How to Get More Plants on Your Plate: A Cookbook Review
The Vegetable Butcher
How to select, prep, slice, dice, and masterfully cook vegetables from artichokes to zucchini
By Cara Mangini
Cara Mangini’s website The Little Eater
Mangini comes from a long line of butchers – the protein kind. She’s taken the professional pride of a cut well-done and applied it to produce.
This is a beautiful book. With clear step-by-step photographs on vegetable butchery, it’s like a culinary course from the comfort of your kitchen.
If I could only own one book on getting more produce on the plate – this would be the book.
What’s in The Vegetable Butcher
Organized: by vegetable type – 53 of them.
Seasons: index breaks down the recipes by season.
Step-by-Step Photos: of vegetable butchery technique.
Direction: each vegetable profile includes selection, varieties, storage, flavor partners, helpful notes, specific cuts, and recipes.
How The Vegetable Butcher is going to improve your life
Confidence: you will know how to handle every vegetable in your life. Knowing how to break down each vegetable and cook it will make moldy produce a thing of the past.
Knife Care: learn how to select and care for knives and cutting boards.
Vegetable Stock: vegetable butchery creates scraps. Mangini includes two excellent recipes for vegetable stock.
Express Creativity: each section includes simple methods of cooking vegetables, along with recipes meant to go freestyle.
Who’s going to need The Vegetable Butcher?
Vegetable Lovers: Yes.
Gluten-free, Keto, Paleo/Slow-Carb, Vegan: Yes, with tweaks.
10 example recipes in The Vegetable Butcher
Grilled and Smothered Artichokes
Grilled Asparagus, Taleggio, and Fried Egg Panini
Caramelized Broccoli with Chili Oil and Parmesan
Cauliflower Steaks with Red Pepper Romesco Sauce and Crispy Breadcrumbs
Creamy Corn Chowder with Spiced and Sweet Pepitas and Cilantro
Baked Eggplant Fries with Tomato-Balsamic Ketchup
Shiitake “Bacon” and Shredded Brussels Sprouts Pizza
Parsnip-Ginger Layer Cake with Browned Buttercream Frosting
Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble with Lime Yogurt and Pistachios
The recipe I’m trying first:
Spaghetti Squash with Sage Brown Butter, Lemon, Hazelnuts, and Parmesan
3 pounds spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
20 small sage leaves (or fewer large leaves, each cut crosswise into 2 to 3 pieces)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra as needed
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts or walnuts (see page 19), coarsely chopped
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
From The Vegetable Butcher Cookbook pg 320
Is this a cookbook you want to own?
If you want to become skilled and efficient wielding a knife? Yes.
If you love variety? Yes.
If you want to be let loose in the kitchen? Yes.
If you want to experiment with a variety of cooking techniques and flavors? Yes.