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Chez Panisse Vegetables

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4.10  ·  Rating details ·  2,966 ratings  ·  50 reviews
For twenty-five years, Alice Waters and her friends at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California have dedicated themselves to the ideal of serving the finest, freshest foods with simplicity and style. From tender baby asparagus in early spring, to the colorful spectrum of peppers at the height of summer; crisp, leafy chicories in autumn, to sweet butternut squash in the dark of ...more
Hardcover, 344 pages
Published 1996 by Harper Collins Publishers
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Debra Daniels-zeller
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
This is a great vegetable cookbook by Alice Waters from the famous Chez Panaisse restaurant. The book is divided up by vegetables and arranged alphabetically. I didn't count how many recipes this book features but it must be substantial and most are vegetarian. Most of the recipes are simple and easy to prepare. The reason for my four star rating is the amount of information on each vegetable is impressive. Selection and storage tips are a big plus. I also really liked the vegetable illustration ...more
Mridul Singhai
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Life saver – I was spending nearly a quarter of my paycheck ordering delivery. This and some other texts (and the guilt/bloat that comes with eating restaurant food) helped me get out of that phase.
Mike
Mar 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
A literal A-Z of almost every veggie out there.Every chapter gives a history of each topic,followed by recipes and suggestions of what they would go with.
In the forward Waters mentions a chef that came in and said"this isn't cooking,it's shopping".Which is the point.The best in season doesn't need to be fucked with.A couple of guys from Aureole in NYC came to hang out in SF.They were amazed that I had four pages of just lettuce in my order sheets.
Waters proves that cooking isn't working the food
...more
Phoebe
Dec 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: foodlove
Ms. Waters has been on my to-read cookbook list for YEARS. Finally, we meet. I tried the pumpkin soup, which was fantastic, and almost tried a cabbage recipe, but ended up just oven-roasting the cabbage instead (I think she would have approved.) The simplicity of her recipes, combined with lovely, rustic illustrations of vegetables, made for an appealing combination. Sadly, the library wanted their copy back. Next time, Alice!
Annie
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-reviewed
This is a wonderful cookbook for vegetarians and meat eaters who want to try to incorporate more vegetables into their diet. You can find a recipe for almost any vegetable you can think of. The recipes are simple and delicious. The hand drawn / rustic illustrations match the mood of the recipes and the tone of the writing. Some of our personal favorite recipes are the Braised Belgian Endive, Caramelized Fennel & The Chard, Spinach and Escarole Pasta. ...more
Beka
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cookbooks
I know lots of people are, but I'm just not really a fan of cookbooks that are all text. I know it shouldn't be necessary, but a picture here and there really helps break up the monotony and also makes my mouth water! I must say, however, that this has a LOT of information about vegetables (best seasons, basic overview, uses, etc.).
Iris
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I made ratatouille from this and that's all. And it didn't really turn out. However, I think that was mostly my own fault and the book is lovely with beautiful illustrations. It's organized by vegetable, and then there's several recipes for each one. It was v/fun and I'd get it again.
Meena Menon
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite amongst all of my Alice Waters cookbooks.
Mark Taylor
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some great veggie recipes from the place that helped start the American fresh food movement. A good cookbook to have in the arsenal.
Trish
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love just about everything about this book. I love the way it looks. I love the descriptions of the vegetables. I love that other people are cooking with and eating things I’ve never encountered before. I love that the vegetables are centered on common ones that grow well in all areas of North America. I love that any one of the recipes could be served to guests. When one has grown or purchased fine expensive local produce (and it is expensive in time if not money if you grow it yourself)it is ...more
John
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, cooking
I think every Chez Panisse cookbook has the same flaw, and the same magic: the recipes seem simple, trivial almost, in their lack of sophistication, and yet sweet god do they work! If you've been eating modern American cuisine at all over the last 30-odd years, this food will all seem familiar to you, not because it's derivative, but because this weird little restaurant in Berkeley CA is the birthplace of contemporary ideas about how to cook, and how to eat.

Which is to say, you probably won't fi
...more
Jennifer
May 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: local-vores
Recommended to Jennifer by: CSA garden website
OOOoh do I wish I could eat at Chez Panisse... I recently joined a CSA garden, and this book is great. For each vegetable /vegetable family it gives background information, how to choose your vegetables at the market, notes on how to cook the vegetable simply, and then detailed recipes for more fussy dishes. One drawback is that sometimes the notes for simple cooking are too brief, and do not contain amounts for each ingredient, so you may need some cooking know-how in order to assemble the less ...more
Mike Moskos
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book
I read this book probably the way Alice Waters intended: to learn techniques and to see what goes well together that I hadn't thought of.

If you're buying solely from farmers' markets that sell only local produce, you cannot always follow a given recipe because a needed ingredient might be out of season or simply sold out before you get there. So, you have to learn to prepare what's available and combine what you can.

