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Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables Hardcover – March 27, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


Alice Waters, author of The Art of Simple Food and founder of the Edible Schoolyard.
“The most convincing argument for eating fresh, organic, local food is discovering the peak ripeness of a fruit or vegetable at the farmer’s market or in your own garden. Ripe teaches you how to choose your ingredients and cook them so their true flavor shines through.”

Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Every Day and 101
Ripe is first-and-foremost a celebration of all the wonderful facets of good produce (by a person who very clearly loves it). Cheryl’s flavor combinations impress me—Pomegranate Clove Thumbprint Cookies, Radish Olive Crostini, Persimmon Apple Radicchio Stacks, and Maple Pomelo Parfaits. This is a beautiful cookbook full of wonderful, inspiring ideas that are sure to be warmly welcomed into many kitchens.”

Tara Mataraza Desmond, co-author of Almost Meatless
Ripe has good looks and a great personality. Paulette’s stunning photography seduces your appetite instantly and Cheryl’s smart humor makes it feel like you’re cooking alongside a comic writer with an amazing grasp of ingredients and mad skills in the kitchen.” The Wall Street Journalentirely welcoming… beautifully illustrated… imaginatively organized.” 

The Huffington Post
Ripetreats produce to the same sense of naughty decadence usually associated with cupcakes and cocktails. Paired with Rule’s awesome recipes, bite-sized essays, anecdotes and kitchen tips are Paulette Phlipot’s glam photos…” 

Serious Eats
“If Skittles hadn’t already trademarked the slogan “taste the rainbow,” we would be nominating it for Ripe…”
“There are over 150 photographs in [Ripe], with about 75 recipes. “Lavishly illustrated” does not even begin to describe it… This is a book to flip through and to savor, season by season, as colorful fruits and vegetables parade into your kitchen. It is a beautiful guide…   ” 

Library Journal
“A browser’s mouthwatering delight, with gentle humor and appeal for cooks looking for specialty recipes with adventurous flavor combinations.”

Kiwi magazine
“Enjoy this color-coded journey through the world of produce, from bananas to pomelos. Explore new twists on fruits and vegetables, and combinations of ingredients to jolt awake your taste buds…” 

Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables by Cheryl Sternman Rule, with fabulous color photos by Paulette Phlipot, is organized in a uniquely inviting and liberating way—by color. Cheryl figures that most of us know that we should be eating more fruits and veggies, and most of us understand why. So, her intent is not to preach about a peach, but to use Mother Nature’s vivid paint box to spark your imagination. The photos alone will make you reach for that dark red head of radicchio, green-leafed bok choy or orange-hued papaya…" 

Publishers Weekly
“Rule, a noted food writer and blogger, offers a lovely and gorgeous tribute to vegetables and fruits everywhere in this unusual cookbook… Chock-full of delectable photographs that whet the appetite, this collection will tantalize and educate on the many appealing ways vegetables and fruits can nourish and sustain.”

Idaho Mountain Express
Ripe is the Playboy magazine of fruit-and-vegetable cookbooks. Phlipot’s luscious, larger-than-life images of perfect peaches and alluring artichokes will draw you in, and, yes, you will actually stay to read the articles…” 

Concierge Q / UR Here Travel
“Ripe, a kaleidoscope of cultivars, was an idea that originally manifested with Paulette … and, in an unusual occurrence in the cookbook world, the photographer approached the food writer about coming on board…” 

San Jose Mercury News
“When food blogger Cheryl Sternman Rule cruises the farmers market, produce comes to vividly described life…. Now the San Jose-based produce whisperer has teamed up with photographer Paulette Phlipot to create a mash note to farmers market finds in a colorful cookbook…” 

Clean Eating Magazine
Ripe is sure to engage your senses and teach you a thing or two about your favorite fruits and vegetables — all the while helping you become a more creative cook!” 

T. Susan Chang, NPR Summer Top Ten List For 2012
"…  treats of both fruits and vegetables. It's arranged, of all things, by color…your visually inclined friends will ooh and aah over its rainbow eye candy. The recipes are well-chosen representatives that make the most of their featured ingredient, and most  deliver high flavor with an absolute minimum of stress. It makes a lovely gift for your hosts at lazy summer parties — one that neither assumes or demands anything."
Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables is a cookbook that focuses on produce without focusing strictly on seasonality. ... The recipes in the book are simple and easy to make. They’re designed not only to showcase these fruits and vegetables in ways that make them look irresistible, but to use them in ways that are so approachable that you’ll find yourself saying “I could make that” even if you’ve never worked with, for instance, radicchio at home before. ... It doesn’t hurt that the photos are beautiful and the recipes are bursting with color, either, since that will only make you want to hit the farmers’ market to pick up produce even sooner. ... With the help of this cookbook, you will learn a lot about produce and pick up some great recipes that will help you eat more veggies and enjoy them even more than you did before.

About the Author

Cheryl Sternman Rule is a food writer whose work has appeared in a wide variety of national food magazines and websites, including EatingWell, Cooking Light, Health, Sunset, Body + Soul, iVillage,, and more. She is also the voice behind the popular food blog 5 Second Rule. Cheryl lives with her husband and two sons in San Jose, CA.

