Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
The Victory Garden Cookbook
(Alfred A. Knopf) ISBN 978-0394707808 039470780X
This vegetable cookbook contains more than 800 recipes for vegetable appetizers, soups, salads, relishes, main courses, breads, pies, cakes and cookies. You will learn about organic vegetable gardening, harvesting vegetables, how to prepare, cook and preserve vegetables, as well as ways to use leftover vegetables.
Author Marian Morash was a cook on The Victory Garden cooking and gardening TV show series, named after post-WW II victory gardens.
This well-organized vegetable cookbook is ideal for gardeners who want ideas on how to use bumper crops of tomatoes, zucchini and other vegetables. It is also a great cookbook for non-gardeners who prefer to cook with fresh vegetables rather than frozen or canned.
The 373-page Victory Garden Cookbook is arranged alphabetically, by vegetable, from asparagus to zucchini. Marian Morash introduces each chapter with gardening information and cooking tips. For example, kale can provide fresh greens from November to February. You can harvest kale from under the snow because it withstands severe frost.
Vegetable recipes range from popular to unusual. For example, the corn chapter has recipes for corn chowder, as well as corncob syrup, perfect for serving with corn fritters. You can also find recipes for unusual vegetables, like salsify, celeriac and Jerusalem artichokes, as well as common vegetables.
Each chapter includes information on cooking fresh vegetables. The onion chapter contains instructions on how to braise, bake, grill, boil, steam and sauté onions. Recipes illustrate each cooking technique.
You will find more than vegetarian recipes in this garden cookbook. Several Victory Garden recipes include meat, fish, eggs and cheese.
Garden vegetable cookbook
For non-gardeners, Marian Morash offers shopping advice, e.g., buy endive wrapped in dark paper, which protects them from becoming bitter when exposed to light.
Color photos by Bill Schwob and James Scherer depict growing, harvesting, preparing, cooking and eating fresh garden vegetables. Other photos portray Victory Garden Cookbook recipes, like sweet potato waffles.
Mixed vegetable dishes
The mixed vegetables chapter of the Victory Garden Cookbook has recipes that combine vegetables, like vegetable terrine and vegetable tempura.
The appendix to the vegetable cookbook explains how to grow lovage, tarragon, thyme and other herbs. It includes recipes for vegetable batters, sauces and dressings, such as beer batter and yogurt herb dressing.
How to freeze and preserve vegetables
A special information section includes vegetable yields. How many cherry tomatoes are in one pound? About 24. It also gives vegetable storage advice, e.g., don't store raw sweet potatoes in the fridge.
Preserving advice varies with the type of vegetable. Marian Morash explains how to freeze snap beans, how to dry shell beans and how to pickle green snap beans. She also provides recipes for leftover vegetables, like donuts made from leftover mashed potatoes.
Sample vegetable dishes
Oven asparagus puff. Beet chutney. Broccoli and crabmeat crepes. Stewed red cabbage with Italian sausage. Carrot orange bars. Corn pancakes. Oriental eggplant salad. Cream of fennel soup. Kale pie. Kohlrabi and chicken stew. Leek and pork pie. Parsnip pecan cake. Pepper and cheese bake. Pumpkin ginger ice cream. Spinach crepes. Squash fritters. Zucchini, tomato and cheese pie. Squash cookies. Sweet potato bread.
- Brussels Sprouts
- Jerusalem Artichokes
- Onion Family
- Salad Greens
- Squash (summer)
- Squash (winter)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Swiss Chard
- Turnips & Rutabagas
- Mixed Vegetables
For 25 years, Marian Morash was known as Chef Marian on The Victory Garden PBS TV cooking show.