Thommy Ford Reads

A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library

50 Great Cookbooks at Thomas Ford – Week 41

We were all told to eat our vegetables when we were children. If our mom’s had all really known how to fix them, I bet we’d have been more compliant. This book would have helped.

Vegetables, Revised Edition by James Peterson (641.65 PET)

What kind of cookbook is Vegetables?
While there are 300 recipes in this book, the preparation of the ingredients (vegetables, of course) is of greater concern than the final constructions. The author stresses getting the vegetables right from the start, letting cooks then use them in different dishes and in personal combinations. The book starts with chapters on knife skills, methods of cooking, and making of salads, gratins, soups, stews, and purees. It is a sort of textbook for vegetables.

Is this cookbook easy to use?
Peterson uses photos well to supplement his text, and his instructions are clear. Cooks will have to take time to read, but the results are worth the effort. There is an extensive index in the back of the book.

Can you easily find all of these vegetables?
No, but if Peterson had kept to the common, it would not be such a fascinating book.

What is special about this cookbook?
Peterson takes us back to basics, assuming that even seasoned cooks can correct old faults and learn something new. I discovered on page 2 that I have been cutting onions wrong. The pieces will come apart more easily if I start with a cut from end to end instead of through the equator of the onion. Three quarters of the book provides detailed information on specific vegetables common (cabbage and corn) and less familiar (lotus root and luffa). The presentation is so attractive, readers will develop an appetite.

What are your favorite recipes from this cookbook?
Recipes are not the point of this book, but here are a few I’d like:
Red cabbage salad with pecans (page 131)
Onion tart (page 250)
Snow pea stir-fry with cashew nuts (page 263)
Quick and easy turnip green soup with bacon (page 352)

Review by Rick

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This entry was posted on October 14, 2012 by in 50 Great Cookbooks, Book Review, Cooking, Non-Fiction.
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