At Arbor Teas, we love finding new ways to use tea, which is why we were happy to discover Steeped, Annelies Zijderveld’s wonderfully creative cookbook. In Steeped, Zijderveld finds new and inventive ways to use tea in the kitchen – from the Summer Squash Gruyere Quiche flavored with Moroccan Mint Green Tea to the Chamomile Corn Chowder (pictured below).
These recipes, she says, came about thanks to a years-long obsession with tea.
“When you’re obsessed with tea, you’re always looking for different ways to bring it into your life,” she says. “In the summertime, maybe you’re not going to brew yourself a steaming hot cup of tea, but maybe you’re going to make the Earl Grey Soba Salad.”
Her predilection for tea led Zijderveld on a culinary journey from the farmers markets of her home in San Francisco into the kitchen, where she’d think deeply about the flavors that were available to her, and how tea could play against, or enhance, those flavors.
“I have a very overactive imagination, for food and in general,” she explains.
“I went to school for poetry, and one of the things that one of my mentors taught us was the need to have departures in your work. If you sit down and write, and you find yourself going in a different direction than where you planned, and if you’re open to that, you can let yourself go there and discover new things.
“One of the things I tried to do with the book was allow myself to go there and let my mind be free… Just doing free associations. [Thinking], what does this remind me of, what does this taste like, where does this take me…”
Zijderveld says that a lot of the recipes in Steeped came together that way. Whether it’s the Pumpkin Carrot Soup, that plays off of the sweet, earthy elements of rooibos, or the Chamomile Corn Chowder, which started with a simple moment spent with a cup of chamomile, and ended up becoming a pretty incredible soup.
“I’m someone who tinkers. I love to pull together meals out of what we have…So I’m always looking for what’s fresh, what’s in season,” Zijderveld explains.
As a cookbook, Steeped offers many opportunities to do just that. Organized into five sections, beginning with Morning Tea (which offers tantalizing breakfast creations such as Blueberry Black Tea Smoothie, and Matcha Chia Pudding Parfaits) and ending with Sweet Tea (which includes a selection of diet-busting confections, including Hard Cider Floats with Maple Chai Ice Cream), Steeped is for anyone looking to expand their horizons, and the capabilities of their tea collections.
Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea
By Annelies Zijderveld
Andrews McMeel Publishing