Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Roasted Vegetable - Andrea Chesman

This was originally intended to be a Natalie Perry guest review, but since we've decided to welcome her on full time I hope you'll enjoy her first official RFS review.  Welcome Natalie!  Check out her food blog at http://www.perrysplate.com/

Summary: Why roast vegetables? Because roasting concentrates vegetables’ natural sweetness, resulting in rich, caramelized flavors that render them -- and the variety of dishes you can prepare with them -- irresistible. In The Roasted Vegetable, Andrea Chesman shows how every vegetable imaginable can be oven-roasted to succulent perfection, and she offers a wide-ranging collection of 150 mouthwatering recipes to please even the fussiest eaters.

Contents:
Roasting Basics: Techniques and Equipment
Simply Vegetables: Side Dishes
Snacks, Starters, and Soups
Sumptuous Salads
Vegetable Feasts: Main Dishes
Sensational Sandwiches and Wraps
Pleasing Pasta
Tempting Tarts, Pastries, and Pizzas
Tasty Tofu and Tempeh
Great Grains, Nuts, and Seeds

(Summary and table of contents from the the book - Image from www.bookbyte.com)

My Review: My lukewarm feelings toward vegetables changed to a passionate love when I discovered roasting them. I checked this book out from the library and after several weeks of renewing it, I hoped the library would just give it to me when we moved out of state. No such luck. I ended up buying it soon after.

This book contains simple, straight-forward recipes with (mostly) common, easy-to-find ingredients. The recipes are also very adaptable to suit your family's tastes or to experiment with if you happen to be an adventurous cook. You can switch out vegetables for similar ones your family prefers, and although this is a vegetarian cookbook, you can naturally incorporate meat if you have insistent carnivores at the table. Like the summary mentioned, it’s a great way to introduce or re-introduce vegetables to picky eaters. We tried out the Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas, Black Beans and Rice with Fire-Roasted Vegetables, and Roasted Potato Salad with Parmesan Herb Dressing. (You’ll find moderately adapted versions of these on my recipe blog.) There are very few cookbooks where I'm anxious to try almost everything. This is definitely one of them, and is a perfect source for family-pleasing recipes.

Side Note: For those who insist on having photographs of every recipe in their cookbooks, you may be disappointed. Aside from the photo on the cover, there are no photos within the book, but only simple sketched illustrations of various vegetables. I'm also not into tofu or tempeh (another soy-based meat substitute), so I just skip over that chapter while I'm browsing. That being said, I still love it enough to give it five stars.

My Rating: 5 stars

Sum it up: After roasting vegetables, you'll never look at them the same way again.

For more books by Andrea Chesman, click here.

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