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Charlie Trotter's Vegetables Hardcover – July 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; First Edition edition (July 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898158389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898158380
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 9.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

There has never been a more sensuous vegetarian cookbook than this one. The food is photographed so as to accentuate its color and texture, and you'll want to dive naked into the Chilled Yellow Taxi Tomato Soup with Avocado-Coriander Sorbet and take a little swim. The wine notes that accompany each recipe are thoughtful and sensible, a valuable addition to this amazingly beautiful book. Charlie Trotter, who owns the eponymous five-star Chicago restaurant, says: "I just happen to be in love with the experience of touching, cooking, and eating the multitude of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains. It is sincerely one of the most sensual joys of my life."

From Publishers Weekly

Chef Trotter's fancy, multi-ingredient, almost-vegetarian dishes are as rich and extravagant?and as fussy and specialized?as those featured in his renowned Chicago restaurant and presented in his first book, Charlie Trotter's (1994). The 82 recipes here are arranged by month, and in name alone, the recipes are a mouthful: January leads off with Baby Carrot Terrine with Shiitake Mushroom Salad, Carrot Juice Reduction, Dill Oil, and 50-Year-Old Balsamic Vinegar. The preparation of Arugula Noodles with Smoked Yellow Tomato Sauce, Black Olives, and Roasted Garlic Puree requires the cook to make arugula pasta and arugula oil and, for the sauce, to smoke the tomatoes over hickory chips lit with a propane torch. Wine Notes for each recipe are helpful, as is a glossary that defines terms like "kashi" (it's the mixture of seven specific grains called for in Cold Kashi Salad with Dried Cranberries, Celery, White Pumpkin, Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Seed Oil). While a few suggestions for substitutions would have allowed the home cook some welcome flexibility, flexibility is not in the exacting spirit of this chef. Trotter offers highly specific instructions (even to calling for hazelnuts from a certain farm in Oregon) for constructing complexly flavored, architecturally beautiful dishes. So long as readers are not misled, this volume, which is expensive in both in price and effort, delivers.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Terrific, fantastic, outstanding!
Josh Harris
I find CT's Vegetables to be his most versitile book, where Charlie really shows us his most spectacular innovations.
CJ Hafner
I would recomend this book to anyone looking to improve on their own skills.
S. Gadbois(g_man_420@msn.com)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Weimarner on July 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have had this book for past two years and have tried a lot of the recipes. As a vegetarian, I have always had a hard time to find a book that has recipes that very tasty (I am not a big fan of meat substitute), simple, and beautiful. His books provides them all. His soups are pathetically easy...cook, blend, strain, and serve. He does spend sometime in decoration but these are usually not neccessary (I only ocassionally do that, eliminating them will not impact the overall taste). Unlike other readers, I have not had a hard time finding ingredients but then again, I live in Chicago and shop at numerous places for groceries. Although, Whole foods and Treasure Island (chicago area only) carries every single ingredient he calls for (some obviously are seasonal). It is an excellent book for people who love to cook seasonal vegetables (he breaks his recipes by months).
His dishes are laid out for course meals so the portions are small. I eat very small portions so if I cook the soup (the entire recipe, suggested serving is four) with some bread on side, it is enough for my friend and I.
I disagree with anyone who says that the recipes are hard to use. The time consuming part is roasting, baking, or cooling time (which does not require you spend the entire time in the kitchen, I generally spend that time to go do something else). I usually don't have the flavored oils that he calls for but I just substitute with one of the oils I have or just really good olive oil. I think if you have the time than go for the entire recipe but skipping the oils, or very small amount of sauce is not going to hurt the taste of the dish.
If you are intimidated by his book, I suggest your start with his soup recipe (for example, his Tomato soup recipe calls for taxi tomato...if you don't find taxi tomato, use big yellow tomato or even good quality red tomato).
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Charlie Trotter's "Vegetables" decorated my coffee table for over a year before I dared to cook from it. I started with six recipes for a dinner party of 6 people. By checking sources early in the week I was able to find most ingredients, the most difficult part of the entire process. I had to substitute a few items, but all very successfully. The next trick was to start early (it might take hours of boiling to reduce a stock down to the desired consistency). So I wouldn't be cooking while my quests were there, I prep'ed everything I possibly could and only had to do a few last minute sautes to finish things up. I was exhausted by the end of the day, but it was a "triumph." Later, I realized that in the 6 recipes I made there was no garlic and only one herb in the final prep--all the wonderful flavors came from concentrations of the natural ingredients and the unusual match-ups. Though not marketed as a vegetarian cookbook, I made it so by substituting a slightly thickened vegetable stock for veal stock. Now I ready to take on more of Charlie Trotter's "Vegetables."
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By CJ Hafner on November 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
None of these recipies are easy, but if you are willing to sacrafice time and money, the results are pretty amazing. I find CT's Vegetables to be his most versitile book, where Charlie really shows us his most spectacular innovations.
I've cooked successfully out of this cookbook for 4 years, and have come back to it time and time again, when I'm in need of something truly smashing - and in particular, when I'm feeding vegetarian friends.
A word to the wise, buy this book to cook from only if you know your way around a kitchen and the standard resturant vocubulary (he's not going to tell you how to blanch or julienne). Another word of warning - don't try any of this if you're trying to take care of small children at the same time - the recipies demand all of you attention.
Show stoppers are the glorios carmalized onion and potato tart, the chilled cucumber soup, the blue cheese souffle (the brioche is out of this world), the asparagus terrine, and the grits-filled morelles. ymmmm.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By moosnsqrl@kcnet.com on December 4, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book, like the author's restaurant, is perfection itself. The receipes, while complex, are fabulous and do-able. The wine notes are on-target and a relief -- if you're trying to prepare an entire "Charlie" meal, you'll be grateful to have one less detail to think about. I must note, however, that this book (like the vegetable and grain degustation menu served at the restaurant) is NOT necessarily vegetarian [you can substitute ingredients at home and at the restaurant your meal will be prepared sans animaux upon request]. It does glorify those sensuous vegetables, but some receipes call for stocks and reductions (including, gulp, veal). I only point this out because I've had people ask me about it as a gift for a vegetarian and, depending on the strictness of the recipients diet and convictions, it may not be appropriate.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By alaska on May 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Charlie Trotter is probably the greatest chef in America. I'm quite sure that no restaurant in NY can match the unbelievable perfectionism of his Chicago establishment. This cookbook, however, is not for everyone. It will appeal to two possibly overlapping types: those who will leave it on their coffee tables and occasionally peruse its brilliant presentations, and those with the determination, skills and experience to actually follow its recipes.
The latter will be a very limited audience. These are very hard dishes to reproduce, typically involving dozens of ingredients and hours of preparation. Perhaps the book functions best as advertising for CT's restaurant; although it's one of the most expensive in Chicago, it starts to look like the deal of the century when you realize how much work goes into these dishes.
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