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Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes Hardcover – September 26, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (September 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811878376
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811878371
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Roots" also comes out at a time when there is an explosion of interest in vegetable cookery, including at the high end. David Kinch at Manresa in Los Gatos, Calif., is probably the first American fine-dining chef to make his reputation based on his vegetable cookery. Morgan, like Kinch, takes a kind of nose-to-tail approach to vegetables, using not just rarer varieties but parts of the vegetable that are often discarded: the tops of the carrot, beet stems, parsnip and turnip leaves. . . . Besides using little-known roots like salsify and parsley root, which Morgan points out was a staple of 19th-century cookbooks, "Roots" also brings back some other vanished elements of pre-modern foodways, such as the root cellar. . . . it occurred to me that widespread change in food quality doesn't come from restaurants but from educated, passionate and demanding home cooks. Diane Morgan and her remarkable cookbook are vital instruments of that change." - Chef John Broening, The Denver Post

"In this vividly illustrated encyclopedia of, and paean to, everything from Andean tubers to wasabi, Diane Morgan makes a strong case for the delightful possibilities of this vastly underrated class of vegetables. Her lore is fascinating and her passion for her subject is nothing less than inspiring." -- Colman Andrews, editorial diretor of The Daily and author of The Country Cooking of Italy

"Diane throws open the doors of the root cellar and shines a strong beam of light on this subterranean wonderland. From burdock and beets to rutabagas and radishes (and beyond), she works through this often overlooked realm with inspired recipes and illuminating reference material. The word that keeps coming to mind: finally! - a book that helps me understand the real potential of these culinary outliers." -- Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Every Day and

"Diane Morgan's latest book illuminates the culinary underworld in the most marvelous way, allowing roots, rhizomes, tubers, and corms to bask in the limelight. Diane's kitchen prowess elevates lowly root vegetables to (well-deserved) exalted menu status. While lotus root, tubers, and yams are staples in my own Japanese kitchen, mostly for savory dishes, thanks to Diane, I discovered the sweet wonders of Lotus Root Upside-Down Cake and the piquant pleasures of purple potatoes with smoked trout. Kansha, appreciation, in equal measure for natures hidden underground treasures...and for Diane's insatiable curiosity and literary diligence that created this tasty tribute to the edible underworld." --Elizabeth Andoh, author of KIBO ("Brimming with Hope"): Recipes & Stories from Japan's Tohoku

"Diane Morgan has written a masterful book about root vegetables."-- Deborah Madison, author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

"Diane Morgan has done the impossible. She has transformed the subject of root vegetables into an extraordinary reference book and brought them deliciously to life with irresistible recipes. This is a must for any cook who wants to expand their culinary horizons and navigate the fascinating world of root vegetables with confidence." -- Grace Young, author of Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge

"Diane Morgan demonstrates that looks aren't everything, especially when it comes to root vegetables. From burdock and crosne to salsify and yuca, Morgan's recipes curry favor with taste buds that are open to culinary adventures. Her dedication frees the way for a deeper appreciation of some of the most underappreciated ingredients we know. Thankfully, many of the starring vegetables can be found at the farmers' market, local grocery store, or ethnic markets." - Epicurious, The Best Cookbooks of 2012

"Any cookbook with 11 recipes for radishes, and the same number for wasabi, has got to be pretty complete. How about Roasted Turnip Ghanoush? Three-layer Parsnip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting? Microbrew-braised rutabagas? Or dishes made with unfamiliar roots like crosne, malanga or arrowhead? It makes us happy that autumn is finally here." - Shelf Awareness

" . . . that is what a cookbook should be: a guidebook, a resource.. The kind of thing you can go to again and again and again. Not because you loved one recipe, but because no matter how many times you read it, you'll always learn something new. That is what I discovered in Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes . . . it hit all of my cookbook expectations. It's a resource (and a good one at that), the photos are beautiful but the recipes aren't over dominated by them, the story is personal, and in reading it, you get a lesson in food. For example, I had no idea that carrots are believed to have originated in Afghanistan." - Anna Brones, Huffington Post

Winner, IACP Cookbook Award 2013 - Single Subject

Winner, James Beard Foundation Cookbook Award 2013 - Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian

About the Author

Diane Morgan is an award-winning teacher, cookbook author, and freelance food writer. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Antonis Achilleos is a New York-based food photographer.

Deborah Madison is an award-winning cookbook author and writes articles on cooking, food, and farming.

More About the Author

Diane Morgan is an award-winning cookbook author, freelance food writer, culinary instructor, and restaurant consultant. She is the author of 17 cookbooks, including her newest book, Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes. Roots won the prestigious James Beard award for vegetable focused and vegetarian cookbooks, in addition to a coveted IACP Cookbook Award in the single subject category. The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, among others named Roots one of the top cookbooks of the year.

Her other cookbooks include: Skinny Dips, The Christmas Table, The New Thanksgiving Table, Grill Every Day, Salmon, Pizza, Delicious Dips, The Thanksgiving Table, Midnight Munchies, Cooking For The Week, The Basic Gourmet, The Basic Gourmet Entertains, and Dressed To Grill: Savvy Recipes for Girls who Play with Fire, all from Chronicle Books. In addition, Diane has a cookbook, Gifts Cooks Love, written in conjunction with Sur La Table and published by Andrews McMeel.

She has been involved in the world of food for more than 30 years. She spent six years in Chicago as a caterer and chef for an executive dining room. Leaving behind Chicago's blustery, frigid winters, Diane moved to the Pacific Northwest, settling in Portland, Oregon. Her focus shifted to teaching cooking classes and pursuing a career in food writing. Her first cookbook, Entertaining People: Menus from a Pacific Northwest Cooking School won an IACP/Seagrams cookbook award and was followed by Very Entertaining: Menus for Special Occasions.

