The Essential Root Vegetable Cookbook by Sally and Martin Stone
The Stones, authors of The Brilliant Bean and The Mustard Cookbook , once again turn their wit and imagination to underdogs of American cuisine. Their vegetable cast, here comprised of bulbs, corms, rhizomes, tubers and fungi, along with roots themselves, now play starring roles in many delightful recipes. Each of 31 chapters is dedicated to a single vegetable, including information on nutritional contents and seasonal availability, tips on shopping, storage, popular preparations and a few new twists. Not just boiled and mashed, the chosen receive cosmopolitan treatment as crepes, soups, gratins, stuffings and more.
Recipe prefaces and chapter introductions contain tantalizing historical nuggets (Caligula supposedly fed carrots, considered an aphrodisiac, to the Roman Senate "so that he could see them 'in rut like wild beasts' "sic ). Sophisticated in concept, while easy enough to prepare, are gilded salsifysic , and carrot beignets with scallion and jalapeno. Expect the Stones to provoke strong reactions with their fighting words: they disdain potato salads for resembling "library paste." With good humor and good taste, they persuade us to join them as underground gourmets.