James Peterson's Vegetables
is an encyclopedic yet easy-to-read guide to preparing everything from artichokes and beet greens to plantains and watercress. It contains more than 300 enticing recipes, many which use just three or four ingredients.
This is a book about vegetables, but not a vegetarian cook book. To deliver appealingly intense flavors, Peterson uses chicken broth, anchovies, prosciutto, or bacon. He also does not skimp on cream or butter when he feels it is right for a dish.
Peterson starts with information on buying, storing, and using 64 vegetables. Photos illustrate how to trim fennel, clean and julienne leeks and perform other commonly used techniques. He also provides helpful information along with the recipes, like suggesting that you buy roasted, not raw cashews because they are less likely to be rancid. The recipes range from Mediterranean-style Creamy Zucchini Gratin to Mexican Avocado and Chile "Gazpacho," and Japanese Cucumber Salad, as well as expected classics like mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, and creamed spinach. When you need a gift, think of this book. --Dana Jacobi
From Publishers Weekly
Peterson, whose Sauces won IACP Cookbook-of-the-Year in 1992 and whose Fish & Shellfish won a 1997 IACP award, will no doubt earn more honors with his latest, a collection of over 300 recipes so imaginative and inviting that even veggie-phobes will rejoice. Accepting the challenge of making something tasty out of supermarket produce (and occasionally making use of dairy and meat products), Peterson proves to be more than up to the task. In the first third of the book, he suggests cooking techniques for over 60 vegetables, from artichokes to zucchinis, along the way providing countless tipsAsuch as uses for fennel stems (dry them and toss on a barbecue to scent grilled food; use fresh ones to enliven stocks and stews). The rest of the book is devoted to "The Dishes" and covers everything from Vegetable Salads to Pasta, Gnocchi and Risotto, not to mention Fried Vegetables and Vegetable Stews. Many recipes are inspired. When preparing Dried Bean and Mussel Salad, cook the beans in the mussel broth for deeper flavor; create a savory side dish for roast beef or turkey with Shallots Glazed with Black Currant Liqueur; blend classic flavors in a hearty Italian-Style Kale and Garlic Soup with Prosciutto. Particularly helpful is a chart of yields per vegetable. Peterson doesn't worry much about fats, and may convince readers to abandon these cares as wellAat least temporarily. Leek Gratin for four calls for a cup of heavy cream; Risotto with Dried Porcini or Morels, a first course for four, glistens with a stick of butter. Even so, Peterson's unpretentious tone and his deft way of amplifying vegetables' siren songs make this book uncommonly captivating. First serial to Gourmet; second serial to Food & Wine; BOMC main selection; author tour; rights held by Goodman Associates.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.