Recipes, Techniques, and Plant Science for Big-Flavored, Vegetable-Focused Meals
by Nik Sharma
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Pub Date 24 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 23 Oct 2023
From the bestselling author of The Flavor Equation and Season: A fascinating exploration of the unique wonders of more than fifty vegetables through captivating research, stunning photography, and technique-focused recipes.
Nik Sharma, blogger at A Brown Table, Serious Eats columnist, and bestselling cookbook author, brings us his most cookable collection of recipes yet in Veg-table. Here is a technique-focused repertoire for weeknight mains for cooks of all skill levels looking to add more delicious and satisfying vegetable dishes to their diet.
Combining the scientific underpinnings of The Flavor Equation with the inviting and personal recipes of Season, this book features more than fifty vegetables, revealing their origins, biology, and unique characteristics. Vegetable-focused recipes are organized into chapters by plant family, with storage, buying, and cooking methods for all. The result is a recipe collection of big flavors and techniques that are tried, true, and perfected by rigorous testing and a deep scientific lens.
Included here are Sharma’s first-ever pasta recipes published in a cookbook: Pasta with Broccoli Miso Sauce, Shallot and Spicy Mushroom Pasta, and more. And vegetable-focused doesn’t mean strictly vegetarian; bring plants and animal protein together with delicious recipes like Chicken Katsu with Poppy Seed Coleslaw and Crispy Salmon with Green Curry Spinach. A wide variety of hot and cold soups, salads, sides, sauces, and rice-, egg-, and bean-based dishes round out this collection.
Featuring more than 100 of Sharma’s gorgeous and evocative photographs, as well as instructive illustrations, this cookbook perfectly balances beauty, intellect, and delicious, achievable recipes.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 32 members
Veg-Table by Nik Sharma. I think I enjoy vegetables as much as the next person. Nik Sharma takes it to a whole new level! The first few chapters are super helpful for understanding vegetables, varieties, seasons, edible parts, tips, tricks, and tools. There is a lot of science incorporated to better help you understand storage and cooking as well.
The chapters begin with an in-depth discussion of the family of plant and then multiple recipes. The recipes are easy to follow and made me feel empowered to try something new.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley and all opinions expressed are solely my own, freely given.
Veg-table by Nik Sharma
I'm so excited to dig further into this cookbook! It starts with about 20 pages of general information about vegetables - history, seasons, parts, families and using them in kitchen. It is organized by vegetable family, and each section starts with a brief introduction including descriptions, origins, and cooking/storage tips. Several recipes using the vegetables follow.
The cookbook includes a clear table of contents as well as an index, and the photography is beautiful.
My one complaint is that there isn't an ingredient list for each recipe. The measurements and ingredients are listed boldly within the recipe, making the reader search through to gather ingredients.
Thank you to #Netgalley and Chronicle Books for a free copy of #Veg-table by Nik Sharma. All opinions are my own.
I am a veggie girl through and through, always have been. I am constantly looking for new ways to try some of my favorites, but also new vegetables to explore and this was such a fun book to go through.
I loved that the book gave us information on growing regions and seasons, it helps you understand why some produce is harder to find than others and when the others are in best conditions. Also made me realize Im storing some of my produce incorrectly.
This isnt a conventional cookbook, and the recipe format isnt ideal. It focuses more on general knowledge and the recipes are there as ideas and support for each section. I will say a lot of these recipes included are not things Id really ever think of making before, but im curious to expand my palette.
This book is probably best useful for people who are really passionate about vegetable agriculture or people who are vegetarian or vegan.
Love, love this book and especially the information in the beginning regarding growing seasons and best ways to use different vegetables. As a family, we are trying to eat more vegetable forward as well as seasonal and this book will be a great tool to help us with that.
I’ve earmarked so many of the recipes and so excited to try them with my family.
This book has a ton of useful information and recipes. It even has information on growing you own veggies and when to grow them and everything. This will definitely help me incorporate more veggies into meals for my family!
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book was around 3.5 stars for me.
