America’s Test Kitchens cookbook, Vegetables Illustrated, is a treasure trove of recipes that make vegetables the star of the show.  In spite of the title, the book is more about the recipes (700+ of them) and handling the vegetables than about illustrations, although the illustrations are handsome and helpful.  Written for people who love vegetables or just want to eat more of them, it includes recipes with meat, fish and diary so is not intended to be just for vegetarians or vegans.

The recipes are listed alphabetically from artichokes to Zucchini with less popular ones like tomatillos, celery root, and kohlrabi included.  Each vegetable is introduced with information on background and varieties,  plus tips for buying, storage, and preparing.  Numerous recipes drawn from all over the world follow and include a “Why this works” introduction followed by a list of ingredients and step by step instructions.  There are recipes for simple sides, company sides, appetizers,, desserts, snacks, salads, soups, stews, and main courses, with and without meat, poultry or seafood.  Some of the recipes feature a new spin on an old favorite like extra crunchy bean casserole or spicy hot tomato jam, while others like fiddlehead panzanella, and nettle and mushroom galette, are more innovative. Insets provide a feature called “Vegetable Reimagined” , and include fennel confit, creamy corn bucatini with ricotta and basil, and nori pappardella with blistered cherry tomatoes.

Reading Vegetables Illustrated is like taking a cooking course about presenting vegetables in new and exciting ways.  It includes many old and new techniques and recipes to teach as well as inspire and has something for new and experienced cooks as well as for those who hate or love vegetables.  If you are looking for dishes to encourage your family to eat more vegetables or just plain want to explore the culinary world of vegetables, this is a  great choice.

To buy Vegetables Illustrated from click here.

By Karen