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By Request: Local cookbooks offer help during stay-at-home orders

Adam Gilbert closed a restaurant and started a book.

Plantation Tavern, the restaurant the chef and his wife, Sunny, opened in 2014, was a victim of the first coronavirus shutdown, serving its final takeout meal in April.

The next month, Gilbert dove into a book idea that his wife had suggested two years before: a cookbook for the community-supported agriculture universe.

CSA subscribers typically receive a box or bag every week or two, each filled with farm-fresh produce. There’s no picking and choosing; you get what’s in good supply. Maybe it’ll be lettuce and tomatoes, but also perhaps something less familiar, like carrot tops.

Plantation Tavern was a pickup site for CSA bags from Kahumana Organic Farms, and Gilbert had met his share of subscribers confounded by items in their bags. “I had free time, so I turned my wife’s concept into reality, based on see-a-need-fill-a-need.”

The 50-plus recipes in Gilbert’s book cover entrees, sides, snacks and sauces, with suggestions for what to do with the likes of lemon grass, turmeric, tamarind, kohlrabi and fennel, not to mention carrot tops (make pesto). You’ll also find some new ideas for more basic veggies, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and bananas.