Greens’ high level of flavor and creativity is everywhere, but the cooking is simpler, more relaxed. Here are more than 250 of the restaurant’s most popular dishes fine-tuned for the home cook in straightforward recipes for the way we live today.
This is spirited cooking for every day — from casual lunches and quick weeknight meals to family feasts and elegant entertaining. There are main-dish salads; soups that make a meal; rustic ragoûts; satisfying stews; vegetables on the grill; quick stir-fries; casseroles layered with flavor; innovative side dishes; pizzas, tortilla dishes, and savory tarts; pastas and risottos; warm beans and grains; sandwiches; salsas; pickles; and the famous Greens desserts.
The heart of Greens cooking is to use the best, freshest ingredients — whether from the grocery store or your local farmers’ market. Advice on finding and preparing these ingredients is combined with restaurant tips that simplify work in the kitchen. Through clever use of the freezer and pantry, Somerville shows how to minimize prep time with make-ahead dishes and born-again leftovers. Special features include pairing wine with Greens’ food; advice on stocking the pantry with Asian ingredients, cooking oils, and dessert-making essentials; a resource guide for locally made cheeses; and the Kitchen Tool Box, a decidedly low-tech list of invaluable equipment. A final section on worm composting brings everything back to the source — the earth — and is sure to delight the passionate gardener.
Readers of Fields of Greens love Somerville’s warm, inspiring, friend-in-the-kitchen style. And Everyday Greens is more personal: so confidence-building that even beginners will want to dash into the kitchen and start cooking.
San Francisco Bay restaurant Greens has always had a reputation for innovative vegetarian cooking, and once more Somerville (Fields of Greens) brings together more of her distinctive style in this latest volume. While the Everyday Greens of the title refers to the Zen concept of everyday mindfulness, the Buddhist teaching of bringing awareness and acceptance to every moment of everyday life, most of the recipes could be competently produced at home. Ranging in skill levels, the recipes vary in complexity but are full of flavor. Whether it’s the ingredient-intensive but simple to cook Spring Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce and Thai Basil, dense Debbie’s Pecan Brownies or the composite Baguette with Tapenade, Grilled Peppers, and Fontina, all the recipes are bursting with texture and taste. Mixing the influences of world cuisine whether from the Far East, Middle East or South American, Somerville blends and melds cuisine styles with ease, drawing her inspiration from the fresh and unusual ingredients that have now become readily available. In Somerville’s hands, tofu becomes another ingredient rather than a substitute. Unusually the chapter on ingredients and tools, The Kitchen Cupboard, is located at the end of the book; coupled with explanatory panels throughout the book, this section helps the home cook select items available in most markets, allowing anyone to experiment with vegetarian recipe options and lifestyle.
Adding another cookbook to the series originating from San Francisco’s famous vegetarian restaurant, Greens, Annie Somerville addresses the wide world of vegetable cookery with Everyday Greens. Somerville continues the high-quality tradition of those earlier works, updating both techniques and ingredients as appropriate. Avocado and Tomato Sandwich with Chipotle Aioli makes a perfect lunch, and Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, Brown Butter, and Sage reinterprets a classic Italian ravioli presentation. Since full, rich flavor is particularly critical in vegetarian cooking, Somerville pays close attention to making excellent stocks as bases for other dishes. Filo pastry figures strongly here, both as a wrapper for savory fillings and as a crisp base for desserts. Those who relished the earlier Greens cookbooks won’t want to miss this newest addition to the series. — Mark Knoblauch
In close to 300 original recipes, the new Greens style includes exuberant salads, soups, the legendary crusty Greens pizzas, curries and hearty stews, grilled vegetables, and intriguing turnovers made with filo pastry, tortillas, and savory doughs. And of course there are heavenly breads and the famous desserts, like ginger pound cake with poached apricots and cherries. This cornucopia of brilliant dishes focuses on tantalizing tastes, with a new simplicity, clarity, and liveliness as its hallmark. Annie Somerville, the executive chef at Greens, goes right to the heart of the matter: extraordinary produce that’s bursting with flavor, color, and texture. Some of her favorites–like crinkly Bloomsdale spinach, candy-striped Chioggia beets, succulent Rosefir potatoes–are highlighted in the text for gardeners and farmers’ market aficionados. But the Greens style is above all accessible; ordinary red beets will be just fine if more exotic varieties are unavailable. To help with availability, there’s information on locating farmers’ markets throughout the country as well as sources for plants, seeds, and local resources. Because the garden is at the center of this book, readers are encouraged to try their hand, in tiny backyards and windowsill boxes if necessary. Invaluable growing tips are offered from Green Gulch Farm, the source of much of the stunning produce served at the restaurant. Other special features include a section on low-fat cooking and another on pairing wine with vegetarian food.
