Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Chez Panisse Vegetables
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VINE VOICEon February 8, 2003
This book is a comprehensive resource that tells you how to select, store, and prep your vegetables. So just to demystify your farmers market, this book is an essential. However, in terms of recipes, it does fall short, treating vegetables only as soups or sides for the most part. Also if you *are* vegetarian, many recipes call for anchovies, bacon, chicken stock etc. If I had to pick between this and Deborah Madison's "Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets" I would pick the latter since that offers more main dish recipes, and covers all farm market produce, fruits, vegetables, and non-vegetarian stuff too, while keeping recipes involving vegetables vegetarian. And Deborah Madison also instructs you on how to prepare more exotic veg.
Despite the cons it is a fascinating read, and its nice that it does not assume you are already a "cook"
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on March 4, 2000
The title -"Vegetables"- says it all. This book is a wonderful choice to learn how to store, select and prepare individual vegetables in a variety of recipes which enhance that vegetable. Beautifully illustrated, it is organized alphabetically by vegetable. If you looking for more complete meals or information about vegetarian eating you will be disappointed -- the recipes are best used as side dishes for seasonal produce. For the money, I recommend Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone", I use it all the time, and I'm not a strict vegetarian.
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on January 17, 2003
If you love to cook, and you love vegetables, you need this cookbook. It includes all of the details that so many other cookbooks leave out -- how to tell the good from the bad with every vegetable out there, when to buy each one for optimal flavor, how to store them before you use them, and exactly how to treat them in your recipes.
The recipes themselves range from simple and elegant to involved and indulgent -- there are enough of them that I always find something exciting to cook, regardless of how much effort I want to put into my meal on that particular day.
Truly the best thing about this book is that it always inspires me to try new vegetables or to cook old staples in new ways -- since Alice Waters covers all of the details, she completely demystifies any foods that you might not otherwise want to try cooking. If you love to cook, you'll love this book.
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on October 26, 2001
Do you find yourself gazing at kale while filling your basket with broccoli and carrots? Then this is the book for you! Be bold in a farmers market, buy the kale or any other unfamiliar vegetable and cook it with confidence! This book tells you all about a vegetable, when it is in season, what to do with it in general and in various stages of "ripeness" and gives you recipies to try it in. A wonderful cooking encyclopedia of vegetables.
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on October 19, 1999
Although this book is filled with wonderful information on vegetables and their proper preparation, has there ever been a book with a lower recipe-to-text ratio? Even if you enjoy Alice Waters' predictable discussions of eating what's locally available (has she ever had anything else to say?), you might want more actual recipes before plunking down the price of this tome.
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on January 9, 2003
I love this book. Much of what it describes seems so intuitive when you're finished: buy it locally, cook it simply, and enjoy it when it's in season. And there's NOTHING in this cookbook that isn't a breeze to cook. She's got her finger on it with quantities like a "splash of water," or " a good handful" of parsley, because that's how real cooks cook. I have made about 40 of the recipes out of this book, and there isn't one that I wouldn't make again. My only carp? I wish there were more recipes
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on October 28, 1997
Vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike will appreciate Waters' practical approach to learning about, selecting, and cooking with vegetables of all kinds. Chapters are arranged alphabetically by vegetable and include exquisitely colored line-cut illustrations. Recipes in each chapter move from the simple to the more complex, making the book an excellent choice for beginning and advanced cooks alike. And, of course, the dishes are delicious. A "desert island" cookbook for sure.
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on December 16, 2003
I bought this book right before Thanksgiving. It IS great. The recipes are well written and the drawings add a playful touch. But the best is the pumpkin soup recipe. It's so easy to make. I made it for my family and all you could hear were the spoons clinking against the bottom of the bowl, and everyone asked for seconds. It was more of a hit than the turkey.
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on August 18, 2004
She has such an unassuming style and such a great depth of knowlege of her subject that I essentially read the entire thing in a couple of evenings to my great joy and enlightenment.

I have a bunch of canning/preserving books, but Alices pickle recipe is so simple, easy to follow and tasty, that I always use it now. I also have Green on Greens which is an earlier and very similar book. I like it, and it has more recipes, but Chez Panisse Vegetables is more interesting and the recipes are always a hit.
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on May 8, 1999
This is a masterpiece of information and recipes that are mouthwatering. I am a food writer and recipe developer and this book is one of my most used resources. Hope to see a new version of Waters' "Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook" (my 1982 copy is nearly worn out) in the very near future.
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