Vedge Cookbook Redefines Cooking with Vegetables

November 01, 2013
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vedge cookbook

All Booked Up

The table of contents for Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small that Redefine Vegetable Cooking, the newest cook book from Vedge’s Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, reads like the Center City restaurant’s menu, plate after plate of unexpected combinations (radishes, nori, tamari, avocado) and classics reimagined for the vegetable lover (salt-roasted beets with dill, capers and onions, the farm’s convincing answer to lox).

It’s easy to be distracted by your Dirt List favorites or those magical dairy-free desserts, but the real treat of the cookbook is a peek at Landau’s techniques. He introduces them without fanfare, but the attention to detail makes all the difference. You’ve never given this kind of thought to cooking vegetables before. In conversation, he’s more insistent: “Broccoli rabe is the most mishandled vegetable in history,” he bemoans before sharing the secret. Blanch it, shock it in ice water and then—when it’s cold—sauté it in hot olive oil until vibrant green. Prepared this way, the bitter green is the savory centerpiece of the cookbook’s love letter to the Italian Market: an elegant rabe and roasted pepper bruschetta with a porcini mushroom spread. (Or stuff it all in an Amoroso roll: “The best veggie hoagie you will ever eat.”) —April White

Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small that Redefine Vegetable Cooking
Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby
The Experiment, 2013
256 pages; $24.95

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