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In the Green Kitchen: Techniques to Learn by Heart Hardcover – April 6, 2010


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In the Green Kitchen: Techniques to Learn by Heart + The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution + The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor, and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; First Edition edition (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307336808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307336804
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Sample Recipes from In the Green Kitchen by Lidia Bastianich, David Chang, and Thomas Keller

Spaghettini with Garlic, Parsley & Olive Oil from Lidia Bastianich
2 servings

This dish of Lidia’s is what I make for supper when I return home tired and hungry after traveling. I like it very plain, with lots of parsley, but you could spice it up by adding a pinch of dried chile flakes or chopped anchovy, and serving it with grated cheese.

Salt
1/3 pound spaghettini
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
8 to 10 branches Italian parsley, stems removed, leaves chopped

Bring a generous pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, and stir in the spaghettini. Stir frequently and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil and garlic in a saucepan and heat gently until the garlic begins to sizzle and release its fragrance; take care that it does not brown or burn. Add the parsley to the pan along with 1/2 cup of the pasta water. When the pasta is cooked, use a skimmer to lift it out of the water and directly into the pan, or drain it, reserving some of the water, and then add to the pan. Toss the pasta and let it simmer briefly in the sauce to finish cooking and absorb the flavors; add more pasta water if needed to keep the pasta loose and saucy. Taste the pasta for salt, and add more if needed. Serve immediately in warm bowls.



Salt & Sugar Pickles from David Chang
4 servings

David makes these pickles to be enjoyed right after seasoning, while they are still vibrant and crunchy.

3 very large radishes
2 thin daikon radishes
2 thin-skinned cucumbers with few seeds
2 pounds seedless watermelon
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Prepare the vegetables and fruit and arrange in separate bowls; there should be about 1 1/2 cups of each kind. Halve the radishes and slice into thin wedges. Cut the daikon radishes crosswise into slices about 1/8 inch thick. Cut the cucumbers crosswise into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Remove the rind of the watermelon and cut the flesh into slices 1/2 inch thick and then into 2-inch wedges. In a small bowl, combine the salt and sugar, and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture over each vegetable and the watermelon and toss. Let the pickles stand for 5 to 10 minutes, arrange separately on a platter, and serve immediately.



One-Pot Roast Chicken from Thomas Keller
4 servings

One 3-pound chicken
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
3 potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
2 onions, peeled and quartered
2 celery stalks, thickly sliced
4 large shallots, peeled
Fennel, squash, turnips, parsnips, or other vegetables (optional)
2 bay leaves
2 or 3 thyme sprigs
2 to 3 tablespoons butter

First prepare the chicken. To remove the wishbone at the top of the breast, use a small knife to scrape along the bone to expose it, then insert the knife and run it along the bone, separating it from the flesh. Use your fingers to loosen it further, grasp the tip of the wishbone, and pull it out. Tuck the wing tips back and under the neck.

Tying the chicken plumps the breast up and brings the legs into position for even roasting. Cut a length of cotton string. With the chicken on its back, slip the string under the tail and bring the ends up over the legs to form a figure eight. Loop over the end of each leg and draw the string tight to bring the legs together. Draw the string back under the legs and wings on either side of the neck. Pull tight, wrap one end around the neck, and tie off the two ends. Salt the chicken evenly all around. Coarse salt has a good texture of large grains that makes it easy to calibrate how much salt you’re putting on the chicken; sprinkle it from up high, so that it falls like snow. Season liberally with fresh-ground pepper.

Preheat the oven to 375°F, put all the vegetables and herbs together in the bottom of a large, heavy ovenproof pot, and season with salt and pepper. Set the chicken on top, dot with the butter, and roast uncovered for 45 to 60 minutes (or longer), depending on the size of the chicken. It is done when the leg joint is pierced with a knife and the juices run clear, not pink.

Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before carving and serve family-style with all the caramelized vegetables and juices from the pot on a platter and the chicken pieces on top.



From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Waters, restaurateur and chef extraordinaire, showcases basic cooking techniques every cook can and should master along with recipes using each method in this slim and attractive book. Derived from a Slow Food Nation event she helped organize, where notable chefs and foodies provided demonstrations on foundational procedures, Waters highlights a set of techniques that are universal to all cuisines. She covers the most basic of the basics, from stocking the pantry and washing lettuce to boiling pasta and wilting greens. In typical Waters fashion, recipes showcase just a few simple ingredients, allowing the natural flavors of the food to shine. Since dishes were chosen to highlight process, the result is a somewhat eclectic grouping of recipes, including pesto; spaghettini with garlic, parsley, and olive oil; dirty rice; Irish soda bread; and apple galette. She also covers peeling tomatoes, skinning peppers, roasting vegetables, and roasting and carving chicken. Throughout are color photographs of demonstrators from the event including Lidia Bastianich, Traci Des Jardins, Dan Barber, and David Chang, among others. Ideal for the cooking novice, this gem of a book captures the expertise of world-class chefs in an accessible, straightforward manner. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Alice Waters is the visionary chef and owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. She is the author of four cookbooks, including Chez Panisse Vegetables and Fanny at Chez Panisse. In 1994 she founded the Edible schoolyard at Berkeley's Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, a model curriculum that integrates organic gardening into academic classes and into the life of the school; it will soon incorporate a school lunch program in which students will prepare, serve, and share food they grow themselves, augmented by organic dairy products, grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish - all locally and sustainably produced.