All of the abundance and exuberance that the title Fields of Greens implies is here, for the novice as well as the expert, for simple last-minute meals as well as extravagant occasions. For truly inspired contemporary vegetarian cooking, Fields of Greens is the essential sourcebook.
Annie Somerville trained under Deborah Madison, the founding chef at Greens Restaurant. Under Somerville’s guidance as executive chef, Greens has become a culinary landmark. Her work has been featured in Gourmet, Food & Wine, Ladies’ Home Journal, SF, and California Magazine. She also contributed to The Open Hand Cookbook and Women Chefs cookbook.
Somerville, executive chef at San Francisco’s famed vegetarian restaurant, here compiles a useful, if unexceptional, array of meat- and fish-free recipes based mainly on fresh and varied produce, and following in the footsteps of the bestselling Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison. Notable is the chapter on salads, where each combination of greens, vegetables, grains or beans (“corn and bulgur salad with cilantro and lime” and “winter greens with pears, walnuts and warm Roquefort croutons”) is conveniently accompanied by its own dressing recipe. Vegetable stews and curries are enlivened with chilies, citrus and fresh ginger, while most pizzas, like that with artichokes, red onions and thyme, are devoid of tomato sauce. Tarts, savory pancakes, including “spinach cakes with shiitake mushrooms and goat cheese,” companion dishes and frittatas and omelettes are prepared with a fairly light-handed apportioning of calorie-laden cheese and heavy cream. Three basic stocks (vegetable, mushroom and corn) offer flavorful starts for soups. Framed with an introduction about organic gardening at nearby Green Gulch farm and a glossary on produce, the recipes emphasize simplicity of preparation and clarity of taste. Nutritional analyses are not provided. Mark Knoblauch
Fields of Greens, the successor to Deborah Madison’s enormously popular The Greens Cookbook (LJ 5/15/87), is just as impressive as the first book. The restaurant Greens is known for its unique and sophisticated vegetarian fare, with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and flavor. Somerville, the executive chef, presents more than 300 inventive recipes, including appetizing creations like Grilled New Potato Salad, Mushroom Risotto with Leeks and Fennel, and Lemon Pots de Creme, along with lots of beautiful soups, pastas and pizzas, delicious sandwiches, and a variety of sauces and condiments. This book’s appeal will not be limited to vegetarians, and the current rage for “healthy eating” guarantees an even broader audience. Highly recommended. ©1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Edward Espe Brown was ordained as a Zen priest in 1971. He is past president of and resident teacher at the San Francisco Zen Center, and helped found and run the enormously successful Greens restaurant in San Francisco. Over the past ten years he has been leading meditation retreats and teaching cooking classes. Ed brown is also the author of Tassajara Cooking and The Tassajara Recipe Book: Favorites of the Guest Season, as well as co-author of The Greens Cookbook.
The anniversary edition of the book that started a generation of Americans baking–now with exciting new recipes–hailed by the Washington Post as “the bible for bread baking.” Includes 113 fabulous recipes for breads, pastries, desserts, and more. 2 halftones. 31 line drawings.
Mark Bittman, Executive Editor of Cook’s Illustrated:
“I feel a special fondness for this book, which helped launched me on my way to making bread. Edward Brown’s warmth shines through on every page, the recipes remain wonderfully unusual (I love the three-layer corn bread, which I’ve never seen elsewhere), and the overall experience is one of brilliant simplicity.”
Steve Raichlen, author of Miami Spice and High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking:
“Like thousands of cooks of my generation, I have in my kitchen an ancient volume of The Tassajara Bread Book, its gritty with flour, its spine cracked from use, its pages stained with molasses, and dog-eared with decades of perusal. It is the book that taught me how to make bread and its simple wisdom has been present in every loaf I have baked. I heartily welcome this new updated edition of The Tassajara Bread Book and will recommend it with enthusiasm to a new generation of cooks.”