Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables

Chronicle. Apr. 2019. 464p. photos by EE Berger. index. ISBN 9781452169323. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781452169378. COOKING
With recipes featuring vegetables from the first tender asparagus to frost-sweetened carrots, the latest from Berens (Chef and Farmer) will delight home cooks. Full of sensible advice and imaginative ideas on making full use of nature’s bounty throughout the seasons, the simple recipes are accompanied by luscious illustrations by Engelman and photographs by Berger, helping to turn meal planning into a creative pleasure. New cooks will especially appreciate the comprehensive chapter on how to develop an effective, working pantry; the full, in-depth explanation of cooking terms; and basic guidance on choosing and storing vegetables. Easy-to-follow sidebars on cooking staples, such as rice and couscous, will assist the most rudimentary cook. Well-organized, the book focuses on one vegetable at a time, offering raw and cooked options. While some recipes include meat, vegetarians can easily substitute nonanimal proteins.
VERDICT Crammed with exciting ideas that encourage creativity, this lively book will quickly become an essential item in the home cook’s library.

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