Cover of Fresh Vegetables

Title: Easy and Healthy Ways to Prepare Fresh Vegetables
Author: Arnold Weislo and Annabelle Delaval
88 pages; Colorful softcover $20.00 US
Publisher: US distribution: Cookaction Inc. 2009/2011
Reviewed by, Chef John Vyhnanek, May, 2011

The review--- This cookbook is so much fun to look at and use, it's all about vegetables and vegetable cookery!

Easy and Healthy Ways to Prepare Fresh Vegetables Presents Over 100 Recipes for Everyday Health. For each vegetable there are 4 recipes and all the recipes are written for 4 people. This is a French cookbook written by Arnold Weislo and Annabelle Delaval and now distributed in the USA as an easy to read English version. I love the layout, the information, the pictures and the recipes. There are no challenging recipes or hard to find ingredients that would complicate cooking. If you are a cook who loves to see pictures of how to do it, this book is perfect.
Take the vegetable Turnips, the purple top type or "navet" in France. First the authors tell of the origin and production which goes back to the Roman Empire. They arrived in North America with Jacques Cartier who planted turnips in Canada in 1541. They soon were brought to Massachusetts and the Virginia colonies by native Americans who loved them! Next we learn about their nutritional qualities, low in calories and high in fiber. The health benefits--they are high in potassium which is good for your heart and arteries. We also learn how to store them and most importantly how to cook them. How does Glazed turnips with fresh duck filet, Stuffed turnips or Baby turnip salad sound?

Vegetable types are shown with excellent pictures of different stages of preparation to reference while preparing and cooking the recipes. There are also nice shots of how the finished plates should look. Name a vegetable and it's in the book. Cucumbers of course; leeks yes; spinach too, how about a spinach souffle?

I tried recipes for eggplant, pumpkin and tomatoes, and I had four recipe choices for each vegetable. For the eggplant I chose the Moussaka, for the pumpkin it was the Pumpkin Soup and for the tomatoes, it was the Stuffed Tomatoes hors d'oeuvres. I have made Moussaka many times and have done so in a very traditional Greek way. I was happy to see that this recipe was very close to the one I used and the techniques that were prescribed would make any Greek grandmother proud. The eggplants were sauteed and drained of oil, a "meat sauce" was made with ground lamb and tomatoes and the traditional bechamel sauce was used. All layered with breadcrumbs, b
chamel, eggplant and then lamb meat sauce, then finished with mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese. Seasoning was simply salt, black pepper and ground coriander. The results were excellent after baking in the oven and letting it rest a moment and then serving. The only difference from mine was that there was no allspice, or oregano that I use as seasoning. The tomato hors d'oeuvres were a snap to make. Cherry tomatoes were washed, the tops cut off, insides scooped out and filled with bay shrimp with mayonnaise. Good and simple, fresh and tasty! You may choose to season your filling more or use a different filling altogether. The pumpkin soup was also easy to make and a hit, as it looked good in the serving bowls. The pumpkin was scooped out, peeled and cut into chunks. Onions were sauteed in butter and olive oil, rice was added to help thicken the soup, and the remaining ingredients were added to the pot and cooked until tender. All was pureed and then served with heavy cream and chopped parsleyyum! This is a nice recipe using milk and water instead of stock with the option to use cumin or curry powder as other seasonings. All the Recipes tested--- were easy to make and the pictures really helped make preparation even easier, which any cook will appreciate.

So the bottom recommends this book, because it takes the fear out of cooking vegetables and makes it easy and a lot of fun too! Oh, I almost forgot to mention how cute the cover is!!!

Merci to the authors!

Recipes tested---!
Recipe for Moussaka
Recipe for Pumpkin Soup

Recipe for Stuffed Tomato