For vegetarians and food enthusiasts weary of soggy carrots, smelly cabbage or lumpy mashed potatoes, the editors of Cook's Illustrated present a tome devoted to vegetable perfection from artichokes to zucchini. Carefully researched and thoroughly tested, each section (organized alphabetically by vegetable) includes an informative history and interesting food facts; tips on how to select the freshest vegetable at the market; and detailed approaches to cooking and serving. The volume answers oft-asked questions about preparing and storing foods, and includes both basic recipes (""master recipes"") and tastier dishes (Green Beans with Sauteed Shallots and Vermouth, Mashed Potatoes with Brie and Tarragon and Glazed Carrots with Currants and Almonds) for each veggie. Step-by-step illustrations on preparation help the home cook master technique: detailed lessons, for example, are provided for preparing artichokes for braising and corn for grilling, dicing an avocado and segmenting an orange. There's a section on why chopping onions can make you cry, as well as suggestions to stop the flow of tears. (Light a candle or wear swimming goggles.)""Best of"" segments are peppered throughout the book, offering the reader results of taste and equipment tests from the Cook's Illustrated staff. Those looking for merely a recipe book may feel overwhelmed by the plethora of information and advice, as the test kitchen staff leaves no ingredient unchecked (they devote 56 pages to potatoes), but chowhounds and home chefs alike should delight at every obsessive and flavorful detail.