Veggies, On Fleek
When was the last time your mouth started to water just from looking at a Jerusalem artichoke? Yeah, same with us…maybe never.
So we’re ecstatic that chef Michael Anthony, in his new cookbook V is for Vegetables, finds several ways to make this knobby root absolutely scrumptious: pureed in a silky chowder, sliced raw in a crisp salad and roasted until tender in the oven (recipe for Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes & Brussels Sprout Leaves below).
It’s just one example of how Anthony transforms both familiar and uncommon vegetables into truly mouthwatering dishes in the book. Though he’s built a notable reputation for elevating farmers market ingredients to gourmet status at New York restaurant Gramercy Tavern (he was 2015’s James Beard Outstanding Chef), the book’s recipes are totally cookable and not too “chef-y.” They were created and photographed in a home kitchen, so there’s an intimacy to the presentation: it’s more of a splash-sauce-on-it kind of book than a glossy showpiece.
Organized alphabetically by vegetable, the encyclopedic book includes recipes for 60+ veggies in multiple forms: salads like warm red cabbage with sweet potatoes, soups like celery root with chestnut, light appetizers such as pickled baby carrots and hearty mains like a collard greens frittata. Some of the recipes, such as turnip and squash stew with chicken, include meat or fish, but each showcases veggies as the main attraction.
We appreciate Anthony’s helpful, illustrated prep tips along the way (we can now confidently tackle a kohlrabi), his penchant for root-to-stem cooking and his urging to buy vegetables seasonally and locally. If Anthony can’t source something locally, then he won’t be cooking it…which makes us pretty glad that Jerusalem artichokes don’t actually come from Jerusalem.
V IS FOR VEGETABLES recipes and images courtesy Little, Brown and Company. Photo Credit ©Maura McEvoy.
Copyright ©2015 by Michael Anthony and Dorothy Kalins, Ink, LLC