Modern Vegetarian Kitchen
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Modern Vegetarian Kitchen

3.7 4
by Peter Berley, Laura Hartman Maestro, Beth Galton, Melissa Clark, Beth Galton

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Peter Berley's mission is to show how the simple act of cooking food can enliven your senses and nourish your life––from going to the farmers' market and outfitting your kitchen with the simplest, most useful tools to learning techniques and sharing meals with friends and family. The much–admired former chef of Angelica Kitchen, one of New York


Peter Berley's mission is to show how the simple act of cooking food can enliven your senses and nourish your life––from going to the farmers' market and outfitting your kitchen with the simplest, most useful tools to learning techniques and sharing meals with friends and family. The much–admired former chef of Angelica Kitchen, one of New York City's finest restaurants, Berley takes you through the seasons, with more than two hundred sumptuous recipes that feature each ingredient at its peak.

A cooking teacher for many years, Berley has kept the needs of his students continually in mind in this book. The recipes are written to feature the basic techniques and background information needed to create wonderful meals with fresh vegetables, fruits, and grains. He truly inspires both novice and experienced cooks to understand what they are doing and why, to learn to work with ingredients, and to apply their skills creatively. This wonderful book brings vegetarian cuisine to a whole new level.

Editorial Reviews

Annemarie Colbin
Peter Berley has been cooking for thirty years, and his vast experience shows in this excellent book. There is something here for everyone: sound instruction on ingredients and techniques for the beginner, inspiration and good technical information for the seasoned cook. This is an indispensable book not only for vegetarians but also for professional chefs who want to add quality vegetarian dishes to their menus.
Deborah Madison
Peter Berley's commitment to home cooking is clearly a strong one. The recipes—and information—in this book will serve the home cook well indeed.
Michael Romano
What a wonderful book! In his days as a restaurant chef, Peter Berley never failed to provide me and countless others with soulful and delicious food. Cooking from this book, you'll be able to bring that same thoughtful, nourishing, and informative attitude into your home. This book will change the way you regard your kitchen, both in its physical aspect and in the wholesome, seasonal fare you'll serve your family and friends.
Mollie Katzen
Peter Berley cooks with an artist's touch and a philosopher's passion, then writes up the results with a joyful, clear, and personal voice. The enthusiasm here is contagious!
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A chef for seven years at the Angelica Kitchen, New York City's hip vegan restaurant, Berley focuses on how the act of cooking can nourish one's life in this (mostly) vegan cookbook. Emphasizing home-cooked meals as opposed to gourmet feasts, Berley articulates the principles and techniques behind each recipe. Based on fresh and seasonally available ingredients, the cookbook reads like a valentine to Berley's grandmother, who cooked and baked using foods from her organic garden. Although dashi, miso and tofu are becoming more familiar to American cooks, other ingredients he calls for, such as spelt, kombu and nabe mono, aren't as well known. It's impossible to appreciate Berley's world without making several special shopping trips--there's always that one ingredient you can't get at the grocery store. Berley includes instructions for broths, roll pastas and bake breads using "wild" yeast. Following his recipes to the letter requires tremendous amounts of time, as well as patience. But his recipes reward: Roasted Red Peppers are sweeter and more luscious than anything bottled, Basil-Almond Pesto is sublime for having freshly peeled almonds, and Corn and Vegetable Chowder evokes a perfect summer afternoon. For vegans, vegetarians and interested cooks seeking to explore seasonal vegetarian cuisine, this book is a must have. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
This is definitely a "back to basics" vegetarian cookbook with a unique twist. Berley, former chef and instructor at Angelica's Kitchen in New York, organizes his recipes first by type (e.g., soups, salads, pasta, and beans) and then by season, which this reviewer found to be extremely helpful. He also provides lots of background information and recommendations on ingredients, necessary utensils and appliances, and techniques. The recipes themselves are reminiscent of more traditional vegetarian cookbooks (such as Mollie Katzen's Moosewood titles) in that they are heartier and much less fancy than some of the recent vegetarian collections. As Berley points out in his introduction, even though these recipes are not all vegan, his book is still vegan-friendly since most of the dairy products are used as garnishes and can be eliminated. A great addition to any public library's cookbook collection.--Debra Mitts Smith, Jamaica Plain, MA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Read an Excerpt

Chestnut Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms, Pumpkin, and Leeks

4 to 6 servings

Solio is a town high in the Swiss Alps that is the nearest thing to heaven that I have ever seen. Locally harvested porcini mushrooms and chestnuts dry in the rafters of the ancient barns that line the winding narrow backstreets of this rustic little village. That was my inspiration for this autumnal dish. The dark, musky aroma and flavor of the dried mushrooms goes particularly well with the sweetness of the pumpkin and leeks. I also add red tomatoes to brighten the color and cut through the intense earthiness of this ragout.

