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The subtitle of this book tells you this book is Recipes for The Wide World of Vegetables and Fruits. That’s putting it politely. Now, on the inside of the front cover is a quote: “What the hell do I do with kohlrabi?” And that is what this book is all about.

This is not a small book. It’s over 320 pages and it’s full-sized and it’s a tad heavy. Still, I’m inclined to want to tote it to my local farmers markets. Summer has arrived and the market stalls are filled with all kinds of things. Some of those things I know. Yes, I know what a carrot is and, thank you, I can make do just fine with carrots.

But when I see a summer squash, I pause. What can I do with it? And okra? To paraphrase someone: what the hell do I do with okra?

In a book you ordinarily go to the index and look up okra, hoping it is there. In this book, the table of contents in front shows you that okra is covered on page 298, and the recipes span five pages:

Grilled Okra

Fried Okra with Remoulade

Stewed Okra with Tomatoes, Garlic, Cumin and Peppers

Curried Okra with Carolina Gold Rice

Oh, okay. I have some room to explore with okra.

And with lots of other fruits and veggies.

There are four chapters in this book, one for each season. And under each season, you find a few pages devoted to recipes for each of a dozen or more fruit and veggies. As with okra, the recipes are diverse, suggesting different cooking techniques, ingredients and ways to present the dish on your table.

Among the foods discussed here that you might ordinarily just shy away from you’ll find:

  • Celery Root
  • Kohlrabi
  • Persimmons Sunchokes
  • Chard
  • Salsify
  • Fennel

And even though I said I knew what to do with carrots, it turns out there are some options I had never considered:

Carrot Puree with Chicken Stock and Onion

Fermented Carrots with Galangal and Lime

Sautéed Carrots with Pine Nuts, Malt Vinegar, and Sorghum

Carrots Vichy with Heavy Cream, Chile, and Maple Syrup

Carrot Soup with Brown Butter, Pecans and Yogurt

You know, and I know, that we should eat more veggies and a broader spectrum of them. They are the perfect food: directly out of the ground, offering vitamins and minerals. And, if grown organically, devoid of stuff made by Monsanto. Most of us have a very, very small portfolio of fruits and veggies we buy and actually eat. The Broad Fork is a delightful, flavorful way to expand that portfolio and explore many new paths to enjoyment. Even with carrots.