Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes [A Cookbook]|Hardcover (2024)

Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes [A Cookbook]|Hardcover (4)


by Deborah Madison

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In her latest cookbook, Deborah Madison, America's leading authority on vegetarian cooking and author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, reveals the surprising relationships between vegetables, edible flowers, and herbs within the same botanical families, and how understanding these connections can help home cooks see everyday vegetables in new light.

For over three decades, Deborah Madison has been at the vanguard of the vegetarian cooking movement, authoring classic books on the subject and emboldening millions of readers to cook simple, elegant, plant-based food.

This groundbreaking new cookbook is Madison’s crowning achievement: a celebration of the diversity of the plant kingdom, and an exploration of the fascinating relationships between vegetables, edible flowers, herbs, and familiar wild plants within the same botanical families.

Destined to become the new standard reference for cooking vegetables, Vegetable Literacy shows cooks that, because of their shared characteristics, vegetables within the same family can be used interchangeably in cooking. It presents an entirely new way of looking at vegetables, drawing on Madison’s deep knowledge of cooking, gardening, and botany. For example, knowing that dill, chervil, cumin, parsley, coriander, anise, lovage, and caraway come from the umbellifer family makes it clear why they’re such good matches for carrots, also a member of that family. With more than 300 classic and exquisitely simple recipes, Madison brings this wealth of information together in dishes that highlight a world of complementary flavors. Griddled Artichokes with Tarragon Mayonnaise, Tomato Soup and Cilantro with Black Quinoa, Tuscan Kale Salad with Slivered Brussels Sprouts and Sesame Dressing, Kohlrabi Slaw with Frizzy Mustard Greens, and Fresh Peas with Sage on Baked Ricotta showcase combinations that are simultaneously familiar and revelatory.

Inspiring improvisation in the kitchen and curiosity in the garden, Vegetable Literacy—an unparalleled look at culinary vegetables and plants—will forever change the way we eat and cook.

Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes [A Cookbook]|Hardcover (5)

  • Product Details
  • About the Author
  • Read an Excerpt
  • Table of Contents
  • What People Are Saying

Product Details

Publisher:Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed
Publication date:03/12/2013
Sales rank:258,938
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 9.70(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

DEBORAH MADISON is the author of eleven cookbooks and is well known for her simple, seasonal, vegetable-based cooking. She got her start in the San Francisco Bay Area at Chez Panisse before opening Greens, and has lived in New Mexico for the last twenty years. In addition to writing and teaching, she has served on the boards of Slow Food International Biodiversiy Committee, the Seed Savers Exchange, and the Southwest Grassfed Livestock Alliance, among others. She is actively involved in issues of biodiversity, gardening, and sustainable agriculture.

Read an Excerpt


It started with a carrot that had gone on in its second year to make a beautiful lacy umbel of a flower. I was enchanted and began to notice other lacy flowers in my garden that looked similar—parsley, fennel, cilantro, anise, as well as Queen Anne’s lace on a roadside—they are all members of the same plant family, as it turned out. Similarly, small daisy-like flowers, whether blue, yellow, orange, enormous or very small, bloomed on lettuce that had gone to seed as well as on wild chicories, the Jerusalem artichokes, and, of course, the sunflowers themselves. Were they related? They were, it turns out. And did edible members of this group somehow share culinary characteristics as well? Often they did. That led me to ask, What are the plant families that provide us with the vegetables we eat often, what characteristics do their members share, and what are their stories?

Cauliflower with Saffron, Pepper Flakes, Plenty of Parsley, and Pasta
For 4
I love this approach to cauliflower. In fact, I’d say it’s my favorite way to cook it. It’s golden, aromatic, and lively in the mouth. It’s good alone and very good spooned over pasta shells, which catch the smaller bits of the vegetable. Even a small cauliflower can be surprisingly dense, weighing a pound and yielding 4 cups florets.

