Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini: The Essential Reference: 500 Recipes, 275 Photographs

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9780688152604: Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini: The Essential Reference: 500 Recipes, 275 Photographs

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini: The Essential Reference is at once an encyclopedia, a produce market manual, and a treasure trove of recipes. With produce specialist Elizabeth Schneider as your guide, take a seed-to-table voyage with more than 350 vegetables, both exotic and common. Discover lively newcomers to the North American cornucopia and rediscover classic favorites in surprising new guises.

In this timely reference, Elizabeth Schneider divulges the secrets of the vegetable kingdom, sharing a lifetime of scholarly sleuthing and culinary experience. In her capable hands, unfamiliar vegetables such as amaranth become as familiar as zucchini -- while zucchini turns out to be more intriguing than you ever imagined.

Each encyclopedic entry includes a full-color identification photo, common and botanical names, and an engaging vegetable "biography" that distills the knowledge of hundreds of authorities in dozens of fields -- scientists, growers, produce distributors, and chefs among them.

Practical sections describe availability, selection, storage, preparation, and basic general use. Finally, the author's fresh contemporary recipes reveal the essence of each vegetable and a culinary sensibility that food magazine and cookbook readers have trusted for thirty years. Each entry concludes with a special "Pros Propose" section -- spectacularly innovative recipes suggested by professional chefs.

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini: The Essential Reference is an indispensable resource for home cooks, food professionals, gardeners, information seekers, and anyone who simply enjoys good reading.

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Review:

Elizabeth Schneider's Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables set a standard for exact yet lively investigation. Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini follows in her earlier book's footsteps to create a compelling guide to 350 common and exotic vegetables. This seed-to-table exploration does more, however. In addition to its usefulness as a reference work (vegetables are, for example, listed by their market, botanical, and common names), the book offers 500 up-to-the-minute recipes--such as Shredded Yellow Squash with Garlic Chives and Baked Sweet Potato-Apple Puree with Horseradish--valuable advice on seasonality and selection, multiple-method cooking instructions, and color photos of all the entries that make market identification a breeze.

Interested in amaranth? Find its entry and discover, first, the magenta-veined plant's common aliases (among them, the Caribbean callaloo, the Indian bhaji, and the Korean namul); an engaging vegetable biography that distills information from many fields (for example, the Greeks thought amaranth immortal); information on selection, storage, and preparation (use the vegetable's tiniest leaves for salads; steam, braise, or sauté the larger "with garlic, shallots, tomato dice, and a touch of chilies"); and full-dress recipes (such as Garlicky Sauté of Amaranth and Tomatoes, Cuban Style). A final section, called Pros Propose, offers recipe sketches from cooking experts, like Paula Wolfert's Amaranth and Sheep's Milk Cheese. This lucid organizational scheme, common to all the entries, and Schneider's expert handling of it, promote a full yet relaxed familiarization with the selected vegetables. This is one of those few books that most cooks will want, as well as need, to own. --Arthur Boehm

About the Author:

Elizabeth Schneider is the author of Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini: The Essential Reference (IACP Book of the Year), Ready When You Are: Made-Ahead Meals for Entertaining, and coauthor of Better Than Store-Bought and Dining in Grand Style. Her magazine series "Produce Pro" (in Food Arts) and "Vegetable Wise" (in Eating Well) received James Beard awards. Hundreds of her articles have appeared in the New York Times, Gourmet, Food & Wine, and many other publications.

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