Customer Reviews

It will make a great gift for the right cook.
M. Hill
Very much a collaborative work unified by the voice of Alice Waters, "In The Green Kitchen" is a teaching cookbook that teaches in recipes.
Brian Connors
For a book intended to lie open on the kitchen counter while you use it, that's a flaw.
Story Circle Book Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 89 people found the following review helpful By The Local Cook VINE VOICE on April 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
While I agree with the other reviewer that the recipes aren't especially inspired, nor is it as helpful as the Art of Simple Food, it IS great for what I think is its target audience - those who are new to local cooking (and cooking in general), and need a place to start. There are a growing number of 20 and 30 somethings who grew up on boxed, processed meals, and are stepping into the kitchen. We focus on organic, locally sourced products and need to know the simple ways to prepare them. That's where this book comes in handy. As it states in the introduction, if one can commit some of these principles to memory, it will be easy to cook based on what ingredients one has on hand. While some of it may seem pretty basic, I frequent a number of cooking forums and several times a week people ask what the best way to roast a chicken is. And I love how she has tips sprinkled throughout - such as how to make your own baking powder and vinegar. This is the Betty Crocker book for those who wish to focus on clean, green eating. The Art of Simple Food would be the Joy of Cooking, following that analogy.

If you are experienced in the kitchen, you'll probably want to pass. But if you're new to cooking from scratch, it's a great way to get started.
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142 of 166 people found the following review helpful By L. Hartwell on April 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Buying a book called "In the Green Kitchen - Techniques to learn by heart" one would assume that this book is about technique. That it would be full of pictures showing how truss and carve a chicken, with step by step instructions, or that it would explain how to choose a melon by look and smell, or explain how to pick lettuce and cucumbers that aren't bitter. It doesn't. Instead we get a book filled with portraits and details about Alice Water's Slow Food chef buddies from across the country and a manifesto that tells us to eat organic, local and seasonal...options that aren't available to everyone. There are a fair amount of recipes, but that wasn't really what I bought the book for.

I bought the book hoping to learn things my Grandmother and mother knew about choosing food and cooking. I grew up in a household where we ate very good. We always had fresh veggies, lean meats and whole grain breads. My mom knew how to pair foods to make lovely meals. That is a lost art, and as much as I was exposed to it, I don't recall much of how she did it. But if you didn't grow up with that kind of exposure, I think this book probably will frustrate you and leave you feeling that good food is something that only wealthy people with a lot of time on their hands can have. Even the portraits of her friends, in their chef's jackets, give the book a "this is for professionals" type of vibe.

Just last week I got Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and I would say that's a much better book for helping people get back into the kitchen and start cooking healthy food. He doesn't harp on the organic/seasonal/local thing. He just wants people to start cooking from scratch again. He covers the tools you will need and the items to stock your pantry with.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Story Circle Book Reviews on August 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"At home in their own kitchens, even the most renowned chefs do not consider themselves to be chefs; there, they are simply cooks, preparing the simple, uncomplicated food they like best. Preparing food like that does not have to be hard work," writes acclaimed chef and local-food pioneer Alice Waters in the introduction to In the Green Kitchen. That philosophy--preparing great food does not have to be hard work--is a major theme of this book, which is as much instruction in the art--and heart--of cooking as it is a compilation of recipes and technique, though it is the latter as well.

The inspiration and material for this course in cooking simple, delicious, local and seasonally appropriate food came from Slow Food Nation, a gathering in San Francisco in 2009 of "thousands of cooks and eaters, farmers and ranchers, cheese makers and winemakers, bakers and beekeepers, fisherman and foragers" with a passion for food and for a sustainable future. Waters and the other organizers included a demonstration kitchen as part of the gathering to offer "a set of basic techniques that are universal to all cuisines."

Those techniques, introduced by the chefs who demonstrated them, and elaborated with Waters' own commentary and recipes, comprise this book. "Once learned by heart," Waters writes, "these are the techniques that free cooks from an overdependence on recipes and a fear of improvisation."

This is a simple book in the sense that it can be used by any cook, from the rawest of beginners to those with years of experience and culinary training, and it is written in a straightforward, accessible way. Browsing it is like listening to an articulate and passionate cook teach her craft.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. Hill TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Alice Waters' new book is a collaborative effort to document basic essential green kitchen techniques. The chefs contributing to the book include, of course Alice Waters, Traci Des Jardins, Fanny Singer (her daughter,) Joan Nathan, Gilbert Pilgram, Rick Bayless, Jerome Waag, Darina Allen, Scott Peacock, Clodagh McKenna, Angelo Garro, Beth Wells, Charlie Trotter, Lidia Bastianich, Poppy Tooker, David Tanis, Niloufer Ichaporia King, Oliver Rowe, Dan Barber, David Chang, Cal Peternell, Bryant Terry, Anna Lappe, Deborah Madison, Jean-Pierre Moulle, Thomas Keller, Joyce Goldstein, Paul Bertolli, Peggy Knickerbocker, Claire Ptak and Amarylll Schwertner.

Clearly aimed for either the beginning cook or one wishing to perfect the basics, the contents of the book are centered around the following techniques - washing lettuce, dressing a salad, flavoring a sauce, pounding a sauce, whisking mayonnaise, making bread, toasting bread, poaching an egg, simmering a stock, peeling tomatoes, boiling pasta, cooking rice, simmering beans, wilting greens, blanching greens, steaming vegetables, pickling vegetables, skinning peppers, shucking corn, roasting vegetables, filleting a fish, roasting a chicken, braising, roasting meat, grilling a steak, baking fruit and seasoning for flavor. Also included is a section for cooking equipment and one for stocking an organic pantry.

The proper technique is presented and a few recipes incorporating it follow. For example, the recipes in the simmering a stock section include Chicken Noodle Soup with Dill, Lentil Soup, and Leek o' Potato Soup. In the baking fruit section the recipes are Baked Peaches, Apple Galette and Nectarine o' Berry Cobbler.
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