cover image Milk Street Vegetables: 250 Bold, Simple Recipes for Every Season

Milk Street Vegetables: 250 Bold, Simple Recipes for Every Season

Christopher Kimball. Voracious, $40 (416p) ISBN 978-0-316-70598-1

This vegetable-focused addition to the Milk Street oeuvre falls in line with its predecessors, meaning Kimball (The Milk Street Cookbook) continues cleverly tweaking traditional recipes to create strong flavors. He cadges a Vietnamese technique to craft scallion oil that brightens asparagus, while tomato pie in a crust of store-bought dough bakes upside down like a tarte Tatin. Recipe instructions are clear: Kimball always indicates, for instance, whether an immersion blender is the right choice for pureeing one of a range of tempting soups. The downfall is organization. Chapters are broken down into meze, stir-fries, and the like, and a helpful index by vegetable sits up front, while the occasional sidebar spotlights a single vegetable and then cross-references recipes that use it. Yet assignment to chapters feels random: Why is grilled corn a “Stovetop Standout” when it isn’t cooked on a burner? The distinction between two salad chapters is also hazy. A Malaysian-inspired cucumber and shrimp option is an accompaniment, while “Supper Salads” include a brussels sprout slaw. Repetition rankles: pasta with white beans and broccoli rabe is followed by pasta with white beans and chard. There is much that is appealing here, notably the up-to-date feel and streamlined preparations, but the confounding configuration relegates this to the good-not-great category. Agent: David Black, David Black Agency. (Oct.)