Diane's holiday cookbook, The Christmas Table, was featured in Oprah's "O" magazine with six-pages of glorious photographs highlighting food gifts from the kitchen, all created by Diane. Better Homes & Gardens featured six recipes from The Christmas Table in a beautifully illustrated article. Her decadent recipe for Hot Chocolate Fudge Cakes was on the cover of December 2008's issue of Cooking Light magazine.

Diane has been a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times food section and has written for Bon Appétit, Fine Cooking, Cooking Light, Clean Eating, The Oregonian, and Edible Portland. She has appeared on the Today Show, ABC World News Now, CBS Early Show, The Food Network, Smart Solutions on HGTV, Seasonings on PBS, and Good Day Oregon. In addition, for the past two years, Diane has consulted on the core menu, promotional seasonal menus and recipes for a Northwest chain of family dining restaurants. Her website is:

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Customer Reviews

This book makes me wish the ingredients were more readily available.
Nick Valentine
The book is divided into chapter by root and each chapter has 5-10 recipes for the root vegetable.
Very interesting book....a very intresting read and great recipes also.
Nancy E Biller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By J on October 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't interested in buying another cookbook, but when I saw this one at the bookstore, I needed to have it. I love root vegetables, but all I ever do is roast them. What appealed to me about Roots was that there are (a) interesting preparations for common root vegetables that I never would have thought of and (b) whole chapters on root vegetables that I've never cooked with or never even heard of. I'm really excited to find the more exotic vegetables and try them out, but now that fall is settling in, I've enjoyed trying new ways to cook the more common vegetables. In the two weeks I've had the book, I've made the Orange-Braised Parsnips with Cumin and Mint and the Rutabaga Hash. Both were delicious and unexpected.

The book is divided into chapter by root and each chapter has 5-10 recipes for the root vegetable. Each chapter also includes some info about common varieties, storage, and preparation.

Some of the recipes I'm looking forward to making soon are:

* Fresee salad with gold beets, poached eggs, and bacon-sherry vinaigrette
* Shrimp and jicama ceviche
* Spaghetti carbonara with parnsips, pancetta and peas
* Turnips and leeks in miso butter

The best part of this book is finding new ways to cook root vegetables. I hope this author writes a cookbook for other types of vegetables!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are very many salad recipes in this book. I wasn't expecting a cookbook featuring roots to be filled with so many salads and slaws and pesto and "picnic fare". I bought the book hoping for Fall-type preparations.

This compilation of recipes takes a global look at root vegetables. Don't get me wrong, a Global View (Asian, U.S. Pacific North West, Andean, Caribbean, Indian) slant is not a bad thing, but it was totally unexpected. And don't take me wrong again: "totally unexpected" is not a bad thing either. I assumed--incorrectly--that this book featured easy-to-find-in-any-United-States-neighborhood, Fall-weather root veggies. It does not. I bought this cookbook dreaming of many, many recipes for beautiful braises and slow, succulent, heavenly-smelling preparations of the root veggies that I know and love: Carrot, parsnip, rutabaga, beet, radish, parsley root, celery root, turnip, potato, and sweet potato. Regarding the veggies I just mentioned, there are not many recipes that I marked to try this Fall--maybe 10 or so. And that's not enough to allow me to give this book a top-star rating.

Depending on what you are looking for in a "root" cookbook, it might behoove you to check this one out of your library before purchasing. If you are looking for general information on all the different roots, you will find it here--and beautifully pictured, too. (But can find just as much information with an internet search as you can in this book.) If a particular root caught your eye in the market, it will be in this book--represented by between 4 and 11 recipes.

There are many Asian recipes in this book.
Read more ›
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By tcasa on October 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Diane Morgan's new cookbook! I've already tried 2 new recipes and gotten to explore some foods I've never tried before. This is more than just a bunch of recipes. The author gives you a history, buying guide, and a how-to on using and preparing each root. Full color pictures help you to identify that mysterious thing in the produce section that you've always wondered about. I live with a picky eater and both of the recipes I've tried have gotten that person's seal of approval. I can't wait to try another!
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Ginafk on November 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the fall cookbook I've been waiting for! I am a member of a CSA in Northern California and also get the what-the-heck-do-I-do-with-this vegetable on occasion. This book is just beautiful and answers all my questions. I was surprised at the size of the book - it was obviously no small effort to research and create. The pictures are gorgeous. It contains not just recipes, but information about each vegetable. So while I may not make Lotus Root Chips, I loved reading about them and am inspiring to search out some of the more exotic roots. I've just ordered a second one for a birthday present for a friend. Thank you!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J G 06 on October 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Bought this book because I am always looking for ways to eat healthier and add vegetables to our meals. This book is very unique and a great resource that helps you understand not only the common, but the unusual vegetables in the market. I didn't know what some of them were. I have a better understanding on how to use them in our meals and the benefits of adding them to our diet. The recipes are easy to follow. The carrot top pesto is wonderful. We loved the horseradish gnocchi and I am thinking of making it for the holidays. Got a couple of "wow's" from my boys when they had the pot roast with honey-roasted rutabagas. So glad to have this book in my kitchen.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Harriet M. Watson on November 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Spectacular, must-have book for cooks at all levels. I've followed Diane Morgan for years now, and she always delivers BIG. The recipes in ROOTS are inventive and accessible; the photography is gorgeous; and the book is packed with chockablock information and organized in an easy-to-follow format. Surprises include fascinating history, including a short chapter on root cellars, and there's even a recipe for sweet potato waffles by a nine-year-old friend of hers! Diane, you rock!
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