This book breaks down recipes by their ingredients. Each chapter highlights difference vegetables as well as similar vegetables in their family. The chapter has recipes based on the highlighted vegetable with tips on cooking them, things to consider when pairing them, and common uses. The way that the recipes are written was a bit confusing for me. Instead of listing the ingredients and then the steps the recipe is written so the ingredients and their amounts are in bold throughout the steps, which can be hard to follow if you're not familiar with what you're cooking.
The first page of the Introduction features a great world map that shows the origins on the vegetables featured in the book. I was squealing in delight and instantly hooked.
Clear directions, additional tips and tricks at the end of each recipe, and great color pictures. I'm very excited to try the recipes, because they do look amazing. And in addition to the recipes, there is a lot of great information on each vegetable featured in the book.
My one gripe... I had a bit of an issue with the recipe layouts. Most recipe books and online recipes have a list of ingredients, followed by the directions. In this book, the ingredients are incorporated directly into the directions. Even though the ingredients are in bold, the layout isn't as clean and it does take longer to figure out if you have all the ingredients to make a recipe.
Overall, an exciting, veggie-forward book.
This is such a fun and unique idea for a cookbook! This is perfect for beginners as it opens by talking about some veggie basics including seasons, varieties, history, and different plant families. I really enjoy that every chapter begins with an overview of the plant family before diving into the recipes. The recipes themselves felt unique but not overly complex. This is a great book for someone just getting into gardening or cooking.
Thank you to Netgalley and Chronicle Books for this review copy.
I enjoyed this book. I love veggies but struggle to think of different recipes or ones that I can get my daughter to eat. I also like to pair foods as much as possible and this book shows you how to do that. Loved the vibrant photos in the book as well.
This is a beautiful cookbook with gorgeous pictures and unique, creative recipes for vegetables. I can't wait to try recipes like Broccoli Za'atar Salad and Sweet & Sticky Brussel Sprouts. This is a cookbook for those looking to up their veggie game instead of sticking with basic recipes. Expect some harder-to-find ingredients for some recipes. My one quibble is that the recipes are written in paragraph form with the ingredients in bold type instead of having a list of ingredients followed by instructions. When I make grocery lists while flipping through cookbooks, I prefer to have an easy to read list of ingredients to glance at. I'm afraid in paragraph form, I might miss something. But overall, a great addition to the veggie cookbook library.
I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
I have been trying to find meatless dinners that aren't just vegan or beans and this was a great resource! I want to eat less meat but I'm not vegan or vegetarian. Just trying to be healthier. Check it out!
This is a visually stunning book. I loved the photographs of all of the vegetables and dishes. I also appreciated the way the book was organized, with general information about vegetables up front and chapters organized by vegetable type with a range of recipes to follow.
The recipes sound delicious, and the few I tried were all excellent.
However, there are a few things that give me pause.
1. The ingredients are listed in the recipe directions and not in a separate list. I find this harder for planning purposes.
2. There are a few mistakes that will hopefully be corrected before printing (such as temperatures being listed incorrectly, etc.)
3. I would appreciate labels for dietary needs (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free specifically). Most recipes are vegetarian or vegan, but not all. I have to eat gluten-free and appreciate when recipes are labeled as such for easy reference.
Overall I would recommend this book for certain audiences- more experienced home cooks, those who love vegetables and are looking for new ideas for how to prepare them, and those who love visually beautiful cookbooks!
Veg-table is the most beautiful cookbook full of new ideas on how to cook vegetables. As a pescetarian I’m always looking for vegetable-forward cookbooks to add new recipes to my repertoire. I know I’ll be referencing this one a lot and continuing to try new recipes.
The photos are stunning and I love that each section has an intro for that vegetable. I also enjoyed the notes at the bottom of each recipe.
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC of this book. What a wonderful cook book. Being a diabetic I have been searching for more veggies recipes and this book nailed it!!
