Donna Grayson
Vegetable Cookbooks

Perfect Vegetables: Part of "The Best Recipe" Series
by Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine

Perfect Vegetables is the work of Cook's Illustrated magazine, a publication devoted to providing the "best" American recipes. Like the magazine, from which its contents is largely drawn, the book offers super-tested recipes--as many as 18 tries for stuffed tomatoes, for example--for an A to Z vegetable range, artichokes to zucchini. The book also includes dozens of technique and equipment notes ("Stir-Fry Basics," is one), plus a short section on vegetable soups. An impressive recipe range is here and accounted for--classic dishes like grilled eggplant and braised fennel, plus "newer" formulas for the likes of Grilled Red Peppers with Mint and Feta and Glazed Curried Carrots with Currants and Almonds. Are these the ultimate versions of the dishes included? Certainly they represent exhaustive investigation--and most cooks will find the Perfect Vegetables take, which offers many technical refinements (preheat your baking sheet to ensure golden oven-baked fries, for example) enlightening. Vegetable entries begin with a detailed discussion that highlights the cooking methods for each that ensure best results. (Steaming, for example, gets the nod for artichokes, as it yields the "deepest, most pronounced flavor.") Master recipes follow, such as that for steamed artichokes, plus formulas for tasty accompaniments like Lemon Mint Vinaigrette, or variations, such as Roasted Baby Artichokes with Roasted Garlic A´oli. Techniques are beautifully illustrated with line drawings and photos. The ingredient and equipment investigations, which often include ratings, are mini consumer reports. Devotees of Cook's Illustrated and those new to its "obsessive" approach to dish making, should happily embrace this encyclopedic compendium
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Vegetables Every Day: The Definitive Guide to Buying and Cooking Today's Produce With over 350 Recipes
by Jack Bishop

The fresh vegetable sections in most supermarkets, farmers' markets, and gourmet groceries are overflowing with an amazing range of produce, both familiar and exotic. Consumers are tempted by kale and kohlrabi, taro and tomatillos, bok choy and burdock, along with all the familiar choices. Now acclaimed cookbook author and food writer Jack Bishop offers a comprehensive A-to-Z guide to this bounty of produce, complete with selection tips, preparation instructions, and hundreds of recipes for more than sixty-six commonly available vegetables. With Bishop's expert advice, you'll learn how to coax the very best flavor from every vegetable, whether it's a carrot, cauliflower, or cardoon. Wondering how and when to buy the sweetest green beans? Bishop suggests buying at the height of summer, and selecting beans that are crisp and slim (older, thicker beans will be mealy and bland). Confused about how to cook the spring's first sorrel? Bishop offers such unique and delicious dishes as Sorrel and Potato Soup andSorrel Frittata. These recipes -- like all 350 in the book -- are clear and uncomplicated, ensuring success for even the novice cook. So whether you are looking for a salad or side dish, a vibrant main course, or simply great mashed potatoes, you are sure to find it in this essential kitchen companion. We all know that vegetables are the key to healthful eating -- now it's time to discover how great they can taste, each and every day!
-from Amazon

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Chez Panisse Vegetables
by Alice L. Waters

Using the treasures from the earth, Chez Panisse Vegetables offers endless possibilities for any occasion. Try Grilled Radicchio Risotto with Balsamic Vinegar at your next dinner party, or Pizza with Red and Yellow Peppers for a summer evening at home. Why not forgo green-leaf lettuce, and opt for Artichoke and Grapefruit Salad drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil? Or serve Corn Cakes with fresh berries for breakfast instead of cereal?
Throughout Vegetables, Waters shares her energy and enthusiasm for what she describes as "living foods." When she first began in the restaurant business, the selection of good-quality vegetables was so limited that she found herself searching out farmers with whom she might do business. Luckily, today's explosion of markets and organic farms across the country ensures that any home cook can find freshly harvested produce to put on the table. And with the increased popularity of home gardening, more and more people are taking their vegetables straight from the earth and into the kitchen.
Cooks, gardeners, vegetarians and everyone who appreciates good food will find Chez Panisse Vegetables to be not only a cookbook, but a valuable resource for selecting and serving fine produce. From popular vegetables like corn, tomatoes and carrots, to more unusual selections like chard, amaranth greens and sorrel, Vegetables offers detailed information about the seasonal availability, proper look, flavor and preparation of each selection. Arranged alphabetically by vegetable, and filled with colorful linocut images, Chez Panisse Vegetables makes it easy for a cook to find a tempting recipe for whatever he or she has brought home from the market.
-from Amazon

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The Roasted Vegetable
by Andrea Chesman

This is a cookbook for vegetable lovers--and vegetable haters," says Andrea Chesman in The Roasted Vegetable. Her argument is that roasting veggies brings out their "hidden sweet, nutty flavors," making them irresistible to carrot-hating kids and vegan adults alike. She supports this theory with 150 tantalizing recipes, starting with a sizeable serving of side dishes, then broadening to include salsas, soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta, pizza, tofu, granola, and more. Beyond obvious inclusions like roasted peppers, french fries, and chestnuts, there's Garlic Puree ("like a basic black dress, it goes with almost anything") and Roasted Kohlrabi, which "looks like a spaceship that has sprouted leaves." Another standout is the Roasted Tomato Sauce, for which tomatoes are roasted up to one and a half hours until they've broken down to form a thick sauce; the recipe also has variations for pasta, enchiladas, and Middle Eastern dishes. In addition, the book covers basic techniques and equipment and includes a handy roasting chart--all aimed to help readers' roasted vegetables come out perfectly "tender-crisp."
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by James Peterson

James Peterson's Vegetables is an encyclopedic yet easy-to-read guide to preparing everything from artichokes and beet greens to plantains and watercress. It contains more than 300 enticing recipes, many which use just three or four ingredients. This is a book about vegetables, but not a vegetarian cook book. To deliver appealingly intense flavors, Peterson uses chicken broth, anchovies, prosciutto, or bacon. He also does not skimp on cream or butter when he feels it is right for a dish.
Peterson starts with information on buying, storing, and using 64 vegetables. Photos illustrate how to trim fennel, clean and julienne leeks and perform other commonly used techniques. He also provides helpful information along with the recipes, like suggesting that you buy roasted, not raw cashews because they are less likely to be rancid. The recipes range from Mediterranean-style Creamy Zucchini Gratin to Mexican Avocado and Chile "Gazpacho," and Japanese Cucumber Salad, as well as expected classics like mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, and creamed spinach. When you need a gift, think of this book.
-from Amazon

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Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini: The Essential Reference: 500 Recipes, 275 Photographs
by Elizabeth Schneider

Elizabeth Schneider's Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables set a standard for exact yet lively investigation. Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini follows in her earlier book's footsteps to create a compelling guide to 350 common and exotic vegetables. This seed-to-table exploration does more, however. In addition to its usefulness as a reference work (vegetables are, for example, listed by their market, botanical, and common names), the book offers 500 up-to-the-minute recipes--such as Shredded Yellow Squash with Garlic Chives and Baked Sweet Potato-Apple Puree with Horseradish--valuable advice on seasonality and selection, multiple-method cooking instructions, and color photos of all the entries that make market identification a breeze. Interested in amaranth? Find its entry and discover, first, the magenta-veined plant's common aliases (among them, the Caribbean callaloo, the Indian bhaji, and the Korean namul); an engaging vegetable biography that distills information from many fields (for example, the Greeks thought amaranth immortal); information on selection, storage, and preparation (use the vegetable's tiniest leaves for salads; steam, braise, or sautÚ the larger "with garlic, shallots, tomato dice, and a touch of chilies"); and full-dress recipes (such as Garlicky SautÚ of Amaranth and Tomatoes, Cuban Style). A final section, called Pros Propose, offers recipe sketches from cooking experts, like Paula Wolfert's Amaranth and Sheep's Milk Cheese. This lucid organizational scheme, common to all the entries, and Schneider's expert handling of it, promote a full yet relaxed familiarization with the selected vegetables. This is one of those few books that most cooks will want, as well as need, to own.
-from Amazon

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