A big plus was her nice descriptions of vegetables, their seasons, what to look
...more
Carey
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Did anyone else read that Vanity Fair Article about Chez Panisse? Right, so I love this book. Beautiful wood cut illustrations! Each section is arranged into the various vegetables, with an explanation of what and when and how. This allowed me to confront Kohlrabi, as well as deal with cabbage. Its about vegetables, but there are some meat recipes, so is great for those who need to confront their own vegetable intake, but aren't interested in vegetarian cooking. Plus I love the idea of a bunch o ...more
anklecemetery
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, cooking
While I'm always a fan of the vegetable-centric cookbook, and I greatly value Alice Waters' influence on American cultural approaches to eating in season, I was disappointed by the recipes in this book. Either they were too straightforward--I know how to select a vegetable or roast a root--or they were uninspiring (slow-cooked broccoli?). It's possible, certainly, that Waters has influenced American cookery to the extent that this particular work is less resonant in 2014. Probably a decent found ...more
Michelle
Oct 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
So much of what's in this book is classic in a way that can sometimes seem self-evident or even dated, but I love it all the same. Because the recipes rely mostly on combining one or two fresh vegetables with common staples, it can be a nice book to turn to when there's produce in your refrigerator that you're not quite sure what to do with, but don't want to do anything complicated or involving extra shopping trips. In that sense it's often more of a nudge-book than a cookbook, but sometimes a ...more
Happyreader
Feb 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-and-drink
This cookbook surprised me. The recipes were much simplier than I was expecting. Good vegetable overviews describing how best to prepare each veggie along with good flavor pairings. At the same time, nothing too original recipe-wise for my two favorite veggies, brussells sprouts and beets. Have to give some points back for actually coming up with original ideas for the overlooked radish, which mostly involve, surpringly, pairing with anchovies.
Emily
Feb 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrowed
Love love love Alice Waters. Her prose is so lovely to read and the recipes are so inspiring and her tenderness for the food is so sweet, you just want to be an amaranth leaf in her kitchen.

My only frustration is that often, her recipes call for vegetables that are nigh impossible to find in this country (unless you grow your own) and the ones that you can find all the ingredients for turn out to be the most expensive things in your shopping cart that week.
Mary Kathryn
Jun 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
Alice Waters talks about vegetables like only she can do. She gives thorough advice on selecting, growing, and preparing each vegetable, and I love how the book is formatted by vegetable, then seasonally. Doesn't get five stars because the recipes, when cooked, are not really something to write home about, although more than decent.
Angie Hogan
Aug 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book is, at heart, a beautifully illustrated encyclopedia of vegetables. It contains a wealth of information about the varieties of each vegetable, when they are in-season, and how to select, store, and cook them. Waters's recipes are more seductive than specific, but cooking may as well be an adventure! Nothing has disappointed yet.
Janet
Feb 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
My boyfriend got this for me for my birthday last week. We tend to buy lots of vegetables and accidentally let them to go waste--with this book, you can find recipes to cook any vegetable imaginable in a variety of delicious ways. The recipes sure beat the stir-fry I tend to make when uninspired in the kitchen!
Lauren
Dec 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Another beautiful book by Alice Waters, and I at least recognized the names of nearly all the vegetables listed, but I just can't see myself making "wild mushrooms baked in parchment" or "cabbage and bean soup with duck confit." The potato section, though, was -as always happens with potato sections- inspiring and hungrifying.
Cathy
Jul 14, 2009 rated it liked it
I was impressed to find out that Alice Waters was promoting "buy local" and "eat organic" back in the 1970's, long before it became the current trendy bandwagon to be on. I loved the illustrations and the information about various vegetables was interesting. The actual recipes themselves were not that interesting to me. Definitely written for "foodies".
Connie
Apr 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The book is organized by vegetable. She describes how to select the vegetable, discusses different varieties of the vegetables, then ways to cook it. Sometimes she gives an exact recipe, other times she describes the cooking method then explains what herbs or seasonings to add "to taste." I've checked it out of the library so many times I should just buy it.
Hester
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: food
While very knowledgeable, there were lots of things I found missing from the book. There are many time consuming recipes for brussel sprouts, and not one of them includes roasting. I found many of the recipes involved more meat then I would like. I am sure many people would love this book. After I read it, I felt harangued, but not informed.
Don LaVange
Jan 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
I've had this book for ages, and while I've read a bit in it, I have hardly ever made one of the recipes. I'm not sure why because vegetable dishes are quite important to the dinners I prepare. I'm going to start trying some of these and I'll edit this review as needed.
Tracy O
Apr 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cook-books
I didn't come by my love of vegetables without a fight, but now that I'm here this is a good book to have. One thing to know is that some of the recipes are the make-on-the-weekend type (involved). My favorite recipe in this is the Sage and Butternut Squash Risotto - it is SOOOO good.
Stacy
Jan 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Alice Waters' adoration of vegetables is apparent in this alphabetical explanation of each vegetables, from ordinary tomatoes to harder to find cardoons and everything in between. Besides several of her favorite recipes, Alice offers up advice on growing and selecting each one at the market.
Shari Greenman
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
This is my go to book for vegetables. It's well organized and has great ideas and lots of information about how to store, pick and prepare each vegetable. I consider this a must have basic for all kitchens. Alice Waters is brilliant.
Megan
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
made the pasta with cauliflower, walnuts and feta tonight. one pan, 30 minutes, hearty and filling and tons of different textures and flavors, super versatile.

i need to cook out of this one more, and i'll update this review when i do.
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Alice Waters is a chef, author, food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. She has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades. In 1995 she founded the Edible Schoolyard Project, which advocates for a free school lunch for all children and a sustainable food curriculum in every public school.

She has been Vice President of
...more

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