Fresh Food Fast: Delicious, Seasonal Vegetarian Meals in Under an Hour by Peter Berley and Melissa Clark

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Notes about this book

  • veggie va on March 24, 2011

    I find that I go to this book the most in spring when I am excited about all the good stuff in the market. But when I look through the winter recipes, there are many I want to try. I just need to remember to pull this out when we are eating broccoli and potatoes for weeks on end

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Spicy red cabbage with cumin seeds and tomatoes

    • gastronom on October 05, 2011

      Outstanding flavors in this side dish. Amount of hot red pepper flakes makes this rather spicy--be sure your guests can handle it. Very tasty even with slightly reduced amount of red pepper.

    • happyeater on May 20, 2011

      Don't skip the raisins. The sweetness really balances out the more sour and bitter flavors.

  • Bibb lettuce and radish salad with crème fraiche citronette

    • veggie va on March 24, 2011

      This dressing is delicious. I can't say that I make the exact salad, but the dressing is worth trying for a rich creamy yet light refreshing dressing.

  • Braised spring vegetables with grits, poached eggs, and chives

    • veggie va on March 24, 2011

      This is a great model for an early spring meal. You can vary the veggies by whatever was at the market. I usually just fry an egg (instead of poaching), but the combination of egg, grits (or call it polenta) and veggies with a sauce is delicious.

  • Garlic soup with tortillas, avocado, and lime

    • veggie va on March 24, 2011

      I was under impressed with this soup. The ingredients sound great, but I thought it was too thin and bland.

  • White beans with mustard vinaigrette

    • veggie va on March 24, 2011

      This makes great leftovers to take to lunch.

  • Warm green beans and new potatoes with sliced eggs and grilled onions

    • veggie va on March 24, 2011

      This is great warm and delicious served cold the next day.

  • Broccoli salad with ginger vinaigrette

    • MelMM on March 04, 2012

      Made with broccolini instead of broccoli florets. Excellent flavors and a snap to put together.

    • happyeater on May 20, 2011

      A great broccoli salad that is so easy to pull together.

  • Pasta with spicy cauliflower, chickpeas, and cherry tomatoes

    • mlbatt on April 27, 2020

      Really good. Needed 2 half-sheet pans. Quarantine-substitute shallots for red onions and a smallish sweet potato for the squash (and used dried thyme instead of fresh).

  • Honey-roasted pears

    • MMarlean on October 03, 2010

      Wonderful simple dessert. Also has vanilla in the recipe. The aroma alone was worth making this! Definitely one I will make several times during the fall season.

  • Buckwheat vegetable pancakes with spicy yogurt sauce

    • Astrid5555 on February 12, 2013

      Absolutely delicious! Only issue I had was flipping the pancake because of its thickness due to the vegetables.

  • Autumn tempeh and vegetable stew

    • Astrid5555 on October 28, 2012

      This was a lovely meal and reminded me a little of coq au vin without the chicken and the wine ;-). I added shiitake mushrooms and made the pilaf with bulgur only. However, as with all of Peter Berley's recipes it takes much longer than the intended one hour.

  • Carrot mint salad with currants

    • Astrid5555 on September 30, 2012

      Kids declared this salad to have a grown-up taste, adults loved it! Substituted raisins for currants, which added a nice sweeteness to the salad.

  • Spinach soup with basmati rice and carrots

    • happyeater on May 20, 2011

      Awful!!!! Comes out like green thin water. Absolutely tasteless. Worst soup I've ever made.

    • captious on March 11, 2013

      Tasted really bad. I added more lemon but it didn’t help. Apparently I’m not the only one who didn’t like it. This blogger ( agrees, saying: ”The spinach and carrot soup just wasn’t working for me, to be honest I felt like it was practically inedible.” Rating: F

  • Curried chickpea pancakes with spicy tahini sauce

    • happyeater on May 20, 2011

      A little thick and best with the alternative yogurt dressing suggested. In fact, the yogurt dressing makes this dish. Actually not bad the next day cold.

  • Seared tofu with spicy black beans and mango salsa

    • happyeater on May 20, 2011

      This dish is all about the mango salsa. The tofu and beans are OK but the mango salsa has great flavor.

  • Barley risotto with golden beets, Swiss chard, and goat cheese

    • happyeater on May 20, 2011

      The golden beets are a little too watery against the robustness of the barley. Maybe be better if only use the chard and the goat cheese.

