Vegetable Love: A Book for Cooks


Barbara Kafka has been shaping the way America cooks for three decades. She’s doing it again.

With her customary originality, thoroughness, and passion for great cooking, Barbara Kafka has created the cook’s ultimate vegetable resource: 750 original recipes showcasing everything she adores about the vegetable world, from the lowly green bean to the exotic chrysanthemum leaf—even stretching the definition to include potatoes, mushrooms, and ...

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Barbara Kafka has been shaping the way America cooks for three decades. She’s doing it again.

With her customary originality, thoroughness, and passion for great cooking, Barbara Kafka has created the cook’s ultimate vegetable resource: 750 original recipes showcasing everything she adores about the vegetable world, from the lowly green bean to the exotic chrysanthemum leaf—even stretching the definition to include potatoes, mushrooms, and avocados just because she’s crazy mad for them.

Her love of vegetables shows in every dish, each impeccably researched, consistently foolproof, and put to the Kafka taste test. Among these delectable dishes are dozens of essays, including personal reflections on the garden and migrations in the vegetable world, for example; all are erudite and unfailingly entertaining.

Kafka’s book within a book—an at-a-glance, we’ve-done-all-the-work-for-you Cook’s Guide—provides practical, encyclopedic information on how to buy, measure, substitute, and prepare every food that ever called itself a vegetable.

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Editorial Reviews

Korby Kummer
Despite the theme, there's plenty of meat; in many ways, this book is the season's meatiest. And, as with even the biggest cookbooks, there's one recipe you'll turn to again and again. Mine is a sumptuous variation on roasted potatoes, cooked in butter, olive oil and stock. Make it with goose fat for Christmas, whatever you do with the goose.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Kafka, a 20-year veteran cookbook writer whose credits include Roasting: A Simple Art and Soup: A Way of Life, allows vegetables to take center stage in this encyclopedic tome. Her collection of inspired recipes isn't about vegetarianism; many include meats, fish and dairy. Rather, it's about the pure enjoyment of the taste of vegetables: "the sweet seductive perfume of slowly saut ing onions, the impossibly vivid red of roasted peppers, the slow dance of eating an artichoke." Kafka's treatment is broad (she covers avocados, tomatoes and rhubarb) and includes classic dishes like Braised Fennel or Chilies Rellenos with Corn alongside more inventive fare, la Green Bean Frapp , and A Satin of Oysters and Tapioca. Sections on unusual foodstuffs like nettles and cactus pads are fascinating, but less charming is the book's layout, which unhelpfully groups vegetables according to their area of origin. A generic "Cook's Guide" at the end strays rather startlingly from the book's trajectory, providing techniques and recipes for basic sauces, breads, stuffings and more, plus tips for choosing and storing various vegetables, which might have been more helpful in the sections featuring each vegetable. Nonetheless, Kafka has created an appetizing addition to the kitchen bookshelf. 50 photos. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
After an eight-year hiatus, award-winning cookbook author Kafka (Roasting: A Simple Art) returns with this ode to vegetables. The first section contains 750 recipes arranged by vegetable origin, e.g., "New World" and "Mediterranean Basin." Kafka does not adhere to the strict definition of a vegetable, so tomatoes and mushrooms, for example, are included. Also, though her emphasis is on vegetables, many of the recipes-ranging from the unconventional (Avocado, Parsnip, Beet, and Sweet Pea Ice Cream) to the less innovative (Onion Soup)-call for meat, fowl, or fish. A "Basic Recipes and Techniques" section features recipes and hints for pie crusts, sauces, and quiches, while a 200-page "Cook's Guide" lists all the vegetables alphabetically and provides their botanical names, descriptions of different varieties, and hints on methods, preparation, yields, and equivalency. The closest competitor is Elizabeth Ann Schneider's Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini: The Essential Reference. Owing to the minimal directions and lack of preparation times, Kafka's new book is recommended for public libraries serving skilled cooks who are interested in working with a variety of vegetables.-Christine Bulson, SUNY at Oneonta Lib. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579651688
  • Publisher: Artisan
  • Publication date: 11/1/2005
  • Pages: 720
  • Sales rank: 1,427,318
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Few have done more to define how Americans prepare food than Barbara Kafka, whose IACP and James Beard award-winning books Roasting and Microwave Gourmet made two underutilized techniques central to everyday cooking. Ms. Kafka is a former food editor of Vogue and a frequent contributor to The New York Times. She lives in New York and Vermont. The author of Artisan's Soup: A Way of Life and Vegetable Love, Barbara Kafka's immense achievements were recognized once more in 2007, when the James Beard Foundation gave her its Lifetime Achievement Award. Her most recent book is The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food Without Gluten & Lactose.

Christopher Styler has enormous culinary range. He is a chef, cookbook writer, editor, restaurant consultant, and culinary producer of some of PBS-TV’s most successful cooking series. He lives in New Jersey.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    I Love This Cookbook!

    I was already familiar with Barbara Kafka because she wrote one of my other favorite cookbooks -- Roasting. To be honest, I didn't use this cookbook much when I first got it. However, last summer I joined a CSA (Community Support Agriculture) program and started getting a bunch of veggies I was unfamiliar with, so, I turned to Vegetable Love! The book is written in two sections -- one with recipes and the other with info on all kinds of veggies. Both are clearly written and easy to follow. There is not a recipe I have tried that I have not loved. Try the shrimp cabbage salad and the braised fennel -- Yum!!

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  • Posted June 4, 2009

    It is a great resource on vegetable cooking!

    I love this book. I bought this book couple years ago, I have been using it since then. It has an explanation of where the vegetabel comes from, how it is cooked, where it is used, what it could be paired with, and recipes. I can find out how to steam a vegetable very fast or I can find very exotic elegant dinner dishes. I love the light cauliflower soup recipe. Anyone who had the soup in my house got the recipe from me. Anyone who is afraid of cooking vegetables, or would like to try something new should get this book. It is very useful.

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