1 cauliflower (about 11/2 pounds), broken into small florets, the core diced
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for tossing the pasta
1 onion, finely diced
2 pinches of saffron threads
1 large clove garlic, minced
Scant 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Sea salt
8 ounces pasta shells, snails or other shapes
Grated aged cheese or crumbled feta cheese (optional)
Steam the cauliflower florets and core over boiling water for about 3 minutes. Taste a piece. It should be on the verge of tenderness and not quite fully cooked. Set it aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
Heat the oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saffron and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, 6 minutes or so. The steam will activate the saffron so that it stains and flavors the onion. Add the garlic, pepper flakes, and a few pinches of the parsley, give them a stir, and then add the cauliflower. Toss the cauliflower to coat it with the seasonings, add 1/2 cup water, and cook over medium heat until the cauliflower is tender, just a few minutes. Season with salt, toss with half of the remaining parsley, and keep warm.
While the cauliflower is cooking, cook the pasta in the boiling water seasoned with salt until al dente. Drain, transfer to a warmed bowl, and toss with a few tablespoons of oil and the remaining parsley. Taste for salt, then spoon the cauliflower over the pasta, wiggle some of it into the pasta crevices, grate the cheese on top, and serve.
With Shrimp: When wild Gulf shrimp are in season, take advantage of their sweet goodness. Peel 1 pound shrimp, then sauté them over high heat in olive oil until pink and firm, after 5 minutes or so. Toss them with chopped garlic and parsley and divide them among the individual pasta plates or heap them over the top of the communal dish. Omit the cheese.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ~ 1 • A Few Notes about Ingredients ~ 5

chapter one ~ The Carrot Family: Some Basic Kitchen Vegetables and a Passel of Herbs
(Umbelliferae or Apiaceae) ~ 9

chapter two ~ The Mint Family: Square Stems and Fragrant Leaves (Labiatae or Lamiaceae) ~ 45

chapter three ~ The Sunflower Family: Some Rough Stuff from Out of Doors
(Compositae or Asteraceae) ~ 59

chapter four ~ The Knotweed Family: Three Strong Personalities (Polygonaceae) ~ 103

chapter five ~ The Cabbage Family: The Sometimes Difficult Crucifers (Brassicaceae or Cruciferae) ~ 117

chapter six ~ The Nightshade Family: The Sun Lovers (Solanaceae) ~ 173

chapter seven ~ The Goosefoot and Amaranth Families: Edible Weeds, Leaves, and Seeds
(Amaranthaceae and Chenopodiaceae) ~ 215

chapter eight ~ The (Former) Lily Family: Onions and Asparagus (Liliaceae) ~ 243

chapter nine ~ The Cucurbit Family: The Sensual Squashes, Melons, and Gourds (Cucurbitaceae) ~ 277

chapter ten ~ The Grass Family: Grains and Cereals (Poaceae, formerly Gramineae) ~ 299

chapter eleven ~ The Legume Family: Peas and Beans (Leguminosae or Fabaceae) ~ 333

chapter twelve ~ The Morning Glory Family: The Sweet Potato (Convolvulaceae) ~ 385

Acknowledgments ~ 391 • Sources ~ 393 • Bibliography ~ 395 • Index ~ 396


chapter one
The Carrot Family

Chilled Spicy Carrot Soup with Yogurt Sauce
Carrot Soup with Tangled Collard Greens in Coconut Butter and Dukkah
Ivory Carrot Soup with a Fine Dice of Orange Carrots
Carrot Almond Cake with Ricotta Cream
Yellow Carrots with Coconut Butter and Lime
Winter Carrots with Caraway Seeds, Garlic, and Parsley

Salsa Verde with Chinese Celery
Celery Leaf and Vegetable Potage
Celery Salad with Spring’s First Herbs and Mâche
Meyer Lemon and Shallot Vinaigrette
Celery Salad with Pears, Endive, Blue Cheese, and Walnuts

Celery Root Soup with Walnut-Celery “Salad”
Celery Root and Hash Brown Cake
Celery Root Mash Flecked with Celery Leaves
Fennel Stock
Braised Fennel Wedges with Saffron and Tomato

Shaved Fennel Salad with Celery and Finely Diced Egg
Fennel Tea

Parsnip and Carrot Puree
Parsnip-Cardamom Custard
Roasted Parsnips with Horseradish Cream

Rhubarb with Angelica Leaves
Anise Shortbreads with Orange Flower Water
Caraway Seed Cake
Chervil-Chive Butter
Cilantro Salsa with Basil and Mint
Dukkah (Toasted Nuts and Seeds with Cumin)
Dill-Flecked Yogurt Sauce
Parsley Sauce
Braised Parsley Root

chapter two
The Mint Family

Anise Hyssop Tea
Lemon Basil–Mint Lemonade
Basil Puree
Thick Marjoram Sauce with Capers and Green Olives
Orange and Rosemary Compote
Butter Seasoned with Rosemary, Sage, and Juniper

Sage Tea
Sage and Fennel Tea with Fresh Mint
Sage Bread Crumbs
Chia Water
Ground Chia for Cereals
Lemon Thyme Tea
Lavender Syrup
White Nectarines in Lavender Syrup

chapter three
The Sunflower Family

Sunchoke Bisque with Pumpkin Seed Oil and Sunflower Sprouts
Sautéed Jerusalem Artichokes with Rosemary and Smoked Salt
Braised Jerusalem Artichokes with Mushrooms and Tarragon
Creamy Cardoon Soup with Thyme
Cardoon Risotto
Cardoon Risotto Cakes from Leftover Risotto

Steamed Whole Artichokes
A Crispy Artichoke Sauté
Roasted Artichokes
Griddled or Grilled Artichoke Wedges
Braised Baby Artichokes with Tarragon Mayonnaise
Artichokes with Walnut Tarator Sauce
Fall Artichokes, Potatoes, and Garlic Baked in Clay
A Cheerful Winter Salad of Red Endive, Avocado, Arugula, and Broccoli Sprouts
Shredded Radicchio with Walnut Vinaigrette, Hard-Cooked Egg, and Toasted Bread Crumbs
Walnut-Shallot Vinaigrette
Radicchio, Escarole, and Red Mustard with Golden Beets and Avocado
Grilled or Griddled Radicchio with Gorgonzola and Walnuts
Griddled Endive
Braised Endive with Gorgonzola
Treviso Radicchio Gratin
Escarole and Butter Lettuce Salad with Hazelnuts and Persimmons
Sunflower and Frisée Salad
Bitter Greens with Walnut Oil and Mustard Vinaigrette
Escarole, Green Garlic, and Artichoke Stem Tart in Yeasted Crust
Escarole and Potato Hash
Limestone Lettuce Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing
Romaine Salad with Avocado-Sesame and Shiso (Perilla) Vinaigrette
Chiffonade of Butter Lettuce with Parsley and Green Zebra Tomatoes
Butter or Looseleaf Lettuce Salad with Tomato
Salsify, Jerusalem Artichoke, and Burdock Soup with Truffle Salt
Sautéed Salsify with Hazelnuts
Tarragon Mayonnaise with Orange Zest
Egg Salad with Tarragon, Parsley, and Chives

chapter four
The Knotweed Family

Sorrel Sauce with Yogurt
Sorrel Sauce with Watercress, Parsley, and Chives
Creamy Sorrel Sauce
Red Rhubarb–Berry Ice Cream
Rhubarb, Apple, and Berry Pandowdy
Rhubarb-Raspberry Compote

Yeasted Buckwheat Waffles
Buckwheat Noodles with Kale and Sesame Salad
Buckwheat–Five Spice Free-Form Apple Tart
Multicolored Carrot Salad with Rau Ram, Mint, and Thai Basil

chapter five
The Cabbage Family

Braised Summer Cabbage
Wilted Red Cabbage with Mint and Goat Feta
Braised Cabbage with Chewy Fried Potatoes, Feta, and Dill
Savoy Cabbage on Toast
Cabbage Panade

