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OP: Greene on Greens

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by Bert Greene

Workman Publishing, 1984. Paperback. Very Good.

This book is one we offer frequently—or whenever we find ourselves with a spare copy—for one significant reason: KAL founder Nach Waxman regarded it as one of the best books on vegetable cookery he ever knew and used. 

This big (432-page) book takes us—artichokes to zucchini—on an enthusiastic, energetic survey of some 30-odd species (or groups, such as greens), telling us wonderful, sometimes personal, stories and providing more than 450 recipes. Each chapter is preceded by an essay recalling Bert Greene’s days in art school, his little home in New York’s Greenwich Village, or his mother’s kitchen wisdom—all of this interwoven with history and solid culinary instruction. 

Good humor dominates, and the recipes are, simply, one treat after the next: Basque cucumbers, minted fresh peas, pot roast with pumpkins, a New Mexico corn tart, cabbage pancakes. It’s all fresh ideas or new takes on old ones. We know no-one who owns Greene on Greens who hasn’t practically cooked it to pieces. 

Sadly, the book went out of print soon after Bert Greene’s too-early death but copies are to be had, and this one is a nice looking copy of the paperback edition published by Workman in 1984. Clean and unmarked, with light shelfwear and a creased spine. 

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