Who doesn’t love fresh, vibrant food filling their plate? An abundance of produce growing in their gardens? The sweet smell of local markets taking advantage of the spring soil?Vegetable lovers unite! With more than ninety veg-filled recipes, Susie Middleton’s debut cookbook Fast, Fresh & Green is sure to please any culinary palate.
Middleton is no stranger to the kitchen. For many years she was the editor of Fine Cooking magazine with a background highlighting culinary school, restaurant work, recipe developing, food writing, and working for food magazines.
She also has a blog – Sixburnersue.com – devoted to cooking and featuring fresh, wholesome foods. From growing the goods to serving for guests, she loves delicious vegetables, thus leading to Fast, Fresh & Green.
Her goal of the book is to be able to cook these vegetables so everyone will love them; basically forming a guide to delivering a reference chock full of ideas to please the pickiest of eaters.
The book is divided into two parts: Prep and Cook. Prep features stocking your pantry, giving the lowdown on all of Middleton’s favourite flavour influences. Her Cupboard consists of traditional staples, such as vanilla extract and soy sauce, along with some not-so-traditional must-haves, like dried cherries and chili-garlic sauce. Her Counter holds the garlic, onions, oils and vinegars, among them everything from fruity cider vinegar to Eastern-inspired rice vinegar.
She keeps some alcohol on hand – for cooking, of course – and suggest minibottles if you don’t drink, of rice wine, sherry, vodka and wine.
Her Fridge is filled with varieties of cheese, salty means, aromatics and fresh herbs. Her Spice Cabinet begs for you to take a whiff of cardamom, peppercorns and everything in between.
Part I continues with Chapter 2, detailing what to do with all of your vegetables before you start. From choosing the best selection from the grocery store, to storing and prepping, it’s all in there. And if you didn’t know not to put potatoes in the fridge, now you do.
Part II gets into the recipes, with nine chapters devoted to different cooking styles. Each one features the method, equipment needed, and how to cook it, along with a myriad of recipes to test out the technique. It begins with Quick Roasting, highlight dishes such as Roasted Green Beans and Cremini Mushrooms with Rosemary-Garlic Oil, a simple recipe with seven ingredients and a lot of taste.
The next chapter is Quick-Braising, putting out the technique of making the best Cider-Braised Baby Bok Choy and Golden Apples that you’re guaranteed to ever have.
The other chapters that follow fail to disappoint. Hands on Sauteing, Walk-Away Sauteing, Two-Stepping (not a dance, but instead two-step processes), No Cooking, Stir-Frying, Grilling, and Baking Gratins finish it off.
It doesn’t end with the book, though. Middleton says on her blog that she has an alternative mission: saving the planet. She dubs this alternate-self as Sustainablesue, and pens some great environmentally-driven posts in the Sustain section of her site on The Huffington Post Green page.
Vegetarians will relish in the recipes, all of which can be adapted to be meat-free. (Most of which already are). Vegans, too, will be pleased to know that the majority of them don’t include animal products, and if they do, it’s an easy swap of milk or butter.
Intriguing? The recipes taste as good as the book sounds – and you can enjoy those and more from her website at Sixburnersue.com.
The book is available from Amazon.com for just $16.47, a bargain for the wealth of information, tasty recipes, and vegetable-cooking-bible that is fit for your cookbook shelves. Get it now: Fast, Fresh & Green.