Vegetable Literacy

Deborah Madison. Ten Speed, $40 (416p) ISBN 978-1-607-74191-6
Vegetables are the new heroes of the food world, as more and more of us try to eat healthier meals and many struggle to lose weight. Madison (Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone), a leading expert on vegetarian cooking, helps us expand our vegetable knowledge by examining edible plant families, which, in turn, determine our cooking, growing, and eating choices. She showcases 12 plant families—from the very familiar to those that are less well-known, including carrots, mint, sunflowers, cabbage, and more. In addition, she covers how to use the entire plant, highlights different varieties, and offers truly helpful suggestions for companion ingredients. Madison also includes appealing and original recipes for main and side dishes, as well as appetizing desserts such as carrot almond cake with ricotta cream, red rhubarb–berry ice cream, and corn cookies with almonds and raisins. Madison’s keen focus covers a variety of squashes, grains, legumes, and tubers, showcased in all their versatile goodness in dishes such as butternut squash soup with coconut milk, miso, and lime; chewy oat and maple pancakes; peas in butter lettuce; and sweet potato flan with maple yogurt and caramel pecans. An avid gardener and vegetable aficionado, Madison may tell us more than some of us want to know about these plants, but her writing is clear and accessible, and her unique dishes will be irresistible to veggie lovers everywhere. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/18/2013
Release date: 03/12/2013
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