Messages about eating seasonally are everywhere if you’re into food. They’re in magazines, cookbooks, blogs and on tv cooking shows. Eating seasonally means that your produce will taste better, be fresher and be less expensive than it is at other times of the year, and those are all great reasons to put a little extra effort into seasonal eating. Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables is a cookbook that focuses on produce without focusing strictly on seasonality. It will guide you through the process of picking out top produce and preparing it in a variety of ways so that you get the most flavor out of your food.
The recipes in the book are simple and easy to make. They’re designed not only to showcase these fruits and vegetables in ways that make them look irresistible, but to use them in ways that are so approachable that you’ll find yourself saying “I could make that” even if you’ve never worked with, for instance, radicchio at home before. On top of the full recipes, each ingredient has several “simple uses” listed for it, mini recipes that only require an extra ingredient or two that give you a few extremely easy serving suggestions for working with it. It doesn’t hurt that the photos are beautiful and the recipes are bursting with color, either, since that will only make you want to hit the farmers’ market to pick up produce even sooner.
In a book that is produce-centric, you would expect the recipes to be organized by season, but in this book they are organized by color. This makes the book a little more fun to read – and fun to look at, since the photos take full advantage of those colors – and it also makes it seem a little easier to work with since you will feel a little freer to flip through the pages and not stick with just one season at a time. With the help of this cookbook, you will learn a lot about produce and pick up some great recipes that will help you eat more veggies and enjoy them even more than you did before.