Collard Greens Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Crumbled Coconut Butter
Tangled Collard Greens with Sesame
Long-Cooked Collards with Chiltepins, Spices, and Coconut Butter

Sautéed Mustard Greens with Garlic and Peanuts
Elissa’s Mustard Green Dumplings with Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce
Mustard Butter with Lemon Zest and Shallot
Mustard-Caper Vinaigrette
Mustard-Cream Vinaigrette

Kale with Smoked Salt and Goat Cheese
Kale and Potato Mash with Romesco Sauce
Smoky Kale and Potato Cakes
Shredded Purple Kale, Sun Gold Tomatoes, Feta, and Mint
Tuscan Kale with Anchovy-Garlic Dressing
Kale Salad with Slivered Brussels Sprouts and Sesame Dressing
Kale Pesto with Dried Mushrooms and Rosemary

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mustard-Cream Vinaigrette
Brussels Sprouts with Caraway Seeds and Mustard
Slivered Brussels Sprouts Roasted with Shallots
Cauliflower Salad with Goat Havarti, Caraway, and Mustard-Caper Vinaigrette
Cauliflower Soup with Coconut, Turmeric, and Lime
Cauliflower with Saffron, Pepper Flakes, Plenty of Parsley, and Pasta

Broccoli and Green Zebra Tomato Salad
Steamed Broccoli with Mustard Butter, Pine Nuts, and Roasted Pepper
Broccoli Romanseco with Black Rice and Green Herb Sauce
Broccoli Bites with Curried Mayonnaise

Thinly Sliced Scarlet Salad Turnips with Sea Salt and Black Sesame Seeds
Golden Turnip Soup with Gorgonzola Toasts
Gorgonzola Butter
Turnips with White Miso Butter
Pickled Scarlet Turnips and Carrots
Sautéed Broccoli Rabe with Garlic
Rutabaga and Apple Bisque
Roasted Rutabaga Batons with Caraway and Smoked Paprika
Winter Stew of Braised Rutabagas with Carrots, Potatoes, and Parsley Sauce

Finely Shaved Radish, Turnip, and Carrot Salad with Hard Cheese and Spicy Greens
Spring Garden Hodgepodge of Radishes, Leeks, and Peas
Depending . . .
Radish Top Soup with Lemon and Yogurt

Kohlrabi Salad with Green Onions, Parsley, and Frizzy Mustard Greens
Steamed Kohlrabi Rounds with Lemon and Chives
Kohlrabi Slaw with Creamy Herb and Avocado Dressing
Horseradish Cream
Cress-Flavored Cream Cheese with Nasturtium Petals
Watercress Sauce with Thick Yogurt
Wilted Arugula and Seared Mushroom Salad with Manchego Cheese

chapter six
The Nightshade Family

Potato Soup: One and Many
Fingerling Potatoes Browned in Sage- and Rosemary-Infused Ghee
First-of-the-Season Fingerling Potatoes with Fines Herbes
Yellow-Fleshed Potatoes with Sorrel Sauce
Potato Cakes with Red Chile Molido

Red Chile Paste
Grilled Pepper Relish
McFarlin’s Pepper Sauce
Romesco Sauce
Pimientos Stuffed with Herb-Laced Cheese
Chilled Avocado Soup with Poblano Chile and Pepitas
Sautéed Shish*to Peppers: Summer’s Best New Bite
Smoky Roasted Pepper Salad with Tomatoes and Lemon
Halloumi with Seared Red Peppers, Olives, and Capers
Jimmy Nardello Frying Peppers with Onion
Griddled Eggplant Rounds
Eggplant Tartines
Spheres of Eggplant with a Crispy Coat
Small Plate of Grilled Eggplant with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce and Pomegranate Molasses
Slender Eggplant with Miso Sauce
Roasted Eggplant Salad with Tomatoes and Capers
Eggplant Gratin in Parmesan Custard
Eggplant, Tomato, and Zucchini Gratin

Tomato and Cilantro Soup with
Black Quinoa
Tomato and Celery Salad with Cumin, Cilantro, and Avocado
Beefsteak Tomatoes Baked with Feta Cheese and Marjoram
Nutty-Seedy Whole Wheat Toast with Ricotta and Tomatoes
Comforting Tomatoes in Cream with Bread Crumbs and Smoked Salt
Fried Green Tomato Frittata
Damaged Goods Gratin of Tomatoes, Eggplant, and Chard
A Fresh Tomato Relish
Salt-Roasted Tomatoes
Simplest Summer Tomato Sauce

chapter seven
The Goosefoot and
Amaranth Families

Open-Faced Sandwich of Spinach, Caramelized Onions, and Roasted Peppers
Spinach Crowns with Sesame-Miso Sauce
Supper Spinach
Rice with Spinach, Lemon, Feta, and Pistachios

Quelites with Onion and Chile
Quelites, Mushrooms, and Tortilla Budin
Steamed Beets
Steamed, Then Roasted or Panfried Beets
A Fine Dice of Chioggia Beets and Red Endive with Meyer Lemon and Shallot Vinaigrette
Grated Raw Beet Salad with Star Anise
Chilled Beet Soup with Purslane Salad and Sorrel Sauce with Yogurt
Seared Beets with Walnuts over Wilted Kale with Micro Greens

Sautéed Rainbow Chard with the Stems
Chard Stems with Sesame-Yogurt Sauce and Black Sesame Seeds
Chard Soup with Cumin, Cilantro, and Lime
Chard, Ricotta, and Saffron Cakes
Basic Quinoa
Cucumber Soup with Yogurt and Red Quinoa
Black Quinoa Salad with Lemon, Avocado, and Pistachios
Summer Quinoa Cakes with Beet Greens and Beet Salad
Soft Corn Tacos with String Cheese and Epazote

chapter eight
The (Former) Lily Family

Caramelized Sweet Onions
Pan-Griddled Red Onions
Sweet-and-Sour Cipollini, Small Red Onions, and Shallots with Raisins
Torpedo Onion and Sweet Pepper Tian
Pearl Onions Braised in Cider with Apples, Rosemary, and Juniper
Mushrooms Stuffed with Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese
A Fragrant Onion Tart
Grilled Onions with Cinnamon Butter
Young Leeks with Oranges and Pistachios
Leek and Fennel Soup with Garlic Scapes and Chives
Braised Leeks with Lovage and Lemon
Chive and Saffron Crepes
Ramped Up Spinach Soup with Lovage and Sorrel
Supper Eggs with Ramps
Braised Ramps and Asparagus
Mortar and Pestle Garlic
Garlic Scape and Walnut Pesto
Mashed Potatoes with Black Garlic, Ghee, and Shallots
Asparagus with Salsa Verde and Scarlet Onions
Roasted Asparagus with Chopped Egg, Torn Bread, and Red Wine Vinegar
Griddled Asparagus with
Tarragon Butter
Asparagus and Leek Flan
Asparagus and Fava Bean Salad

chapter nine
The Cucurbit Family

Roasted Squash Seeds
Winter Squash Soup with Red Chile and Mint
Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk, Miso, and Lime
Winter Squash Puree with Tahini, Green Onions, and Black Sesame Seeds
Roasted Winter Squash with Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary
Winter Squash Wedges or Rounds with Gorgonzola Butter and Crushed Walnuts
Zucchini Logs Stewed in Olive Oil with Onions and Chard
Sautéed Zucchini with Mint, Basil, and Pine Nuts
Griddled Scallop Squash
Summer Squash Tartines with Rosemary and Lemon
Ann’s Squash Blossom Frittata
Roasted Delicata Squash Half Rounds with Dukkah and Tahini-Yogurt Sauce
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Winter Tomato Sauce
Melon and Cucumber Salad with Black Pepper and Mint
Cucumber-Lovage Sandwich with Sweet Onion
Lazy Cucumber and Onion Pickle

chapter ten
The Grass Family

Simmered Spelt and Other Large Grains
Grain, Herb, and Buttermilk Soup for Hot, Hot Days
Farro and White Bean Soup with Savoy Cabbage
Frikeh with Cucumbers, Lovage, and Yogurt

