From Publishers Weekly
At the outset of this superb guide to cooking uncomplicated vegetarian fare, Berley asks a rhetorical question: "Stylish, sophisticated, home-cooked meals without a fussâ"is that too much to ask for?" If this cookbook is any indication, it isn't too much to ask for; in fact, it's a very simple request that Berley happily fills. The former executive chef of New York's Angelica Kitchen and chef and co-owner of the city's Miette Culinary Studio lays out healthy, quick meals requiring minimum effort. He divides the book by season and gives 12 menus for each. In a minimalist style reminiscent of Mark Bittman's, Berley describes key ingredients to keep in the pantry (herbs, grains, beans, oils, etc.) and important tools (he's particularly fond of the pressure cooker). As the title suggests, the recipes draw on seasonal produce; Berley reminds readers that buying vegetables in season will save money and ensure the best quality. Each menu consists of at least two dishesâ"a main course and a sideâ"and some include a third accompaniment or appetizer. Although simplicity reigns, the dishes do encompass a variety of ethnic cuisines, including Asian, Caribbean, Italian and Mexican flavors. Berley gives a brief intro to each dish (e.g., before giving the recipe for Wild Mushroom Fricassee over Farro, he explains what farro is and how to cook it; he also makes a case for saving some Rhubarb Crisp for the next day, since "leftovers are great for breakfast; just substitute yogurt for the whipped cream").
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From the Back Cover
From award-winning chef Peter Berley: mouthwatering seasonal vegetarian menus that can be created in under an hour
Sophisticated, home-cooked vegetarian meals without the fuss. Is that too much to ask? Absolutely not.
True to his roots as a restaurant chef, cooking teacher, and family man, award-winning vegetarian chef Peter Berley has a passion for meals that taste incredible, salute the seasons, and are easy to prepare in under an hour. In Fresh Food Fast, he provides forty-eight meals -- twelve for each season -- including recipes, a shopping list, an equipment list, and a game plan that takes you step-by-step through the menu.
Included are substantial, satisfying meals that will bring pleasure to vegetarians and omnivores alike:
bibb lettuce and radish salad with crème fraîche citronette braised spring vegetables with grits, poached eggs, and chives
spicy corn frittata with tomatoes and scallionscucumber salad
pasta with spicy cauliflower, chickpeas, and cherry tomatoespan-grilled radicchio salad with honey- balsamic glaze over frisée
balsamic-roasted seitan with cipollini onionsgarlic mashed potatoes and parsnips
Berley also provides delectable dessert recipes for each season, including spring's Warm Honey Lemon Curd over Strawberries, summer's Blueberry-Nectarine Crisp, fall's Roasted Grapes with Red Wine, and winter's Caramelized Bananas with Blood Orange and Pistachio.
In a world where fast food is generally prepackaged and second-rate, Peter Berley teaches us how we can live without compromise and enjoy fresh, wholesome meals any night of the week as we connect with family and friends.