A wonderful kitchen companion full of delicious vegetable dishes. The book starts out with some helpful advice on the difference between fresh and processed vegetables, the growing seasons, and plant families. The recipes are then categorised by vegetable, which I found super helpful as it makes it easy to quickly find recipes for whatever vegetables are in season. The vegetable chapters start out with the origins of the vegetable (eg origins of onions etc) which was an interesting bit of extra information I really enjoyed, and continued on to include cooking tips, best methods of storage, and then the recipes. It's an easy to follow book with lots of extra helpful information added in. Rich and moody rustic style photography makes every dish look delicious and full of flavour. There are so many standout recipes in this book that I can see it being a favourite cookbook that gets a lot of use.
This is also a beautiful book that packs a lot of information into one book. It isn't just a cookbook. There is information on the history of vegetables, how they are grown, and what parts are eaten. There is also a discussion of properly storing vegetables. All of this is nice if you're a new cook but if you are a seasoned vegetable cook and/or eater it is all pretty common knowledge.
The rest of the book is organized by type of vegetable. There are even a few vegetables in here that I've never cooked. The photography is absolutely gorgeous.
Unfortunately, I wasn't inspired by the recipes. I didn't bookmark any that I really wanted to try. This book can be a good reference because there are brief explanations of each type of vegetable before the recipes but I don't think that I would use this one.
Nik Sharma is an auto-buy author for me. I think he is one of the most interesting cooks writing today. Veg-table is more contained, and a little less daunting than The Flavor Bible, but it isn’t less exciting. If you are new to Nik Sharma, this is a great place to start.
To clarify, Veg-table: Recipes, Techniques and Plant Science for Big-Flavored, Vegetable-Focused Meals is not a vegetarian or vegan cookbook. Some of the recipes do have meat and dairy, and some do not. Vegetables are the star and Sharma has divided them by family. He gives us a lot of great information about veggies, the science and history as well as how to store them and use them. Veg-table is lighter on Sharma’s other love, science, but there’s still plenty to geek out to. And as I have come to expect, the photography is lush.
I’ve made a few of the dishes, though not as many as I would like because it is too hot to do much cooking right now. But everything I made was fantastic. I made the Corn Cakes with Sichuan Chive Butter, and served them with smoked salmon and an arugula salad. I can’t eat dairy, so I made the spicy compound butter with Earth Balance and it worked fine. The Saffron Lemon Confit with Alliums + Tomatoes made my house smell amazing and as soon as it isn’t a million degrees Fahrenheit I’m going to make it again. The Guajillo Chilli Salsa that he pairs with roasted sweet potatoes is a keeper in my house. It’s spicy enough to make me happy and mild enough for my housemate. It’s great on everything.
The one thing I don’t like, and it’s definitely not a deal breaker, is the way he incorporates the ingredient list into the recipe. I understand why he’s doing it, but for the way that I, personally, process information, it’s a struggle. I like that ingredients are bolded in the recipe, but not having a separate ingredient list makes planning a chore for me. Obviously, this is not a deal breaker, but if you are like me, you will need to write out the ingredients list separately.
It’s out in October and will be a late birthday present to myself.
I received this as an advance reader copy from Chronicle Books and NetGalley. My opinions are my own, freely and honestly given.
A gorgeous book devoted to showcasing and celebrating vegetables. Each vegetable or group is introduced by a brief telling of the history and origin, then progresses to storage and cooking tips. The recipes are inventive and playful, but the ingredients and techniques never feel out of reach. Helpful cook's notes are also provided to keep those with less experience on track. And did I mention how gorgeous this book is? The photography is spectacular.
Gorgeous book! Cover to cover there’s at least one recipe for a wide variety of vegetables. Easy to follow cooking directions and a plethora of uses to cooking tips, tricks and storage.
What did I like? I love looking at foodie pictures and this went a step further with some basics about the vegetables. Would I use most of the recipes….. probably not. I’m basic when I cook.
Would I recommend or buy? If you’re looking for ways to spice up some veggies this might be it. I’m more into bowls or vegan so this doesn’t have that flair. Four stars for me!
I received a complimentary copy to look at and this is my opinion.
TLDR: Inventive, exciting recipes to up your vegetable cooking game!
