Vegetable Love

Barbara Kafka has been shaping the way America cooks for three decades. She's doing it again.

With her customary originality, thoroughness, and passion for great cooking, Barbara Kafka has created the cook's ultimate vegetable resource: 750 original recipes showcasing everything she adores about the vegetable world, from the lowly green bean to the exotic chrysanthemum leaf - even stretching the definition to include potatoes, mushrooms, and avocados just because she's crazy mad for them.

Her love of vegetables shows in every dish, each impeccably researched, consistently foolproof, and put to the Kafka taste test. Among these delectable dishes are dozens of essays, including personal reflections on the garden and migrations in the vegetable world, for example; all are erudite and unfailingly entertaining.

Kafka's book within a bookan at-a-glance, we've-done-all-the-work-for-you Cook's Guideprovides practical, encyclopedic information on how to buy, measure, substitute, and prepare every food that ever called itself a vegetable. 

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Read the reviews:

For many years, this country's most original culinary voice has been Barbara Kafka's: teasing, erudite, curious, often iconoclastic and always provocative. I've been lucky (and challenged) to hear this voice firsthand, as a friend, and have always learned from her writing. Kafka's encyclopedic new VEGETABLE LOVE (Artisan, $35) is two books in one: a collection of notes and recipes on vegetables (eccentrically divided by continent) and an alphabetical "Cook's Guide" to buying, storing and cooking them. Despite the theme, there's plenty of meat; in many ways, this book is the season's meatiest. And, as with even the biggest cookbooks, there's one recipe you'll turn to again and again. Mine is a sumptuous variation on roasted potatoes, cooked in butter, olive oil and stock. Make it with goose fat for Christmas, whatever you do with the goose.

—Corby Kummer, New York Times, Sunday Book Review 

Written with humor and filled with friendly advice, this is a book for everyone, not just the gourmet chef. The suggestions are practical, and the writing is fun to read. Best of all, Kafka TRIES to connect with her reader--she doesn't just refer to an ingredient from the Cook's Guide--she provides the exact page number. Her beautifully organized, 35-page Index coordinates the various sections so you can look up recipes by ingredient. (If you have fish on hand and want to know something interesting you can do with it, there are ten vegetable sauces listed, and if you have tons of zucchini, there are thirteen recipes, from pickles to custard.) Released in time for the winter holidays, 2005, this is a landmark cookbook, which will keep its readers enthralled. 

—Mary Whipple for (for full review, click on link


Kafka, a 20-year veteran cookbook writer whose credits include Roasting: A Simple Art and Soup: A Way of Life, allows vegetables to take center stage in this encyclopedic tome. Her collection of inspired recipes isn't about vegetarianism; many include meats, fish and dairy. Rather, it's about the pure enjoyment of the taste of vegetables: "the sweet seductive perfume of slowly sautéing onions, the impossibly vivid red of roasted peppers, the slow dance of eating an artichoke." Kafka's treatment is broad (she covers avocados, tomatoes and rhubarb) and includes classic dishes like Braised Fennel or Chilies Rellenos with Corn alongside more inventive fare, à la Green Bean Frappé, and A Satin of Oysters and Tapioca. (Dec.)

—Publishers Weekly (for full review, click on link )

A Kafka cookbook is always inventive, thorough and filled with her passion for cooking, and Vegetable Love is no exception. It’s big (more than 700 pages), bountiful (750 original recipes), and has an all-inclusive “Cook’s Guide” for buying, storing and preparing all the vegetables and herbs used. Though her primary focus is veggies, Kafka cooks with butter and cream and uses meat, chicken, shellfish and fish in many recipes. It’s hard to find a recipe that doesn’t make you want to rush into the kitchen—and the range of recipes is fantastic (I guess it’s obvious that I really like this book) from Risotto with Radicchio and Vermouth, Duck Breast with Rhubarb Sauce, Eggplant and Chickpea Fritters, Parsnip Flan to Thanksgiving Squash Muffins and gingery Carrot Sorbet. This is unconditional love at its tastiest—vegetables never had it so good!

—Sybil Pratt, (for full review, click on link