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 valuableresource 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.
"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."-- Wendell Berry, author of "What Are People For?" and "Another Turn of the Crank""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."-- Richard Olney, author of "Lulu's Provencal Table" and "Simple French Food""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."-- Patricia Wells, author of "The Food Lover's Guide to Paris" and "Bistro Cooking""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 featuringvegetables."-- Wes Jackson, founder of The Land Institute"Alice Waters has done more than anyone else to change the way we eat. This book is a triumph."-- Paula Wolfert, author of "Mediterranean Cooking"