Veg-table by Nik Sharma was fantastic! I love that at the beginning of each chapter he talks about the vegetable (or vegetables in many cases since it's usually a category of vegetables per chapter) and gives how to cook it, how to prep it, and how to store it, Some of the vegetables listed (ex: cassava, nopalitos) I had heard of or seen at the store or market but didn't know how to use, so having detailed explanations were helpful. With that said, most are common enough (yams, okra, carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, onions, chard, spinach, etc) that people won't be intimated by the book and able to find the vegetables easily. The recipes are creative and included combinations I had never thought of but instantly wanted to try (ex: Golden Za'atar Onion Rings with Buttermilk Caraway Dipping Sauce, Roasted Fruit & Arugula Salad). I can't wait to own this book once it's out! Another keeper from Nik Sharma!
Cons: Some ingredients in recipes might be harder to locate (ex: some spices, kefir--though you can buy that at Aldi now!).
Veg-table by Nik Sharma is a gorgeous cookbook. Every picture of vegetables and prepared food is beautiful. The photographs are vibrant, popping off the page. The instructions are easy to read with bold typeface for the ingredients. This book is essentially an encyclopedia of every type of vegetable and how to prepare and eat them. I’ve always had concerns about trying a new vegetable at home because I was concerned about how to clean, cut, cook, and eat a new-to-me vegetable. This will be my go-to reference book because I want to try every recipe in this guide.
Thank you to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a beautiful book that I genuinely learned many tips and tricks from. I think Sharma’s experience is incomparable, and as someone who is trying to cook more vegetables and vegetarian food this book is invaluable.
My one piece of feedback is that I find the recipe format inaccessible. I like cookbooks that bold the ingredients in the recipe AND has a list the best, but I understand that would really inflate the page count. However, as a disabled reader I find lists instead of narratives easier to understand.
I am working still incorporating more vegetables and vegetarian dishes into my family's dinner rotation so was pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this book.
For cookbooks, I need to have a picture for each recipe. The photos in this book are absolutely gorgeous. Each recipe has a photo and there are many more.
I like how the book sections are about different vegetables. There's great information about each vegetable category.
The recipes are varied and creative. The author explained that she was intentionally using a non-traditional format for the recipes. The ingredients are embedded in the recipe instead of lifted separately. Personally, I find the format challenging, but it may be preferable for others. The recipes are also in paragraph format, so they are difficult to skim. Many of the recipes do look delicious. I think with the more traditional formatting (separate ingredient list and step by step instructions) I'd be more likely to try them.
Veg-table is a fun and inventive cookbook chock full of information and recipes for different vegetables. I love that the book is divided into parts based on vegetable type. It makes it so easy to look up recipes that way!
The recipes are varied, tasty, and delicious. The pictures are mouthwatering and beautiful. This is a must-have if you are a veggie lover or are just looking for new ways to showcase veggies for yourself and your family!
Thanks Netgalley for the opportunity to review this eARC in exchange for my honest review on the book!
Things I liked:
- beautiful photos of produce (vegetables)
- history and origins of various vegetables
- explanations of edible parts
- tips for selection and storage
- "new" recipe ideas
Things I didn't like:
- the organization (more on that below)
- the recipe format (more on that below)
- metric measurements are provided (e.g. 1/2-inch (13mm), 1 cup (240ml), 1/2 cup (5g), 1 tsp)
- no nutritional information
- recipe directions spill across multiple pages
- unusual ingredients (with a note below)
- directions aren't numbered by steps
In a book dedicated to vegetables, I would expect each vegetable to get its own "section" or for similar vegetables to be grouped together such as alliums (onions, garlic, chives, etc together or a leafy greens section)
However, that's not how it is presented. Yams are not with sweet potatoes (or cassava, or winter squashes) they each have their own section, which I suppose is fine, but why not put them next to each other? And why are beets with spinach? Corn with bamboo? Cucumber and pumpkin? Chickpeas and Jicama? I couldn't think of anything these items have in common nutritionally, historically, regionally, flavor-ly, texture-ly, etc. The author does explain his groupings. For example corn and bamboo are from the "grass family" but I think a different organization would be more sensical, intuitive, and logical.
