If you’re familiar with Cook’s Illustrated magazine, then you know all too well how meticulous these recipes have been tested until perfected. Although the book is called “Vegetables” illustrated, it doesn’t mean this is a vegetarian cookbook. While vegetables are dominant, many recipes feature meat or seafood, or make use of chicken broth.
Mashed, roasted sweet potatoes get enlivened with miso, ponzu and maple syrup.
Like Madonna and Bono, you know exactly whom I’m talking about just by that first name.
Dorie Greenspan — the incomparable James Beard Award-winning cookbook writer whose fans are legion.
We always want recipes that won’t fail, that can be counted on, that won’t disappoint. But perhaps no more so than during the holidays when we just can’t afford to have a dish fall flat when we’re entertaining big time.
Greenspan’s recipes meet that criteria. And in her newest cookbook, “Everyday Dorie” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I received a review copy, she delivers a slew of recipes for the food she makes most often at home, whether it be in Paris, New York or Connecticut.
These are dishes that she considers basic, meaning they’re uncomplicated to make, but still pack on a real depth of flavor. Best yet, for most every recipe, she gives suggestions on ways to riff on it.
The 125 recipes all eschew gluten, dairy and grain. They are arranged by occasion, such as “Game Day Buffet,” “Birthday Party,” and “Christmas Breakfast.”
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t mix and match. For instance, the recipe for “Sweet Potato Orange Cups” is actually listed in the “Easter Brunch” chapter. But I think it’s also ideal for Thanksgiving.
You’ll find all your Brown Sugar Kitchen favorites here, including Holland’s legendary Cornmeal Waffles with Apple Cider Syrup and Buttermilk Fried Chicken. All in all, you’ll find more than 80 recipes from everything from Creole Gazpacho to Smoked Buttered Rum. What’s really special about this book, though, is its sense of place. Holland’s restaurant is an intrinsic part of this West Oakland neighborhood. The book celebrates the people that make this area what it is by including profiles of its entrepreneurs, musicians and community leaders.