approachable style and generous spirit make this collection of time-honored, updated classics a treasury for today’s cooks.
“We are, happily, in the midst of a whole grain renaissance. But we also know that people who are still awakening to whole grains need great recipes, derived from tradition yet re-imagined for the contemporary palate. Thanks to Maria Speck we now have such a book.”
CLIFFORD A. WRIGHT,
author of the James Beard Cookbook of the Year A Mediterranean Feast.
“Maria Speck has brought her enormously talented culinary skill and multicultural background to these raw ingredients, transforming them into appealing and do-able recipes that will entice you to the kitchen. If you want to include more whole grains in your diet, or you’re not familiar with farro, barley, quinoa, and the rest—let alone how to cook them—this is the perfect book.”
author of Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking, Mediterranean Grains and Greens, and The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen.
“Maria Speck really knows her whole grains! She does a terrific job of introducing the reader to this fascinating food group, providing excellent recipes (many Mediterranean-inspired) as well as personal stories drawn from her upbringing that will reward the home cook.”
creator of The Wednesday Chef
“Maria’s beautiful book made me hungry at first read. It will not only inspire you to stock your kitchen with a varied assortment of whole grains to simmer, steam, boil, and soak, but will give you an entirely new appreciation of their long and varied history and their infinitely delicious flavors and textures. I want to cook everything Maria writes about.”