I have never seen this type of formatting in a cookbook and HATE it with a capital H. It is something hard to describe and I wish I could imbed a photo (forgive me I'm not that tech savvy).
There is no LOI (list of ingredients). Rather it's an entire page of paragraphs with the ingredients in bold as you read through paragraphs. I'm an experienced cook and found it very difficult to follow and I hated that I had to read through several times to catch what the ingredients are.
The purpose of the book (I assume) is to get the reader to try new and different vegetables to them. To that extent, I rather liked seeing recipes using cassava, okra, and mung bean, which I rarely see utilized in cookbooks, plus I had never heard of horse beans and cowpeas prior to reading this cookbook.
I am not going to find any of those items at my local farmers market, health store, or big box supermarket chain. It isn't just these 'vegetables' either, there are many other ingredients I wouldn't be able to find or would be incredibly expensive for me and I live in a bougie PNW town.
HOWEVER the majority of the ingredients are things I already have in my kitchen regularly. The bulk of ingredients are simple, normal, whole foods. You are truly cooking from scratch, which I like.
I would describe the recipes here as "gourmet" or "foodie" but despite their fancy names (and many paragraphs worth of preparation steps) I don't think they're terribly difficult and labor-intensive. The wordy directions and horrible recipe format do a major disservice to ease, however.
The author has loved growing things sice she was a girl growing up in India and it shows! This book contains explanations for the differences between vegetables and fruit, charts for growing seasons, the edible parts of a plant and single and double leaved seeds!
You are presented with a list of cooking tips that show you how to prepare vegetables for roasting, crispness and using spices on them to give you the maximum flavor and tenderness. The means of where different types of vegetables are stored and how long they are stored will give you the optimum freshest vegetables.
There are recipes for many types of vegetables; the shallot and spicy mushroom pasta looks delicious with large pieces of mushroom and fresh sprinkles of parmesan, the corn cakes with Sichuan butter look like tasty pancakes with a crumbly thick sauce and the mashed yams with tomato sauce have a almond topping and a three layer presentation that look mouth - waveringly good!
You will need to follow the detailed instructions to make your food as tempting as Nik's! Love the pics!
A beautiful book and an captivating celebration of vegetables. This cookbook is for people who want to take a deep dive into the plants that feed us. It’s for cooks who are fairly comfortable in the kitchen and who like new flavors and fresh combinations.
A number of organizational and editorial choices make it less friendly for cooks who want to dip in to find a delicious dinner and make it without a bunch of fuss or distraction. It doesn’t list ingredients separately. The description and chatty comments are at the end rather than as an intro to the recipe. The Cook’s Notes are sometimes the helpful bits of info to make the recipe succeed, but the other times they are just interesting tidbits that would have been great to have read about in an intro.
It’s divided by plant family which is fascinating, but cumbersome in execution, since some plant families have a whole bunch of vegetables and others only one. Brassicas (cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, collards, cauliflower, romanesco, radishes, arugula, kale, mustard greens + watercress) get 20 pages and the mallow family (okra) gets 14 pages.
On the whole, I like this gorgeous book and the recipes are yummy and inspired. I can’t wait to cook more from it. It’s an interesting read, but it is not a book I’ll reach for first or second when I sit down to plan my week of meals.
Thanks to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for the preview copy.
From the bestselling author of The Flavor Equation and Season : A fascinating exploration of the unique wonders of more than fifty vegetables through captivating research, stunning photography, and technique-focused recipes.
"Groundbreaking, inspiring, Nik Sharma’s Veg-Table is everything I’d hoped for and more!”—Nigella Lawson, author of Cook, Eat, Repeat
Nik Sharma, blogger at A Brown Table , Serious Eats columnist, and bestselling cookbook author, brings us his most cookable collection of recipes yet in Veg-table . Here is a technique-focused repertoire for weeknight mains for cooks of all skill levels looking to add more delicious and satisfying vegetable dishes to their diet.
Combining the scientific underpinnings of The Flavor Equation with the inviting and personal recipes of Season , this book features more than fifty vegetables, revealing their origins, biology, and unique characteristics. Vegetable-focused recipes are organized into chapters by plant family, with storage, buying, and cooking methods for all. The result is a recipe collection of big flavors and techniques that are tried, true, and perfected by rigorous testing and a deep scientific lens.
Included here are Sharma’s first-ever pasta recipes published in a Pasta with Broccoli Miso Sauce, Shallot and Spicy Mushroom Pasta, and more. And vegetable-focused doesn’t mean strictly vegetarian; bring plants and animal protein together with delicious recipes like Chicken Katsu with Poppy Seed Coleslaw and Crispy Salmon with Green Curry Spinach. A wide variety of hot and cold soups, salads, sides, sauces, and rice-, egg-, and bean-based dishes round out this collection.
Featuring more than 100 of Sharma’s gorgeous and evocative photographs, as well as instructive illustrations, this cookbook perfectly balances beauty, intellect, and delicious, achievable recipes.
As someone who is a relative newbie to cooking, I found this book to be informative and very helpful. Will recommend.
"Veg-table" by Nik Sharma is a true culinary gem, earning a solid five-star rating. This book brilliantly combines captivating research, stunning photography, and technique-driven recipes, offering an exploration of over fifty vegetables. Sharma's meticulous approach includes insights into each vegetable's origins, biology, and unique qualities, making it a valuable reference and extra interesting read. Practical tips on storage, buying, and cooking methods ensure successful culinary ventures.
The recipes in "Veg-table" are a testament to Sharma's expertise. Meticulously tested and enriched with a scientific lens, they cater to diverse tastes. Whether you're craving innovative pasta dishes or the fusion of vegetables with animal proteins, this book has you covered. From hot and cold soups to sides, sauces, and more, it offers a comprehensive vegetable-centric culinary experience.
I get very picky about book covers and internal designs and I am thrilled to say this book does not disappoint. The visual appeal of "Veg-table" is striking, with over 100 gorgeous photographs and instructive illustrations that elevate the reading experience. This cookbook seamlessly balances aesthetic beauty, intellectual depth, and practicality, making it a valuable addition to any kitchen.
In summary, "Veg-table" is a must-have for both seasoned cooks and novices looking to elevate their vegetable-based cooking. Nik Sharma's meticulous research, artistic photography, and mouthwatering recipes make this book a culinary masterpiece. It's a five-star gem that deserves a prominent place on your bookshelf.
*This cookbook presents a vegetable forward set of recipes. The range of recipes is good but as with most cookbooks of this type, you have to like the vegetables that the author chooses or it can be a miss.
*What I liked best about the book is that the beginning of the book “nerds out” with information about vegetables: where you can find certain vegetables and the growing season, what can be stored with what, and how to cook. This introductory section provides a relevant information, even for seasoned chefs. Also the author includes meat and seafood in some of the recipes. These recipes can serve a flexitarian lifestyle and especially families where not everyone has embraced a vegetarian/vegan way of eating.
*I made several dishes from the book; the recipes were good and I’d make many of them again. The very first dish I tried was the Black Beans, corn and gochujang saag. It has all the ingredients that I love and I made it twice (once with sriracha because gochujang was unavailable and the second time with gochujang). Both times were flavorful and I almost liked it better with sriracha (showing the flexibility of the ingredients for different flavor profiles). If your cooking has moved more toward vegetables, this cookbook has a lot of good ideas.
A beautiful book full of vegetables I have heard of and some I haven’t. I enjoyed the photography and can't wait to thoroughly dive into each of the recipes. I have made a few that have already been a hit.
A couple of items I noticed:
1. Some ingredients might be hard to find in a normal supermarket or farmers market.
2. I wish it was organized better. Nik had an interesting way of putting certain vegetables together (which he explained).
3. I also understand why he does it, but the author incorporates the ingredient list into the recipe which can be hard for some cooks who like to plan ahead.
I want to thank NetGalley, Nik Sharma and Chronicle Books for the e-ARC of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are honest, my own and left voluntarily.