As more and more Americans turn to locally-sourced and home-grown ingredients to help create their meals, vegetables have returned to the center of the plate, and there are few people who appreciate vegetables the way that Southerners do. Read more...
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As more and more Americans turn to locally-sourced and home-grown ingredients to help create their meals, vegetables have returned to the center of the plate, and there are few people who appreciate vegetables the way that Southerners do. Whether it's the incomparable sweetness of corn fresh from the stalk, a tomato so ripe and ready that you can almost taste the sunshine, or the versatility of the sweet potato - the garden workhorse that can serve as main, side, or dessert - Southerners know the secrets to preparing their favorite vegetables in the most delicious ways.
Now, in The Southern Vegetable Book, the wisdom of years spent in the garden, in the fields, and finally in the kitchen are yours in an accessible cookbook highlighting the Southern ability to create satisfying flavors from the simplest, freshest ingredients. The classic vegetables that we all know and love are represented, but lesser-known but equally-celebrated ones, such as Jerusalem artichokes and ramps, also make an appearance. The recipes in the book pay homage to classic Southern dishes while offering modern interpretations for the home cook, whether you call the South home or not.
Divided by season, The Southern Vegetable Book features 30 types of vegetables along with recipes as diverse as Balsamic Corn Salad, Salmon Tostadas with Zucchini-Radish Slaw, a BLT Benedict with Avocado-Tomato Relish, or a new take on Sweet Potato Pie. This book will guide you on how to select the freshest vegetables at the grocery store or the farmers' market, tips on storage, special features, and tips and hints on extracting the best flavor from your produce.
Whether you're a Southerner born and bred, hail from parts unknown, or just appreciate that the South has a way with vegetables, The Southern Vegetable Book will become your go-to guide to make vegetables the star of the show.
Cooking: Middle-East mélange
She’s been called “the golden girl of Persian cookery” by The Observer, but Sabrina Ghayour’s cooking is more about her own special brand of fusion. Though her Iranian heritage has given her a love and understanding of the bold, aromatic flavors of Middle-Eastern cooking, she was raised in England, with its bountiful produce and culinary techniques. The 100 redolent recipes in Sirocco: Fabulous Flavors from the Middle East, Ghayour’s second cookbook, highlight her unique, fresh, uncomplicated style. She relies on a pantry full of Middle-Eastern spices and must-have items—like za’atar, saffron, Aleppo pepper, pomegranate molasses and harissa—that combine with a variety of ingredients to yield vibrant combos for breakfast, lunch, dinner and savory snacks, even a Preserved Lemon Martini. Try Berries Infused with Rose Water and Crushed Cardamom, Grilled Zucchini with Goat Cheese and Sumac, Oven-Roasted Souk-Spiced Roots, Citrus and Za’atar Chicken, Harissa Mussels and a Quince Tatin with Cinnamon Cream—you can’t miss this vibrant celebration of flavors from the Middle East.
Summer is prime time for farmers markets and for local CSAs to fill their weekly boxes with Mother Nature’s seasonal splendor. With local produce so easily at hand, all we need is a gentle push to focus on fresh veggies as they come to market. Rebecca Lang’s The Southern Vegetable Book: A Root-to-Stalk Guide to the South’s Favorite Produce offers that loving prod. Lang celebrates the rich Southern soil and its long growing season with classic and innovative recipes, plus hints on selecting, prepping, storing and canning 30 vegetables, which are arranged by season from springtime Asparagus with Rosemary Aioli and vividly green Chilled Sweet Pea Soup to Lady Pea Summer Salad and a meringue-topped Fancy Sweet Potato Pie that’s perfect for Thanksgiving. Worry not, you don’t have to have a Southern accent to get with the program, just an appreciation of fine-flavored food with Southern soul.
TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
Anna Thomas has made sure that the guests at her table always know that they’ve entered a peaceable kingdom, a place where everybody—vegan, vegetarian or outspokenly omnivorous—is welcome and able to enjoy dinner together. For many years, Thomas has worked on designing meals made with delicious dishes that are convertible, flexible and adaptable. Other cooks with other books have considered the problems dietary restrictions can cause, but Thomas’ Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore, which is lavishly illustrated, imaginative and infused with her love for sharing food with friends and family, is the best I’ve seen so far. She serves up 16 menus for a variety of occasions, from an antipasto-laden Italian extravaganza to a simple Soup Supper and a versatile Taco Night. Thomas offers nearly 200 recipes that showcase her talent for taking a vegan dish, adding something for a vegetarian variation, then something more to tempt the omnivores.