Chestnut flour is perishable, so make sure yours is fresh. It should smell and taste pleasingly sweet and nutty without any trace of bitterness. Store the flour tightly wrapped in the freezer.


For the Pasta:
2/3 cup chestnut flour
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose or white bread flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 large eggs

For the Ragout:
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped leeks, white and tender green parts
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 cups peeled and roughly chopped winter squash or pumpkin
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 (28-ounce) can peeled tomatoes
Coarse sea salt
Freshly milled black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish


1. To make the pasta, mix the chestnut flour, 1 1/3 cups whiteflour, and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center and crack the eggs into it. Beat the eggs with a fork and incorporate the flour from the sides of the bowl until a soft dough forms.

2. Scoop out the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Rinse off any flour stuck to your hands. There will probably be some flour clumps left in the bowl. Sift them through a fine strainer onto the dough and discard the scraps. Wash out the bowl.

3. Knead the dough for 15 minutes, adding additional flour if necessary, to form a smooth, firm, elastic dough. Wrap the dough in plastic and set aside to relax for 30 minutes at room temperature. (At this point it can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)

4. Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the remaining dough covered with plastic wrap. Roll the dough on the counter with outstretched palms into a loose 2-foot-long cylinder the width of a thin cigar. You may need to mist the rolling surface with a spray bottle if you don't have enough friction to roll the dough. Cut off 1-inch long pieces of dough and roll them back and forth between your palms until they are approximately 3 inches long. Place the pasta on clean towels and continue to cut and roll until all the dough is used up.

5. While the pasta dries, make the ragout. Place the mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 1 1/2 cups warm water. Set them aside to soften.

6. In a heavy 3-quart saucepan or flameproof casserole over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until they begin to color. Add the garlic, squash, and sage. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

7. Gently massage the mushrooms between your fingers. Allow the grit to settle on the bottom of the bowl. Remove the mushrooms and chop them up. Strain off and reserve 1 cup of the soaking liquid. Be careful to stop before you reach the grit.

8. Place a food mill fitted with medium disk over the vegetables and pass the tomatoes with their juice directly into the pan. Add the chopped porcini and the reserved soaking liquid, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash is tender and the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. When the water returns to a boil, add the pasta and stir to prevent sticking. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is al dente. Drain.

10. Transfer the pasta to a warm bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon butter. Toss again with the sauce. Serve with grated cheese and chopped parsley.

Warm Lentil Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

4 servings

Lentils have been grown since 7000 B.C., making them one of the oldest cultivated legumes. They are indigenous to the southwestern region of Asia and southeastern Europe and are now an integral part of the cuisines of India, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. Here, the addition of sun-dried tomatoes gives this dish a decidedly Mediterranean flavor.


6 to 8 dry-pack sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup green lentils, sorted and rinsed
Coarse sea salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1/2 celery rib, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon or 3 to 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Freshly milled black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish


1. In a small saucepan, combine the tomatoes with water to cover. Bring to a boil, remove the pan from the heat, and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add the lentils and boil, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and continue to boil for 10 to 15 minutes, until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape. Drain, transfer the lentils to a mixing bowl, and toss them with 1 tablespoon of the oil.

3. In a heavy skillet over medium heat, warm the remaining oil. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, and cook, stirring often, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes longer. Stir the vegetables into the lentils.

4. Drain the tomatoes, slice them into quarters, and add them to the lentil mixture.

5. Season the salad with lemon juice or vinegar, add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve.

The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen. Copyright � by Peter Berley. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are saying about this

Michael Romano
What a wonderful book! In his days as a restaurant chef, Peter Berley never failed to provide me and countless others with soulful and delicious food. Cooking from The Vegetarian Kitchen, you'll be able to bring that same thoughtful, nourishing and informative attitude into your home. Vegetarian or not, I promise you this book will change the way you regard your kitchen, both in its physical aspect and in the wholesome, seasonal fare you'll serve your family and friends.
—(Michael Romano, executive chef/partner, Union Square Café)

Meet the Author

Peter Berley is the owner of The North Fork Kitchen and Garden, a culinary studio where he teaches intensive workshops on modern food craft and wood-fired bread baking and cooking. The former executive chef of the world-renowned Angelica Kitchen restaurant in New York City, he holds classes at The Institute of Culinary Education and Natural Gourmet Institute. Berley has contributed to Edible Brooklyn, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Natural Health, Cooking Light, and Fine Cooking magazines. His groundbreaking first book, The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, received both the James Beard and IACP Awards. He lives with his family in South Jamesport on the North Fork of Long Island, New York.

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Modern Vegetarian Kitchen 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
222sf More than 1 year ago
The first thing you notice is the design -- clean and well layed-out. Then when you read the recipes you find yourself wanting to make a few of them right away. From our bookcase of hundreds of cookbooks, this is one we pull down regularly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be enjoyable and informative. Now that I have it, I consider it an essential part of my kitchen library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago