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DanM

Books About Vegetables

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It is once again the beginning of Farmer's Market season in New England and beautiful vegetables are abound. I usually scour through my books to find recipes and ideas to best use my bounty. However, I don't have many books strictly about how to select, store, and cook veg. Do you have any favorites to share?

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Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini by Elizabeth Schneider might be something you are looking for

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Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters.

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I think there is a thread somewhere on this. In addition to Alice Waters mentioned above, Deborah Madison, Green on Greens. Lettuce in Your Kitchen (nice composed salads, some containing meat and fish but most not), and a little known favorite, Leaves From My Tuscan Kitchen.

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The Passard book is nice but it's just a recipe book. It isn't a guide to selecting produce at a market. Still, it's a good one to add to the collection, along with the two Ottolenghi books and Nobu Vegetarian.

Perhaps look at Mark Slater's Tender books.


Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

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Aliza Green has an entire series of pocket-sized "Field Guides" to food, including one devoted to produce. A-to-Z format covering identification, selection, storage, best prep methods and flavor affinities. It's concise but jam-packed with precisely the info you're looking for. Not a recipe book or cookbook, but a great quick reference guide. I think here publisher should put out iPhone and Android app versions.

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The Passard book is nice but it's just a recipe book. It isn't a guide to selecting produce at a market. Still, it's a good one to add to the collection, along with the two Ottolenghi books and Nobu Vegetarian.

Perhaps look at Mark Slater's Tender books.

You're not kidding. It's inspiring, but there's something perverse about such an expensive an restaurant turning out such a cheap, and cheap-looking book. And it's almost disappointing to find out that there are no magic bullet cooking techniques that explain why the restaurant's food is so amazing. Guess having your own veg farmed and shipped in every day helps.

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I think if you buy it expecting a vegetarian Aliena or Mugaritz or Bras-type book, you'll be let down. To be honest, I think they'd have been better off pitching it along the same lines as the new Ducasse: accessible, few ingredients, mostly short cooking times. Very much a 'famous chef at home on his day off' book rather than an exercise in precise timing, grocery foraging and advanced techniques.

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What I love about Passard is the simpicity. The magic bullet is the simpleunique combinations that work wonerfully. Right now my favorite vegetable book. My past favs were Deborah Madison then Alice Waters and then Charlie Trotter

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I think if you buy it expecting a vegetarian Aliena or Mugaritz or Bras-type book, you'll be let down. To be honest, I think they'd have been better off pitching it along the same lines as the new Ducasse: accessible, few ingredients, mostly short cooking times. Very much a 'famous chef at home on his day off' book rather than an exercise in precise timing, grocery foraging and advanced techniques.

That's the weird thing. It's a jolt to have a 3-star restaurant's chef produce something so homely. Right down to the use of collages instead of actual plated pics. But in a way it does reflect the elegant simplicity of the restaurant's food. If not its prices. :laugh:

What I love about Passard is the simpicity. The magic bullet is the simpleunique combinations that work wonerfully.

Agreed. I guess the other magic bullet with regards his food is clearly nothing more than old-fashioned cooking skills. But then it's not so easy to write six volumes' worth of material on that. :wink:

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My wife is in the UK, so I have had River Cottage Veg Everyday and the River Cottage Handbooks for Veg and Herbs sent to her hotel from Amazon UK. They are not available in the US so this was a good opportunity to try some thing different.

Chef Passard's simplistic approach in his new book makes it very accessible to me. My cookbook budget is tight right now, but it is at the top of my long list of books.

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I really like the recipes in "Fast, Fresh & Green" by Susie Middleton. The recipes are simple and to the point. Everything have made has turned out delicious.

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Been really enjoying Mr. Wilkinson's Favourite Vegetables by Matt Wilkinson....great info on each vegetable and it's a book that begs you to cook from it.

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