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Vegetable Love

by: Kafka, Barbara with Styler, Christopher

New York NY: Artisan, a division of Workman Publishing 2005, $35.00, Hardbound
ISBN: 1-57965-168-2

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Winter Volume: 2006 Issue: 13(4) page(s): 28

This in-depth vegetable look/book is hefty with seven-hundred fifty recipes. It is a book within a book as it includes a much-needed 'A-to-Z' Cook's Guide to literally hundreds of individual ones. Included are their botanical names, buying and storing methods, was of cutting/preparing them, yields and equivalents, varieties as appropriate, and at least one paragraph or page about each one. Were that not enough, this heavyweight has a chapter highlighting many vegetables, Asian and African.

Written by a master of many culinary columns and a multitude of cookbooks one should not be without it. We became fans when Microwave Gourmet was published and have been loyal ever since because Kafka's information is accurate and easily accessible. And, her basic and complex recipes work. It is refreshing to find a volume that recognizes and addresses foods on all continents. For those needing advice on Chinese and other vegetables, grab this book and begin to learn. Love them green and gorgeous, and in every other color and hue. Through the recipes, devour the vegetables, and delight in their details. Read, prepare, and be pleased with their finished products, Asian or otherwise. Delight in the Green Seafood Stew with Peas and Spinach. We added a mite of sacha and hoisin sauces, had a bowl of rice, and enjoyed this simple savory seaworthy meal. Make the Stir-fried Chicken and Snow Peas in Mustard-Soy Sauce, it is fantastic, too.

Newsday says that reading Barbara Kafka is like following a creative mind on a roll. The Boston Globe calls her 'ahead of the pack.' We agree and say thanks for her insight, vegetable inspirations, and inclusion of information and recipes from neglected parts of the world. Vegetable Love is and will remain a classic for us and for everyone.

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