Richie Partington's Reviews > Rah, Rah, Radishes!: A Vegetable Chant

Rah, Rah, Radishes! by April Pulley Sayre
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Nov 05, 2011

it was amazing

30 October 2011 RAH, RAH RADISHES! A VEGETABLE CHANT by April Pulley Sayre, Beach Lane Books, June 2011, 32p., ISBN: 978-1-4424-2141-7

"Call any vegetable, call it by name
You gotta call one today when you get off the train.
Call any vegetable and the chances are good
Yeah, yea-ah-ey!
That the vegetable will respond to you."
-- Frank Zappa

"Oh boy, bok choy!
Brussels sprout.
Broccoli. Cauliflower.
Shout it out!"

This year I got turned on to collard greens. A six-pack of seedlings planted in our garden have produced a five-month-long never-ending stream of big, beautiful collard leaves. My favorite is to have a big pan of them stir fried in olive oil with chopped garlic.

The tall stalks of brussels sprouts out there are just now ready to harvest. And the broccoli keeps producing. But the bok choy crop is long gone as we ease into fall.

One of the truly wonderful things I inherited from my mother (and her Sicilian-immigrant mother) is a love for all sorts of fresh vegetables. I'd often come home after school to carrot sticks or peas in their pods or chunks of cauliflower as afternoon snacks. And it was rare to have a dinner at home that didn't include a green salad. This training has come in handy ever since, with my having now been a vegetarian for some thirty-something years.

"Eggplant's extraordinary.
Pumpkin's art.
Don't eat zucchini?
Time to start!"

Zucchini? Don't get me started on zucchini. If you've ever grown some, you know that you end up with zucchini coming out of your ears. Even the goats are now sick of it.

April Pulley Sayre has crafted an eye-catching beauty of a picture book about vegetables. Page after page of mouth-watering vegetables galore, photographed on the shelves of a produce market, are coupled with her lively vegetable chant. And the vegetables pictured aren't just the most common half-dozen. There are also vegetables like lima beans and leeks and endive and daikon radishes.

I love daikon radish, which is great in veggie sushi. Grate the daikon and some carrots, slice some bell peppers, cucumbers, and avocados thinly, mix some cooked sushi rice with rice vinegar and sesame seeds, and then roll everything up in sheets of nori.

Some other ways to get a lot of fresh, crunchy veggies in a tasty meal are to cook up some falafel and stuff them in pita with carrots and cucumbers, bell peppers and lettuce and tomatoes (along with hummus and olives). Or pick or purchase a dozen different vegetables to use in a giant pot of vegetable soup with lentils. Or a stir fry a bunch of them with sesame oil, sesame seeds, mushrooms, and lots of fresh ginger. Or whip up a fresh vegetable curry.

"Call any vegetable, pick up your phone
Think of a vegetable lonely at home
Call any vegetable and the chances are good
Yeah, yea-ah-ey!
That the vegetable will respond to you."

So get with the beet! Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!

Richie Partington, MLIS
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