Oat Groats
Breakfast Oat Pudding with Raisins, Honey, and Toasted Almonds
Chewy Oat and Maple Pancakes
Quick Bread of Rye, Emmer, and Corn
Rye-Honey Cake with Five-Spice Powder and Dates
Toasted Millet “Polenta”
Golden Millet Cakes
Millet Cakes with Tomato Sauce
Soft Millet for Breakfast or Supper
Barley Tea
Toasted Barley and Burdock with Dried Trumpet Mushrooms
Creamy Barley Soup with Mushrooms and Leeks
Corn off and on the Cob
Corn Simmered in Coconut Milk with Thai Basil
Corn Cookies with Almonds and Raisins
Buttermilk Skillet Corn Bread with Heirloom Flint Cornmeal
Brown Rice with Burdock, Black Sesame, and Toasted Fennel Seeds
Black Rice
Black Rice with Coconut Milk and Egyptian Onions
Collard Leaf Rolls with Black Rice in a Vegetable-Coconut Broth
Black Rice with Wilted Red Cabbage, Yellow Peppers, and Aniseeds
Pea, Dill, and Rice Salad with Lemon Zest
Native Wild Rice
Native Wild Rice with Celery Root and Celery Leaves
Savory Wild Rice Crepe-Cakes

chapter eleven
The Legume Family

Pea, Leek, and Sorrel Soup, Hot or Chilled
Peas in Butter Lettuce
Snow Peas with Sesame Oil, Tarragon, and Toasted Sesame Seeds
Peas with Baked Ricotta and Bread Crumbs

Fava, or Yellow Split Pea Spread
Green Pea Fritters with Herb-Laced Crème Fraîche
Shelling Pea, Corn, and Squash Ragout
Black-Eyed Peas on Rice with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce and Smoked Salt
Roasted Green Peanuts in the Shell
Peanut and Sweet Potato Soup
Peanut Sauce Made with Whole Peanuts
Peanut Butter Cookies Studded with Salted Roasted Peanuts
Golden Beets with Fava Beans and Mint
Fava Bean Hummus with Cumin

Pardina Lentils with Smoked Salt
Lentils with Garlicky Walnuts, Parsley, and Cream
Red Lentil Soup with Amaranth Greens
Beluga Lentil Salad with Cucumbers, Purslane and Green Coriander Buds
Red Lentil and Coconut Soup with Black Rice, Turmeric, and Greens
Green Lentil Soup with Plenty of Leaves, Herbs, and Spices
Soy-Braised Tofu with Five-Spice Powder
Panfried Tempeh with Trimmings
Salad Dressing with Shiro Miso and Sesame

White Bean and Fennel Salad
Pot Beans with Epazote and Corn Tortillas
Rio Zape Beans with Salt-Roasted Tomatoes

Tepary Bean Puree with Toasted Cumin and Mexican Oregano
Tepary Bean Gratin
Blue Lake Beans with Shallots, Pistachios, and Marjoram
Sultan’s Green or Golden Crescent Beans with Basil Puree
Rattlesnake Beans or Haricots Verts with Sun Gold Tomatoes, Shallots, and Olives

Chickpea and Tomato Soup with Garlic-Rubbed Bread and Beet Greens
Crushed Chickpeas with Sage
Crispy Chickpea Triangles
Chickpea Fries with Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise

chapter twelve
The Morning Glory Family

Sweet Potatoes with White Miso Ginger Sauce
Asian Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Butter
Japanese Sweet Potato Soup with Rosemary and Thyme
Sweet Potato Flan with Maple Yogurt and Caramel Pecans

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What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“I have always marveled at Deborah Madison’s deep knowledge of vegetables and her original creations, which taste just as delicious as they sound. Vegetable Literacy is her latest tour de force, a massive well of knowledge that makes you want to read and learn as well as cook. A fine achievement and a real inspiration for me.”
—Yotam Ottolenghi, author of Plenty and Jerusalem