  • Red lentil and sweet potato curry with warm pita bread

    • happyeater on May 20, 2011

      A quick, easy lentil dish that freezes well to take to work for lunch. I use Penzey's sweet curry and it works well here.

  • Sauteed kale with red cabbage and caraway seeds

    • happyeater on May 20, 2011

      A winter hardy robust side dish. Vinegar is key.

    • Dcampos on March 24, 2020

      I always struggled with what to serve with a mushroom risotto. This side dish was perfect. I did make modifications- shaved Brussels sprouts instead of cabbage and spinach instead of kale. I adjusted the cooking times. It's what I had. Delicious with the richness of the risotto.

  • Porcini mushroom and parsley risotto

    • happyeater on May 20, 2011

      Comes out a little watery in pressure cooker but thickens up after sitting awhile. Hearty winter dish.

    • elisarose on January 14, 2013

      This is very tasty. I used only 1/2 tablespoon of butter rather than the 2T called for in the recipe.

  • Spicy coconut sweet potato soup with collard greens

    • happyeater on May 20, 2011

      Made this one night for friends and it's now a friend's husband's favorite dish. He requested she make one year for their anniversary.

    • captious on July 29, 2013

      Neither I nor my husband cared for this dish very much. There wasn’t anything wrong with it per se—it just tasted underseasoned. Although I didn't make the recipe exactly as written. I can't get collards where I live so I had to substitute kale. But the kale didn't go with these southeast Asian flavors. (Not sure if the collards would have meshed better?) Although we didn’t like the dish that much, we had an (Indian) guest over for dinner who quite enjoyed it. He said he doesn’t normally like coconut curries, but this one was excellent! I won't make this recipe again. If I'm in the mood for a coconut curry with sweet potatoes I'll make the recipe from McDermott's Real Vegetarian Thai instead.

  • Lemon lentil soup with spinach

    • Renerr on December 29, 2012

      This is one of my standards--it always turns out well. It's okay to add a large can (28 oz) of tomatoes --if so, decrease the water added. Also the ginger is optional.

  • Thai-style tofu and vegetables in spicy coconut broth with jasmine rice

    • captious on September 15, 2015

      This recipe works perfectly–everything is correct, and it tastes good, but it's a bit boring. The lime at the end helps, but still I felt like something was missing. Given all that coconut milk, I thought it should be stellar. My husband thought the dish was very tasty, but agreed with me that he somehow wanted more of something. Here’s another review I found online that echoes ours, saying: “This is one of the few recipes I’ve made from this book that we didn’t love. It certainly wasn’t bad – we both ate it and enjoyed it. But it’s not the kind of thing I’m clamoring to make again. Most importantly, I’ve got plenty of other Thai tofu & veggie type recipes that are more exciting and delicious than this one.”

  • Chilled cucumber soup with mint

    • macfadden on May 30, 2014

      This was delicious. I reduced the salt to a teaspoon and would reduce it further next time, and might also start with only half a clove of garlic.

  • Lemon-ricotta soufflé with blueberries

    • macfadden on June 04, 2016

      I didn't like this at all. It was too egg-y and ended up tasting like a sugary quiche, rather than custard-y.

  • Lentil and corn salad with sweet peppers and coriander

    • macfadden on June 04, 2016

      Delicious! Though it contains equal volume of barley and lentils when dry, once prepared it is really more of a barley salad, not like a cold lentil dish.

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  • ISBN 10 0060515147
  • ISBN 13 9780060515140
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Aug 05 2004
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 304
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Imprint HarperCollins

Publishers Text

Fresh Food Fast is a collection of mouthwatering seasonal vegetarian menus that can be created in under an hour, from James Beard and IACP Award–winning chef Peter Berley, a culinary instructor, family man, and chef with a passion for delicious meals that use seasonal produce and are easy to prepare.

In Fresh Food Fast, a Food & Wine Best of the Best Cookbook, Berley provides 48 sophisticated home-cooked vegetarian meals—12 for each season. You’ll find recipes for appetizers, mains, side dishes, and desserts, as well as shopping lists, lavish color photos, and game plans that take you step-by-step through each menu.

“Fast” food does not have to be prepackaged and bland. Peter Berley teaches us how we can live without compromise, enjoying fresh, wholesome meals any day of the week.

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