Paulette Phlipot is an award-winning food, travel, and lifestyle photographer. She is a graduate of the Western Academy of Photography in Victoria, B.C., Canada. In 2008, Paulette was awarded “Best of Show” at the annual International Association of Culinary Professionals conference in 2008. She is based in Sun Valley, Idaho.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762440244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762440245
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 8.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Award-winning author Cheryl Sternman Rule began writing professionally for newspapers, magazines, and websites in 2004. She is the voice behind the food blog 5 Second Rule (, which won the 2012 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) New Media & Broadcast Award for best culinary blog. Cheryl's work has also appeared in Cooking Light, Sunset, Body + Soul, Health, Vegetarian Times, the San Jose Mercury News, Edible San Francisco,, The Kitchn, and Serious Eats; and in several books published by the American Heart Association and the EatingWell Media Group. Cheryl also served as a contributing editor at EatingWell Magazine, a daily food news blogger at iVillage, and the Fresh Talk columnist for

A graduate of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, Cheryl has worked in a commercial bakery and served as both a professional recipe tester and developer.

Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Haverford College and a Master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Before transitioning to the culinary field, Cheryl worked for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Eritrea, East Africa.

Cheryl lives with her husband and two sons in northern California. RIPE: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables (Running Press, 2012), a collaboration with food photographer Paulette Phlipot, is her first cookbook.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By On The Road Again on April 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's not often I laugh out loud while reading a cookbook. I've tried a few of the recipes with great success. The whole family enjoyed the broccoli soup with cheddar croutons. It was a fast, and delicious, weeknight meal. As another reviewer mentioned this is a cookbook to display in your kitchen. The photographs are stunning. Looking forward to working thru the book as my vegetable garden begins producing.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stick Man on April 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First of all, full disclosure, I know the author. We were one time neighbors many years ago and met over snacks of Cheerios and raisins at the local play group when our children were toddlers.

'Ripe' is more than merely a cookbook. The evocative language that the author uses when discussing vegetables is the sort of luscious glowing euphoria usually reserved for fine wines and chocolate. You will find yourself longing to pick up a pomegranite or a bulb of fennel after reading her descriptions. I have never been fond of Brussel Sprouts, but the recipe for Fried Sage and Chestnut Brussels Sprouts may make me change my mind.

The way the book is organized by color is nothing short of brilliant. The book is simply beautiful to look at, read and peruse. The photography and lay out of the book makes it worthy of any coffee table.

But really, what 'Ripe' is, is a book of inspirations. As a busy working mother of two teenagers I don't have time for high-falutin, time consuming recipes with recherché ingredients. This book offers ideas and suggestions on how to use vegetables in new and exciting ways that are tempting and easily achievable by the most basic of cooks. I got it a few weeks ago and it has lived in my kitchen ever since. I am constantly opening it to get an idea or suggestion on how to jazz up our evening meal.

Oh...and the Smoky Pistachio Dust ? In the recipe for the green beans ? Worth the price of the book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Heather Chase on May 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered Ripe 2 weeks ago and have since made 5 recipes from this book. All have been absolutely much so I posted them on my food blog. I have more to try and would highly recommend this colorful cookbook for beginner as well as seasoned cooks!

The Culinary Chase
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alison G. on April 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Until now, produce and I had a rather stormy relationship. I'd include it with meals, of course, but not because I particularly welcomed the company of vegetables and fruit on my plate. It was more a matter of me simply not wanting to get scurvy. Sad to say, I just could, not for the life of me, find anything exciting about endive. Nor was I inclined to yammer on about yams with gusto. Beets and brussel sprouts? They befuddled me to my core. Although I'm a decent cook (no one has died yet at a dinner party) I had yet to come across a cookbook I could really get into. But "Ripe" has changed all that- enough so that I wanted to let other aspiring cooks out there know there is hope for folks who may not yet believe that eating fruits and vegetables can, in fact, be just as rewarding an experience as taking down a whole canister of Pringles potato chips.

First and foremost, the author's Introduction is warm, entertaining and most importantly, inviting- written in a tone that immediately knocks down any barriers of intimidation a non-foodie like me might ordinarily run up against when attempting to navigate a new cookbook. The recipes are enticing, thoughtfully laid out, easy to follow, and often accompanied by brief anecdotes which make working with this cookbook feel less like a challenge, and more like being on the pleasant receiving end of an enthusiastic friend casually sharing her favorite recipes with you. "Ripe" is also beautiful to behold- you'll not only want to keep it on display, but gift it to friends whose skills with, say, endive, yams, beets and brussel sprouts may, shockingly, be lacking a bit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael on July 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, this cookbook is beautiful, which is always nice. The best part is that I actually want and will probably make almost 100% of the recipes in this book. Often, cookbooks are full of recipes that might be great, but are complex or impractical. I think Ripe has an excellent balance of achievable and desirable recipes (but don't interpret this as simplistic in any way). Don't miss the great fruit and vegetable tips at the start of each section.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Julia on June 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For a family of carnivores, this cookbook is perfect. While I can rustle up shortribs or roasted halibut, I like to have lots of veggies and steamed and roasted standards can get a little boring, especially when entertaining. I have made several recipes from this cookbook, even two last night, and they always end up being what everyone compliments me on, even more than the main course. My favorites in the book are the Arugula Salad with currants and kumquats, the Cous Cous with fava beans, olives, lemon and shallots and the grilled five spice pineapple. What I love is that the recipes have these beautiful complex flavor combinations that surprise you because the preparation is not difficult or complex. Truly my favorite cookbook at the moment!!! Did I mention the writing is enjoyable to read and the pictures are totally gorgeous too. A great book and also a perfect gift!
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