The Book of Greens
A cook’s compendium
By Jenn Louis
With Kathleen Squires
Published by 10 Speed Press
318 Pages HB

ABOUT BOOK: From one of Portland, Oregon’s most acclaimed chefs comes this encyclopedic reference to the world of greens, with more than 175 creative recipes for every meal of the day.

For any home cook who is stuck in a “three-green rut”—who wants to cook healthy, delicious, vegetable-focused meals, but is tired of predictable salads with kale, lettuce, cabbage, and the other usual suspects—The Book of Greens has the solution. Chef Jenn Louis has compiled more than 175 recipes for simple, show-stopping fare, from snacks to soups to mains (and even breakfast and dessert) that will inspire you to reach for new greens at the farmers’ market, or use your old standbys in totally fresh ways. Organized alphabetically by green, each entry features information on seasonality, nutrition, and prep and storage tips, along with recipes like Grilled Cabbage with Miso and Lime, Radish Greens and Mango Smoothie, and Pasta Dough with Tomato Leaves.

REVIEW: This book blew my mind about the wide-ranging shapes and sizes of the 40 varieties of greens listed inside this beautiful hardback book. I was amazed by what you could create with them. This writing team includes familiar and obscure greens in the recipe mix. The recipe headings include Starters and Snacks, Salads and sides, Fish and Seafood, Pasta, Grains and dumplings, Meaty mains, Drinks and sweets, and Veggie mains.

The authors begin the book with the basics. They talk about getting started. 1. Buy fresh in small quantities. 2. Be gentle with your greens 3. Dress and season salads just before serve 4. Eat fresh and abundantly.

After greens training 101 they kick off the recipes with a chart on salad bowls and how you can be creative. Then they go through the sections I’ve listed above. First, there is an explanation about the dish and the vegetable which include many lovely pictures. The serving size is given (the recipes range from one - two serving size to 12) Then the ingredients are listed. Many of the ingredients you can find in the store but some of the main star greens are hard to locate. On many of the recipes, they give an “Other Greens to Try” option.

The author states, “When I was learning how to cook, I would shop weekly and buy something I had never cooked or eaten before. You should do this too, go to an Asian grocery store and marvel at the varieties that are familiar and unfamiliar. Check out every local farmers’ market you can and talk to the farmers. Ask questions and buy some greens that you have never tried before.”

You can feel the authors passion through their words, they love greens and the adventure in finding them, cooking them and sharing them.

After looking at all the pictures and recipes I don’t feel that passionate about greens. I made Eggplant Puree, Celtuce Frittata and got the ingredients for Kulcha with Celtuce but after re-reading the instructions when I got home I was overwhelmed by the process and steps. I didn’t make it. I never could find Celtuce so I went with the alternative green celery. Some recipes in this book were easy like the Eggplant Puree and some were complicated to create like the Kulcha with Celtuce. My family did not like the Eggplant Puree but loved the Frittata.

I’ve reviewed many cookbooks. This is the first cookbook I’m donating to the library so other “passionate” veggie green folks can enjoy it. If you are as passionate about greens like the authors are this is the book for you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Blogging for Books site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
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