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Chez Panisse Vegetables

Chez Panisse Vegetables

4.5 4
by Alice L. Waters, Patricia Curtan (Illustrator)

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For twenty-five years, Alice Waters and her friends at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California have dedicated themselves to the ideal of serving the finest, freshest foods with simplicity and style. From tender baby asparagus in early spring, to the colorful spectrum of peppers at the height of summer; crisp, leafy chicories in autumn, to sweet butternut squash in the


For twenty-five years, Alice Waters and her friends at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California have dedicated themselves to the ideal of serving the finest, freshest foods with simplicity and style. From tender baby asparagus in early spring, to the colorful spectrum of peppers at the height of summer; crisp, leafy chicories in autumn, to sweet butternut squash in the dark of winter, much of the inspiration about what to put on the menu comes from the high quality produce Waters and her chefs seek out year-round.

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.

Editorial Reviews

Wendell Berry
What Alice Waters has taught us is to be interested not just in food but in the history of food: Where does it come from? Who grew it? How was it grown? What happened to it on the way from the ground to the kitchen? What then happens to it in her kitchen is understood both as cooking and as appreciation for all that has happened before. This makes a difference. At Chez Panisse, the difference is tastable.
Richard Olney
A marvel of a book. An encyclopedic monument of common sense, dedicated to honest produce, natural, uncontaminated and fresh. The food is simple, inventive, often surprising-dishes that one creates daily by fiddling around in the kitchen, but rarely finds in cookbooks. And such a pleasure to discover that mushrooms are presumed to be wild and anchovies salt-packed (when not fresh.... Patricia Curtan's illustrations are exquisite.
Patricia Wells
Say 'vegetables' in America and you think of Alice Waters. Few cooks have so clearly instilled in us the concept of 'superfresh.' And like no one else, she has truly championed the pure, whole flavors of foods fresh from the garden and market, prepared with respect, integrity and simplicity.
Wes Jackson
You will break this book's binding from long and loving use, I'll wager. You will soil its pages. You might even cut out a favorite linocut and frame it over the kitchen counter, for this book is about quality-food quality from ground to mouth. Here is Alice Waters going against the grain again, this time featuring vegetables. —founder of The Land Institute
Paula Wolfert
Alice Waters has done more than anyone else to change the way we eat. This book is a triumph.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The same deep regard for ingredients and their flavors that first drew national attention to Waters's Berkeley, Calif., restaurant in the mid-1970s informs this comprehensive disquisition on vegetables. From Amaranth Greens through Zucchini, Waters (Chez Panisse Cooking) examines the qualities and characteristics that distinguish vegetables at their best and offers recipes that show them off. The 250-plus recipes highlight the main ingredient of each dish, sometimes conferring star status (Mediterranean Lentil Soup; Spicy Broccoli Vegetable Saut) and sometimes orchestrating a felicitous concert (Whole-wheat Pasta with Cauliflower, Walnuts, and Ricotta Salata; Braised Cabbage with Halibut). While the majority of recipes are presented in standard form, some of the most valuable bypass details of quantity and sequence to focus on method (Oven-braised Leeks with Cream; Spinach Roman Style with Raisins and Pine Nuts; Ago Bouido, a garlic broth; Parsley Salad). Waters promotes a collaborative culinary process, not just among the cooks she credits as fellow authors but between the individual cook and the ingredients of the dish being prepared. Her generous, authoritative approach to vegetables commands the same respect she offers to her subject matter and is exemplified in the concluding bibliography of cookbooks. 60,000 first printing; major ad/promp; author tour. (May)
Library Journal
Waters is in large part responsible for the tremendous improvement in the quality and range of the produce available to us today, so it's only fitting that the latest cookbook from her well-known restaurant in Berkeley, California, is about vegetables. Since she opened Chez Panisse more than two decades ago, her emphasis has always been on using the best and the freshest ingredients local growers can provide. She includes more than 40 vegetables in this beautifully illustrated book, describing them and how to prepare them in detail, and offering more than 250 recipes. Not everyone will be able to find white asparagus or cardoons, but mostly these are our familiar, everyday vegetables, treated exquisitely: French Cream of Cauliflower Soup, Artichoke Ragout with New Potatoes. Some of the recipes, what Waters compares to "out-of-focus snapshots," are guidelines more than conventional recipes (e.g., Polentina Soup, "Stew some diced white onion in duck fat or butter") and assume some culinary background, but they should also inspire even beginning cooks. An invaluable resource, this is an essential purchase.
Sally Estes
From a well-known California restaurateur and coauthor of "Chez Panisse Cooking" (1988), another splendid assemblage of more than 250 tempting recipes, which are, however, not for the novice or nonadventurous cook. Waters' focus here is on vegetables and legumes, and she stresses the importance of good ingredients, which in her view consist of freshly harvested, preferably organic produce at its peak. Chapters center on a vegetable or legume (amaranth greens, artichokes, asparagus, turnips, watercress, zucchini), each beginning with a lovely full-color linocut and an introductory note that includes anecdotes and practical advice on selecting, using, and growing. The clearly stated recipes include such delicacies as grilled young artichokes, cabbage with duck foie gras, fennel-infused broth with halibut, sauteed fresh morels, and roasted winter vegetables. Those with a passion for reading cookbooks as well as for cooking will be entranced by both the content and the format of this attractive book, which the publisher is promoting heavily.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.96(w) x 11.06(h) x 1.25(d)

Read an Excerpt

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.

Zucchini Fritters

Serves 4

1 pound small green zucchini
Salt and pepper
1 clove garlic
1 small bunch chives
Zest of 4 lemons
1 tablespoon potato starch
1 egg
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.

Meet the Author

Alice Waters is the visionary chef and owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. She is the author of four cookbooks, including Chez Panisse Vegetables and Fanny at Chez Panisse. In 1994 she founded the Edible schoolyard at Berkeley's Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, a model curriculum that integrates organic gardening into academic classes and into the life of the school; it will soon incorporate a school lunch program in which students will prepare, serve, and share food they grow themselves, augmented by organic dairy products, grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish—all locally and sustainably produced.

David Lance Goines is a Berkeley printer and designer whose friendship with Alice Waters goes back more than thirty years. His famous posters, including his annual Chez Panisse birthday posters, are in the permanent Collections of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., the Musée des Arts Décoratifs at the Louvre in Paris, the Achenbach Foundation at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

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Chez Panisse Vegetables 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
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.
s_mongol More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago