Ruffage: A practical guide to vegetables


Hello friends,

I planted my garden weeks ago, hoping to harvest before we move this summer. The weather has been so cold and gloomy that other than the lettuce… nothing is growing much. I also transplanted from strawberries into containers so they can move with us. Now we need to finalize our housing in Virginia :)

Tomorrow night I will be make one of the recipes below, charred lettuce. I must admit I have never thought to char lettuce - it’s been a wonderful surprise of a recipe.


About the book:

Ruffage, a Practical Guide to Vegetables is not your typical cookbook—it is a how-to-cook book of a variety of vegetables.

Author Abra Berens—chef, farmer, Midwesterner—shares a collection of techniques that result in new flavors, textures, and ways to enjoy all the vegetables you want to eat.

Treasure trove of 300 recipes. Spanning 29 types of vegetables—from asparagus to zucchini—each chapter opens with an homage to the ingredients and variations on how to prepare them.

Ruffage will help you become empowered to shop for, store, and cook vegetables every day and in a variety of ways. You’ll learn about the life and life-giving properties of plants the way a farmer sees it, build experience and confidence to try your own original variations, and never look at vegetables the same way again.

Publish Date: April 23

Author’s website: Abra Berens

My thoughts:

Don’t be fooled, this cookbook includes several meat dishes, from grilled pork chops to cabbage with sausage. Just a quick note worth sharing since I tend to share mostly vegetarian recipes. :)

This book has a wonderful layout. With sections starting with a strong pantry, following by recipes by vegetable. i appreciate that each vegetable begins with a story and instructions on how to buy and how to store. What’s next is a sampling of recipes for preparation styles, from raw to braised, and oven roasted to sautéed.

Recipes I made and enjoyed over the last few weeks:

  • Charred Whole Romaine with Garlic Bread Crumbs: This recipe calls for a hard boiled egg and Anchovy vinaigrette. I do not eat eggs or anchovies so chose to serve this with a fig vinaigrette. Charred lettuce might be unexpected but it was delicious.

  • Sweet Pea Toast: a re-imagining of avocado toast and a welcome surprise! Served with sourdough, you can dip a piece of bread or spread smashed peas with spices and enjoy. I can’t believe I have never seen a recipe for something so simple and delish.

  • Are you familiar with sunchokes? This is a new vegetable for me. I can’t wait to find one and make sunchoke puree with cream and white wine.

This is a stunning book, both visually and with the recipes that fill the pages. I enjoy a cookbook that inspires me to bring it with me to the market.