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Using the treasures from the earth, Chez Panisse Vegetables offers endless possibilities for any occasion. Try Grilled Radicchio Risotto with Balsamic Vinegar at your next dinner party, or Pizza with Red and Yellow Peppers for a summer evening at home. Why not forgo green-leaf lettuce, and opt for Artichoke and Grapefruit Salad drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil? Or serve Corn Cakes with fresh berries for breakfast instead of cereal?
Throughout Vegetables, Waters shares her energy and enthusiasm for what she describes as "living foods." When she first began in the restaurant business, the selection of good-quality vegetables was so limited that she found herself searching out farmers with whom she might do business. Luckily, today's explosion of markets and organic farms across the country ensures that any home cook can find freshly harvested produce to put on the table. And with the increased popularity of home gardening, more and more people are taking their vegetables straight from the earth and into the kitchen.
Cooks, gardeners, vegetarians and everyone who appreciates good food will find Chez Panisse Vegetables to be not only a cookbook, but a valuable resource for selecting and serving fine produce. From popular vegetables like corn, tomatoes and carrots, to more unusual selections like chard, amaranth greens and sorrel, Vegetables offers detailed information about the seasonal availability, proper look, flavor and preparation of each selection. Arranged alphabetically by vegetable, and filled with colorful linocut images, Chez Panisse Vegetables makes it easy for a cook to find a tempting recipe for whatever he or she has brought home from the market.
Red and Golden Beets with Blood Orange, Endive, and Walnuts
Serves 4 to 6
2 pounds red and golden beets
1/2 cup shelled walnuts
2 blood oranges
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons orange juice
Zest of 1/2 orange
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 pound Belgian endive
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Trim and wash the beets and roast them, tightly covered, with a splash of water. While the oven is on, put the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for about 5 minutes. With a sharp paring knife, trim off the top and bottom of each orange. Pare off the rest of the peel, making sure to remove all of the pith. Slice the oranges into 1/4-inch rounds.
Make a vinaigrette by mixing together the vinegar, orange juice, and the zest, finely chopped, and stirring in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and slice into rounds. Toss them gently with the vinaigrette, and arrange the beets on a plate with the orange slices and Belgian endive leaves. Drizzle over any vinaigrette remaining in the bowl, and garnish with the toasted walnuts.
1 pound small green zucchini
Salt and pepper
1 clove garlic
1 small bunch chives
Zest of 4 lemons
1 tablespoon potato starch
2 tablespoons olive oil
Grate the zucchini and salt them. Let stand for 30 minutes in a colander. Squeeze the zucchini dry with your hands or wring it out in a towel.
Peel and chop the garlic fine, chop fine about 1 tablespoonful of the chives, and grate the zest from the lemons.
In a large bowl, combine thezucchini with the garlic, chives, lemon zest, the potato starch, and the egg, lightly beaten. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. For each fritter, pour a generous tablespoonful of the zucchini batter into the pan. They will look like little pancakes. Turn them over after about 3 minutes, or when golden. Cook 2. minutes more on the other side. Drain on paper towels.Chez Panisse Vegetables. Copyright © by Alice L. Waters. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Chef Waters hits again, gifting professional and home cooks alike with her unparalleled knowledge of vegetables. Detailing seasonality, varying preparations, and flavor profiles, this text is a must-have addition to any chef's home library.
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Posted June 16, 2011
I love just about everything about this book. I love the way it looks. I love the descriptions of the vegetables. I love that other people are cooking with and eating things I've never encountered before. I love that the vegetables are centered on common ones that grow well in all areas of North America. I love that any one of the recipes could be served to guests. When one has grown or purchased fine expensive local produce (and it is expensive in time if not money if you grow it yourself)it is so nice to have a recipe which doesn't obscure the taste, color, flavor of the vegetable, but makes it sublime. I love that many of the vegetables and herbs are discussed in detail, including their season of ripening, so you know when to expect the harvest to grace your kitchen. And the original lino-cuts of the vegetables are not to be missed. You simply MUST see this book, even if you have to visit your local bookstore to do so. The lino-cuts are exquisite full-color drawings of each vegetable with its unique characteristics. You may decide to try something new for your family when you've seen this lovely tome. One gift deserves another. What I don't like is that the book is so beautiful I hate to bring it into the kitchen. I don't particularly like that the vegetables must be pulled from the garden THAT DAY to be used in these simple veggie-centered meals. If you have an abundant garden, or live close by a farmer's market with innovative vegetable choices, you may survive. But you simply cannot expect to use supermarket groceries for these recipes and expect them to taste like they would in Alice Waters' restaurant, the Chez Panisse. The simpler a recipe it is, the more difficult it can be: for instance, "a drizzle of olive oil" really requires the best olive oil if that is the only dressing. And one must have infinite experience to make a simple meal: sautéing must have the proper proportion of oil at the correct temperature for the proper amount of time-this is all experience-no recipe can tell you when it is right for your ingredients. And -horrors-I often don't follow a recipe EXACTLY because of ingredients or amounts on hand. The recipes in this book really work better when you follow the directions within reason. I have much more respect for those chefs that make simple, beautiful, flavorful meals and know why they are so expensive. Less is often more. But every year I tell people about the first time I tried Alice's suggestion at a dinner party: tiny baby hakuri with greens attached laid in a tiny amount of boiling water in a large saucepan for a short time until greens are bright green and bulbs slightly softened. That's it-and it will change the way you view turnips, and vegetables in general. It's beautiful, soul-satisfying, simple, and fresh. There was also a time I used 1-lb of kale, 2-lbs of spinach, and 1 large head of escarole in one dish feeding six people. It cooked down to perfect portions! Now that farmer's market and local produce is popular again, do yourself a favor and see this book. You may want to treat yourself. This is the way rich people eat.
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Posted January 28, 2010
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Posted February 10, 2011
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