Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables by Abra Berens

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Cabbage with sausages, apples, mustard + cheddar

    • mcvl on December 14, 2020

      I used heavy cream (no fillers) instead of olive oil, would recommend everyone else do the same. A lovely dish, uncomplicated and satisfying.

  • Charred whole romaine with hard-boiled egg, anchovy vinaigrette, and garlic bread crumbs

    • mcvl on May 25, 2020

      Changed the proportions, so it was eggs with romaine rather than romaine with eggs. Very much to my liking.

  • Collards with sausage + apples

    • mcvl on February 19, 2021

      Nice. I have had this book for a while but am just starting to use it. I made this with kale, breakfast sausages, the white wine variant, and some lovely tart apples from my Imperfect Foods delivery.

    • mcvl on February 19, 2021

      Oh! My dear husband just cubed and roasted some sweet potatoes, and I stirred some in. V. good.

  • Cucumber salad with chili oil, melon, feta + mint

    • Astrid5555 on July 17, 2021

      A little disappointing but I had a bitter cucumber and did not manage to get rid of the bitterness. Used the “Everything oil” from To Asia, with Love instead of the chilli oil, worked well.

  • Roasted parsnips with fresh goat cheese, pecans, and pickled apricots

    • dinnermints on January 02, 2020

      Overall, this seemed a bit dry. Granted, my husband ended up being the one to make it and I don't know how much olive oil he ended up putting in (likely more than I would have). He took it to a party, and I stayed home and drizzled some reduced balsamic vinegar over it, which I think improved it. It may just be that there is something sneakily potato-ey about a parsnip...a mystifying vegetable.

  • Green beans with eggplant, tomatoes + chickpeas

  • Charred green beans with crispy chickpeas and curry yogurt

    • mzgourmand on July 25, 2020

      Fantastically delicious. My only comment - and I am far from a fat-phobe - is that I think the amount of total oil could have been reduced a bit. But this is now a definite favorite.

  • Turnip and potato mash with salmon, spinach, turnip, sherry vinaigrette

    • grindabod on September 02, 2020

      I really liked this dish, I think it's a great way to get to know turnip if you're not that familiar with it. In Belgium, the only way you grow up eating this vegetable is in a stew called "Hutsepot", where they're pretty much boiled to death. My boyfriend - although having eaten his fair share of Hutsepot turnips in the course of his life - had a bit of a hard time getting used to its actual taste. Let's try this again a couple times!

  • Stewy eggplant with grilled chicken thigh + arugula

    • TonyInSeattle on February 05, 2020

      This recipe was very good, and endlessly tweakable. I made it pretty much as is for the first round. Be aware, it makes a LOT. I used a 7 quart Dutch oven, and that really wasn’t big enough until the eggplant cooked down a little. I also needed to cook it a bit longer than the recipe stated. Even then, I gave it some extra time with the lid off to encourage thickening. For the second night, I added some chickpeas to the stew and topped it with crumbled feta, basil and mint — it was even better. A few olives tossed in would have been good too. All in all, it’s a solid albeit a bit plain stew that makes a good base for many different kinds of meals.

  • Smoky eggplant pasta with pounded walnut relish, mozzarella, and basil

    • TonyInSeattle on January 31, 2020

      This was a phenomenal recipe and not very difficult at all. I highly recommend grilling the eggplant or otherwise finding a way to imbue it with the smoke. Instead of a food processor, I whirred the eggplant, oil and salt in a Vitamix, which worked well to make smooth sauce. The smoky flavor of the eggplant was phenomenal. I’m a lemon lover, but I think next time I would ease up on the lemon just a little bit because it can overpower the wonderful eggplant flavor. We made four servings out of this recipe and they were quite generous portions, especially if you’re serving salad or something on the side. This would also make a great cold pasta dish for a picnic (with a little extra salt), maybe with some grilled chicken thighs chopped and mixed in. Highly recommended.

  • Grilled pork chops with garlic and kale relish

    • Indio32 on October 18, 2020

      Pretty standard Nothing to write home about. Served with buttered mash potato.

  • Crudité salad with ranch dressing

    • Christinalego on June 02, 2020

      This is a great, easy recipe for buttermilk dressing, or ‘ranch.’

  • Cauliflower with massaged kale, lemon vinaigrette + Parmesan

    • cheekyjen on November 07, 2020

      Seems like a lot of garlic but was not overpowering.

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Reviews about this book

  • Food52

    It's user-friendly as can be—the chapters are organized alphabetically by vegetable (from asparagus to turnips), broken down by technique (like braised or puréed), and bolstered with riffs...

    Full review
  • Food52

    An interview with the author.

    Full review
  • Kitchn

    Think of Abra as your Vegetable 101 Professor, here to rewire your brain and fill it with creative ways to put vegetables front and center.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 1452169322
  • ISBN 13 9781452169323
  • Published Apr 23 2019
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 304
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Chronicle Books

Publishers Text

Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables is not your typical cookbook—it is a how-to-cook book of a variety of vegetables. Author Abra Berens—chef, farmer, Midwesterner—shares a collection of techniques that result in new flavors, textures, and ways to enjoy all the vegetables you want to eat. From confit to caramelized and everything in between—braised, blistered, roasted and raw—the cooking methods covered here make this cookbook a go-to reference.

Treasure trove of 300 recipes. Spanning 29 types of vegetables—from asparagus to zucchini—each chapter opens with an homage to the ingredients and variations on how to prepare them. 140 photographs show off not only the finished dishes, but also the vegetables and farms behind them.

Vegetables as a side or a main. Take any vegetable recipe in this book and add a roasted chicken thigh, seared piece of fish, or hard-boiled egg to turn the dish into a meal not just vegetarians will enjoy. Some bound-to-be favorite recipes include:

• Shaved Cabbage with Chili Oil, Cilantro, and Charred Melon
• Blistered Cucumbers with Cumin Yogurt and Parsley
• Charred Head Lettuce with Hard-Boiled Egg, Anchovy Vinaigrette, and Garlic Bread Crumbs
• Massaged Kale with Creamed Mozzarella, Tomatoes, and Wild Rice
• Poached Radishes with White Wine, Chicken Stock and Butter

Ruffage will help you become empowered to shop for, store, and cook vegetables every day and in a variety of ways. You'll learn about the life and life-giving properties of plants the way a farmer sees it, build experience and confidence to try your own original variations, and never look at vegetables the same way again.

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