What is Bricolage?
Well, it’s basically cooking without a recipe. It’s the ability to know what to cook after a good long stare at what appear to be empty shelves in the pantry; the process of creating a meal in your mind as you shop at a farmer’s market stall, or becoming inspired by a stroll through the produce section of the grocery store. Anyone who’s received a CSA box knows the art of bricolage from every time they peer into their box and ask themselves, “Hmmm, what can I glean from here?”
That is bricolage. Instead of going to the store with a list of ingredients you copied down from a recipe, bricolage challenges you to use what you’ve got, improvise, and make do. It’s a creative thought process that starts by utilizing the resources at hand, ending with delicious and reliable home-cooked meals. As a side bonus, it brings you in closer contact with an ancient way of life that is both responsible and deeply satisfying
Bricolage liberates you from a recipe. Instead, it offers a way to confidently cook for yourself utilizing ingredients you already have on hand. It inspires creative and conscious food choices. Bricolage invites you to really cook and enables you to enjoy it, too.
Using our recipes as a template and baseline, you will learn to use your senses: feel the salt between your fingertips, taste as you go, and become attuned to how to bring ingredients together. Bricolage allows you to let go of the fear that mistakes might ruin your meal – instead, you’ll find those “oops” moments will actually make you a better cook.
The beauty of bricolage is that it’s a gastronomy that knows no specific region and requires no specific credentials. It’s the basis on which traditional cuisines were founded and maintained. Bricolage inspiration can be found in any place, any time, and any economy. It exists in a myriad of cuisines and demographics and carries with it the foods we’ve eaten over the course of our entire lives.
In our book, you not only find variations for turning simple dishes into something meal-worthy, healthy meals that are more than predictable salads, and how to use seasonal produce in unexpected ways (including how to preserve what’s on hand and create pantry staples). You’ll also be transformed as part of a new generation of confident, creative home cooks who – whether they realize it or not – are also supporting a sustainable planet through our cooking choices.