Go green: James Beard Award-winning cookbook author celebrates ‘Vegetables’

Go green: James Beard Award-winning cookbook author celebrates ‘Vegetables’
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

James Peterson doesn’t need to tell you twice to eat your vegetables — he makes them so delicious, you’ll forget they’re good for you.

The seven-time James Beard Award-winning chef and cookbook author is celebrating the release of a souped-up version of his successful fifteenth recipe collection chronicling his culinary adventures with tubors, shoots, legumes, leafy greens, and everything earthly in between in “Vegetables,” a massive and comprehensive guide to you-know-what, on March 28 at the powerHouse Arena in DUMBO.

“Vegetables are so visual, perfect for a full-color cookbook,” said Peterson, also an amateur food photographer, who photographed the entire book himself (save one picture of cardoons, which his dutiful husband snapped in France), and whose updated version of the cookbook includes full-color, in addition to more original recipes. “The book is to let people know, when they find a strange vegetable and come home, how to cook it, but it’s mostly

Make no mistake: just because it’s a vegetable book doesn’t mean it’s for vegetarians — quite the contrary. Peterson’s recipes encourage a (not so) healthy dose of pork fat in your vegetable broth, bacon in your Brussels sprouts and duck confit in your baked cabbage to make eating veggies even more appealing to the most green-averse carnivores, and maybe even inspire adventurousness is typically monotonous diets.

“So many people are health-conscious these days, and vegetables are getting better and better,” he said. “When you think of meat, there are very few types. But with vegetables, they’re so different and varied, and relatively easy to cook quickly.”

Meat eater or not, “Vegetables” is designed to provide the culinarily curious a guide to cooking — and the best way of consuming — the vast array of vegetables available in a globalized world full of farmers markets, organic groceries and CSA shares. In addition to common household staples, Peterson will introduce hungry readers to recipes for cactus pads, amaranth, bitter melon and celery root, among other exotics.

“Food has been absorbed into the mass culture, and we have higher expectations,” Peterson said. “And it’s a very good thing.”

James Peterson at powerHouse Arena [37 Main St. at Water Street in DUMBO, (718) 666-3049]. March 28, 7 pm, free. For info, visit www.powerhousearena.org.