Vegetable Harvest NPR coverage of Vegetable Harvest: Vegetables at the Center of the Plate by Patricia Wells. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
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Vegetable Harvest

Vegetables at the Center of the Plate

by Patricia Wells

Hardcover, 324 pages, Harpercollins, List Price: $34.95 |


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Vegetable Harvest
Vegetables at the Center of the Plate
Patricia Wells

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Book Summary

A volume of recipes and culinary tips featuring appetizers, main dishes, and desserts that use fresh vegetables.

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Note: Book excerpts are provided by the publisher and may contain language some find offensive.

Excerpt: Vegetable Harvest

Vegetable Harvest

Vegetables at the Center of the Plate


Copyright © 2007 Patricia Wells
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-06-075244-6

Chapter One

Heirloom Tomato Broth with Tarragon

Bouillon de Tomates à l'Estragon

Serves 12

This delicate soup reminds me of a cool night in early fall, when the garden's tomatoes seem to be at their most flavorful. I see myself in a long white garden-party dress, surrounded by friends in finery and fine moods, and this is the first course of a multicourse feast. This is also a lifesaver recipe: it can be put together in just 5 minutes!

Equipment: A large saucepan; 12 warmed shallow soup bowls.


2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes of varied colors 1 1/2 quarts Homemade Chicken Stock (page 294) 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/3 cup fresh tarragon leaves, finely minced

Instructions Core and peel the tomatoes. Cut them into bite-sized pieces.

In a large saucepan, combine the stock, tomatoes, and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls, garnish with tarragon, and serve with plenty of crusty bread.

* * *

Seared Baby Squid with Parsley and Garlic

Soupions à l'Ail et au Persil

Serves 4 as a first course

Dishes don't get much simpler than this. The popular French duo of parsley and garlic get top billing here, adding zest and texture to the delicate nature of these sweet, tiny squid.

Equipment: A large skillet.


8 ounces small squid 4 plump, moist cloves garlic, peeled, halved, green germ removed, minced 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely minced 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Fleur de sel


Gut, clean, and rinse the squid, reserving the tentacles and leaving the bodies whole. (Or have your fishmonger do this for you.)

In a medium bowl, combine the garlic and parsley and toss to blend. Set aside.

In a large skillet over high heat, heat the oil until hot but not smoking. Add the squid and tentacles and sear, tossing for even cooking, for 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, transfer the squid and tentacles to the bowl of garlic and parsley and toss to evenly coat the squid. Season with fleur de sel and serve.