los angeles guest suites

 

pom couscous

pom steak

Fresh & Green Table Cookbook

by Susan Russo
Print Email

fresh  green tableWe’ve all met them — people who sincerely love vegetables but are so depressingly earnest about it, that a conversation with them leaves you craving a cheeseburger and fries. Susie Middleton isn’t one of them. In her latest book, The Fresh & Green Table: Delicious Ideas for Bringing Vegetables into Every Meal, Middleton moves vegetables to the center of the table and serves them up generously seasoned with joy.

In her introduction, she acknowledges “how hard it is to navigate nutritional advice these days” which is why she approaches cooking vegetables from a cook’s point-of-view, not a nutritionist’s. That’s what makes her cookbook a pleasure to use. After reading a few recipes, you can’t wait to rush to the farmers market to buy bag-loads of veggies and start cooking.

Upon first glance, the recipes look lengthy — perhaps too lengthy to tackle — but persevere. What you’ll find upon closer inspection are clearly written, detailed recipes laced with established cooking techniques and helpful tips. Indeed, after making a couple of her recipes, you’ll feel like Middleton is in the kitchen with you, offering equal measures of advice and cheer.

It’s not surprising that the book begins with main-dish salads and hearty soups. What is surprising is their individuality. Consider Middleton’s favorite recipe in the book: Grilled Zucchini, Bell Pepper, Goat Cheese & Grilled Bread Salad with Double-Tomato Dressing. Who would expect double-tomato dressing to be made with orange juice, fresh mint and basil, and black-olive tapenade?

freshgreenpicOther chapters include Savory Rustic Tarts, Grains (+Veggies) for One-Dish Dinners, and Pizza for Dinner. Middleton appreciates the beauty of savory rustic tarts — they’re comfortable as a main course for Sunday brunch or as an appetizer for a dinner party.

The Roasted Butternut Squash, Cranberry, Shallot & Pecan Tart is ideal for cold winter nights. Tucked inside of a rich, cheese-spiked, buttery crust, you’ll find a soul-warming medley of roasted squash, earthy shallots, and tart cranberries gently seasoned with lemon zest and fresh sage.

Virtuous brown rice seems suddenly sassy when tossed with stir-fried carrots, ginger, mint, and toasted almonds. Farro, the ancient Tuscan grain that mystifies many home cooks, is infinitely more approachable when mixed with seedless red grapes, balsamic vinegar, and fresh rosemary and spooned into roasted portabello mushroom caps.

Both the baked and grilled pizzas beckon to be made. A sauce-less white pizza topped with sautéed onions, Baby Bella mushrooms, fresh rosemary and both Fontina and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is simple enough for a weeknight dinner yet sophisticated enough for company.

The book’s design is clean and simple, though this reviewer would have liked a larger font. Annabelle Breakey’s photographs are beautiful; I only wish there were more of them.

If you're looking to incorporate more fresh vegetables into your diet, then invite Susie Middleton and The Fresh & Green Table into your kitchen and wait to be inspired.

 

Susan Russo is a free lance food writer in San Diego, California. She publishes stories, recipes, and photos on her cooking blog, <Food Blogga and is a regular contributor to NPR’s <Kitchen Window. She is also the author of  Recipes Every Man Should KnowEdible Red Corn on the Cob and The Encyclopedia of SandwichesEdible Red Corn on the Cob.

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Restaurant News

St. James Gate
Mid-Atlantic
by Carolyn Foster Segal

st.james.jpgTo reach the St. James Gate of Bethlehem, PA, you must thread your way through what seems like one of the last circles of Dante’s inferno: the lights and sounds of the casino are overwhelming....

Read more...
Cafe Orlin
New York
by Lisa Locascio

1cafeorlin.jpgThere are many foods I will not miss about New York City: street cart hot dogs dressed in a syrupy mess called “onions,” over-priced dry pasta from ancient red sauce joints in Little Italy, the...

Read more...
Boston Bakery and Restaurant - Area Four
Boston
by Kitty Kaufman

area four 4It's inauguration Monday. Neither bison nor lobster's on our Cambridge menu but we're celebrating. The first place is "not doing lunch today," so around the corner we go to the second where I'm...

Read more...
My Brother's Restaurant, Ludivine Opens
Mid-West
by Hope Stranger

ImageI am not a cook. It’s not that I’m a bad cook, per se. I just choose not to participate. My best friend Anna can attest to this better than anyone. She made me every bite of homecooked food I had...

Read more...