“I have long been a fan of both Deborah’s vibrant food and her many thorough, thoughtful cookbooks. In Vegetable Literacy she offers, with abundant warmth and generosity, observations from years of garden-to-table cooking. Filled with fascinating botanical notes and inspired recipes that really explore vegetables from the ground up—it is a pleasure to read. The writing is beautiful and the lessons are astutely down to earth.”
—David Tanis, author of Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys

“Deborah Madison has taken vegetables to a whole new level. You’ll want to know what she knows—about botany, family pairings, and companion flavors on the plate. In cooking, Madison excels, but she’s also a natural with observation in the garden. Her passion is palpable, her scholarship tops, and her prose exquisite.”
—Amy P. Goldman, PhD, author of The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table

“The are few people equipped with the curiosity, skill, and eye for observation required to construct a volume of this size and scope—and Deborah does it masterfully. Vegetable Literacy will shift the way both home and professional cooks think about the relationship between ingredients, and vegetables in particular. Using this book has felt like a missing puzzle piece snapping into place—inspiring, intimate, informative, and beautifully illustrated.”
—Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Every Day

“For those of us who love vegetables, Deborah Madison gives not only practical tips for buying them, but also a bounty of diverse recipes. This is a monumental cookbook from a gifted writer and one of the best cooks of our time.”
—David Lebovitz, author of Ready for Dessert and The Sweet Life in Paris

“In Vegetable Literacy, Deborah Madison elegantly folds together a joy of gardening, a fascination for botanical kinship, and an expansive knowledge of fine and simple cooking. This book is a nutrient-dense treasure.”
—Wendy Johnson, author of Gardening at Dragon’s Gate: a Work in the Wild and Cultivated World

“In her most exciting and innovative book to date, Deborah Madison shows us how the botany in our gardens can inform and guide our preparation and cooking of meals that will both delight and nourish us all.Come directly from the gardento thekitchen with Deborah, and you will never observe or use vegetables in an uninspired way again. This book feeds our imaginations and souls with more insights per page than any cookbook I know.”
—Gary Paul Nabhan, ethnobotanist and author of Coming Home to Eat and Desert Terroir

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Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes [A Cookbook]|Hardcover (2024)


What is the cookbook for people who don't like vegetables? ›

I Hate Vegetables Cookbook: Fresh and Easy Vegetable Recipes That Will Change Your Mind by Katie Moseman | Goodreads.

What do you call someone who only eats vegetables? ›

Vegetarians don't eat meat for a range of health, environmental, ethical, religious or economic reasons. There are many different types of vegetarianism. A well-planned vegetarian diet can meet nutritional needs during all stages of life.

What vegetables people don t like? ›

Here's the scoop on the most unpopular vegetables in the U.S., listed from the most-hated lowly turnip, with a 27% yuck rating!
  • Turnip (27%)
  • Beets (26%)
  • Radish (23%)
  • Brussels sprouts (21%)
  • Artichoke (20%)
  • Eggplant (20%)
  • Butternut squash (20%)
  • Zucchini (18%)
Sep 30, 2023

What can I do if I don't like vegetables? ›

Play with texture: If you hate mushy vegetables, try raw, shredded, roasted or stir-fried versions instead. Love crunchy foods? Try baked kale or beet “chips.” Enjoy more soups: If the texture of both raw AND cooked vegetables is not your thing, puree them instead.

What to do if someone doesn t like vegetables? ›

Seasoning with different spices, like red pepper or paprika, can help improve the taste. If texture is the issue, blending or pureeing veggies might help. Adding vegetables to a sauce or smoothie might also eliminate any texture issues. People should also try experimenting with different subgroups of vegetables.

What is an extreme aversion to vegetables? ›

Understanding the Genetics Behind Vegetable Aversion:

Some individuals have heightened sensitivity to bitter tastes due to specific variations in these genes. For them, the bitterness in certain vegetables, like broccoli or brussels sprouts, can be overwhelming, leading to a strong dislike for these foods.


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