Annemarie Ahearn comes from five generations of blueberry farmers — and didn’t plan to spend her life on a farm as they had. But after a brief post-college stint in NYC, the idea of rural life took on a whole new value, inspiring a move back to Maine and a deepened appreciation of slow, seasonal living that eventually lead Annemarie to start her own farm, and to open Salt Water Farm cooking school.
Her new cookbook, Full Moon Suppers, celebrates a special tradition that evolved from her life on the farm and her love of its edible treasures. Its magical, menu-driven pages share a glimpse into a series of monthly dinner parties by the same name, where Annemarie gathers friends and family under the full moon to enjoy a meal made to reflect the nuance of each month and its offerings.
Having hosted over 100 Full Moon Suppers on the farm, Annemarie has become a pro at showcasing special ingredients in simple yet sophisticated ways. Grab one of her gorgeous recipes — a beautiful beet salad from the cookbook — then take a step inside Annemarie’s kitchen below. We’re talking to her about flowers as a fave ingredient, an exotic cheese collection we’re taking notes on, and a farm-inspired food philosophy we can get behind…
In my kitchen you’ll always find plenty of:
Best Food Memory:
Making lasagna with my grandmother in Florida when I could barely see above the countertop. (I had to stand on a stool to participate.)
My Food Philosophy in One Sentence...
Cooking is a basic human instinct, that we must trust in the kitchen.
Fave Ingredient Lately:
Chrysanthemum, which is a yellow and white flower with beautiful green stems and leaves. We mix the flowers into salads and vegetable based grain dishes.
Midnight Snack Perfection:
I don’t stay up past 10pm (especially now that my first baby is on the way), but I like eating chocolate ice cream before bed.
Food I Love To Eat With Zero Prep...
Seasonal fruit and vegetables freshly picked from my farm on the coast of Maine.
Most Impressive Dish I Make...
Bouillabaisse made with fish from the Maine Coast.
Healthiest Habit in The Kitchen:
Never stop moving.
Best Bargain Tip:
Shop at commercial appliance stores for knives and other kitchen gadgets.
Fave Veggie + What I Make With It:
Nardello peppers, simply fried with olive oil and salt.
Craziest Thing I Buy At The Market:
The most expensive ingredients I’ve splurged on at the farmer’s market this season are probably Maine’s wide variety of foraged mushrooms (black trumpet, shaggy mane, chanterelle), that get a pretty steep price per pound.
Imported cheese, such as Epoisse and Taleggio. My favorite imported cheeses are properly aged, wash-rind French and Italian cow’s milk cheeses, that run onto the board when you cut into them.
My idea dinner setting is...
At home with my husband.
I like a classic negroni
Simple Go-To Recipe:
Butter and prosciutto sandwich on a good baguette.