Fields of Greens: New Vegetarian Recipes From The Celebrated Greens Restaurant
The opening of Greens Restaurant on San Francisco Bay in 1979 changed forever the image of vegetarian cooking in America. From the restaurant's imaginative mix of casual elegance, exciting tastes, and a subtle message of health and harmony, a distinctive cuisine was born that has continued to bring joy to many thousands of diners every year as well as to the hundreds of thousands of readers who delight in The Greens Cookbook. In its latest incarnation, the restaurant has evolved toward a lighter, leaner, simpler cuisine, one that keeps all the spirit and refinement of the original menu but depends more on the excitement of sparkling fresh produce and its integral relationship to the dishes it inspires.
In close to 300 original recipes, the new Greens style includes exuberant salads, soups, the legendary crusty Greens pizzas, curries and hearty stews, grilled vegetables, and intriguing turnovers made with filo pastry, tortillas, and savory doughs. And of course there are heavenly breads and the famous desserts, like ginger pound cake with poached apricots and cherries. This cornucopia of brilliant dishes focuses on tantalizing tastes, with a new simplicity, clarity, and liveliness as its hallmark.
Annie Somerville, the executive chef at Greens, goes right to the heart of the matter: extraordinary produce that's bursting with flavor, color, and texture. Some of her favorites--like crinkly Bloomsdale spinach, candy-striped Chioggia beets, succulent Rosefir potatoes--are highlighted in the text for gardeners and farmers' market aficionados. But the Greens style is above all accessible; ordinary red beets will be just fine if more exotic varieties are unavailable. To help with availability, there's information on locating farmers' markets throughout the country as well as sources for plants, seeds, and local resources.
Because the garden is at the center of this book, readers are encouraged to try their hand, in tiny backyards and windowsill boxes if necessary. Invaluable growing tips are offered from Green Gulch Farm, the source of much of the stunning produce served at the restaurant. Other special features include a section on low-fat cooking and another on pairing wine with vegetarian food.
All of the abundance and exuberance that the title Fields of Greens implies is here, for the novice as well as the expert, for simple last-minute meals as well as extravagant occasions. For truly inspired contemporary vegetarian cooking, Fields of Greens is the essential sourcebook.
Annie Somerville trained under Deborah Madison, the founding chef at Greens Restaurant. Under Somerville's guidance as executive chef, Greens has become a culinary landmark. Her work has been featured in Gourmet, Food & Wine, Ladies' Home Journal, SF, and California magazine. She also contributed to The Open Hand Cookbook and Women Chefs cookbook.
An Essential Vegetarian Cookbook
By euphonically - September 1, 2009
This is the best and most reliable cookbook I own. I love it! I've had this cookbook for ten years and I've cook many recipes from it. Here are the pros/cons, depending on how you look at things:
Pros - 1. Totally delicious, reliable, interesting, creative recipes. I have made many recipes from this book. My favorites include the Mexican lentil soup, the broccoli and sundried tomato salad, the coconut banana bread (which I make often, whenever I have browning bananas), wilted spinach salad, pancakes, corn with chilies and cilantro, and there are others. The salads and soups in particular are very good and imaginative. I also love the eggplant lasagne, which I just made. It is what in fact just spurred me to write this review.
2. No tofu/tempeh/faux meat substitutions. There are people who throw every meat type substitute in a vegetarian cookbook. IMO, that's not really cooking. There is no blended silken tofu with added chocolate to make chocolate mousse,... read more
This is the best cookbook I own!
By A Customer - July 7, 1998
I started ernestly cooking vegetarian food a couple of years ago. I have amassed a large resource of vegetarian cookbooks and recipes. The cookbook I return to often, especially when I want to make something I can depend upon, is Annie Somerville's book. Her recipes are always reliable and use ingredients that I can come by pretty easily (in the Northwest). She has taught me a lot about how to cook with recipe explanations that really tell you what you're doing without making you feel you need a chef's degree in order to pull it off. And often, when I can choose between a couple of resources to make the same thing, Annie's recipe tastes better. I wish she would put another cookbook together. Why let Deborah Madsen have all the fun?
By Trillian Bartlett "bartlett617" - May 4, 2005
I don't use much of this cookbook, although it might all be good. I'm recommending it on the basis of the soups, some of which are spectacular. Soups were not in my repertory prior to this book and "The Greens", as recipes frequently turned out flavorless. However,I've made a soup every week or two - using one of these two books - every since "discovery" of them 5 years ago. They might not be easy, but they're very flavorful, interesting and healthy and you can use good purchased organic stock in many cases to cut down the time (else you'll be at it all day, between stock and soup). Some of my favorites from this book are Palak Shorva (Curried Spinach Soup with Toasted Coconut), Winter Greens Soup (a kale/chard/spinach extravaganza), and Morrocan Lentil Soup.
I've also tried some of the curries, and they've been good (although again, fairly time consuming...processing all those vegetables takes a lot of time).
Chapters are: Salads; Soups; Pasta and Risotto;... read more
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