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A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables
Photographs by Paulette Phlipot
Formats and Prices
- ebook $16.99 $21.99 CAD
- Hardcover $25.00 $28.00 CAD
This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around March 27, 2012. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
Also available from:
- RED: beets, blood oranges, cherries, cranberries, grapefruit, pomegranate, radicchio, radish, raspberries, red apples, red bell peppers, rhubarb, strawberries, tomatoes, and watermelon
- ORANGE: apricot, butternut squash, carrots, clementines, kumquats, mangoes, nectarines, papaya, peaches, persimmon, pumpkin, and yams
- YELLOW: banana, corn, lemon, pineapple, pomelo, squash blossoms, and yellow onions
- GREEN: green apples, artichokes, asparagus, avocado, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celery, cucumber, edamame, fava beans, fennel, green beans, honeydew, kale, kiwi, leeks, lime, peas, spinach, swiss chard, watercress, and zucchini
- PURPLE and Blue: blackberries, blueberries, eggplant, figs, plums, purple cabbage, purple grapes, red leaf lettuce, and red onion
- WHITE: bosc pears, cauliflower, coconut, endive, garlic, jicama, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, and turnip
Each fruit and vegetable is accompanied by a lighthearted essay, breathtaking photography, and one showcase recipe, along with three “quick-hit” recipe ideas. With 150 photos and 75 recipes, this unique cookbook will quicken your pulse and leave you very, very hungry.
For more information, visit RipeCookbook.com
I offer my gratitude to all the friends and family who stood behind me as I completed the photography for this book. Pouring my passion for fruits and vegetables into a project like this is something I have thought about for many years.
Meeting Cheryl Sternman Rule reignited this passion. After setting eyes on her writing, I knew she was capable of bringing a fresh enthusiasm to produce, which is so everyday to most, but which I have always adored. I could not have imagined working with a more talented or creative food writer for this book.
I thank my parents for sharing their love for gardening and good food with me. I also thank my husband Rudy for his enthusiasm and for always keeping an eye out for the best looking produce at the market (and for always asking, “Can I eat this or do you want to photograph it first?”) Finally, to my baby Cassidy: I so look forward to being in the kitchen with you, cooking and eating the recipes in this book together.
A smorgasbord of magnificent people helped me turn a rather vague artistic vision into the book you now hold in your hands. Let me introduce you to them.
First is Paulette Phlipot. Paulette has been my partner-in-crime from the get-go, and without her creativity, talent, patience, and easygoing disposition, this book simply wouldn’t exist. Her photography inspired me from this project’s pre-beginning to its final instant and at each incremental point in between. I couldn’t imagine a better copilot.
Paulette and I would jointly like to thank our candid, kind, and ever-responsive superagent Jenni Ferrari-Adler of Brick House Literary Agents. Jenni expertly shepherded us through the minutiae of book dealdom and beyond, and we continue to benefit greatly from her counsel and encouragement. Joint thanks, too, to our editor, Geoffrey Stone, and the terrific designer Amanda Richmond at Running Press. Geoff allowed us to fill this book with a huge number of color photographs, something for which we are especially grateful. A tip of the hat as well to indexer Suzanne Fass, a consummate professional in all realms.
We’d also like to thank the many farmers not only in and around Sun Valley and San Jose, where we make our respective homes, but to farmers everywhere. Without their efforts, we would not have been inspired to walk this particular path, and the book in front of you might be about packing material instead of produce.
To my dream team of recipe testers: Cheryl Arkison, Katrina Brinkman, Erika Bruner, Jacqui Gal Cohen, Meloni Courtway, Stacy Dobner, Kate Fichter, Cynthia Graber, Elisa Koff-Ginsborg, Don Lesser, Kathleen Lingo, Katharine Norwood, April Paffrath, Liz Phillips, Diana Pisciotta, Susan Russo, Julia Schiff, Elaine Schultz, Melissa Shafer, Jennifer Simons, Jackie Vail, Heather Walker, and Dana Wootton — I offer you all a curtsy of gratitude so deep I fall over. Thanks too to friends Alison Brunner, Andrea Mello, and Liz Linehan, and to farmers’ market vendors Grace Vanoyan Yepremian and Donna Borchard.
Special thanks to Tara Mataraza Desmond, Lisa Hoffman, and my sister Julie Sternman, who not only tested recipes but provided invaluable feedback and support during some hairy times toward the end; I am forever in your debt. To my dear friends Jill O’Connor and Denise Marchessault: thank you for contributing recipes for Roasted Pumpkin Gingerbread and Mango with Lime Crème Anglaise, respectively, and for your tremendous friendship.
To my brothers, Mark and Matt, my father, Joel, and my stepmother, Barbara: thank you for your keen editorial eyes and words of long-standing praise and encouragement. And to my in-laws Clifton, Ian, and Beth: thank you for all the support.
Finally, to my husband, Colin, and my sons, Andrew and Alex: feeding you feeds me. I could not ask for better stomachs to fill, or for better souls with whom to share each day of my life.
—Cheryl Sternman Rule
The first time I saw an iPhone was in the lobby of a New Orleans hotel when a food photographer I’d just met named Paulette Phlipot asked if I wanted to see her portfolio. I nodded, and in an instant, my professional world changed.
The screen showcased ripe cherries, purple eggplant, and tall blades of wheat. Weathered farmers, hearty entrées, and tables set for twelve. I wanted to blow up Paulette’s photos and tack them to the ceiling. I wanted to meet that farmer, to sit at that table. But most of all, I wanted to pluck those cherries from her screen and thrust them in my mouth, all at once, stems, pits, and all. I wanted to lick her touchpad.
Eventually I handed the phone back, but those photographs had left their mark. Paulette has the ability to make colors pop, to make textures dimensional, to tell a fully realized story through her skillful command of the lens. And her facility at showcasing the natural purity of food, particularly of fruits and vegetables, moved me deeply.
The genesis of this book happened there in that hotel lobby, though neither of us knew it at the time.
While I’m a classic omnivore and Paulette eats fish, we both prefer the freshness, flavor, and simplicity of produce. On any day of the week, at any time of the day, we’d just rather make out with a juicy watermelon than a floppy piece of chicken.
If you like meat, go ahead and eat it. I’m not here to judge, much as I hope you won’t judge me. But do embrace the vegetable; behold the fruit. Not because they’re good for you, though they are. Not because their footprint is lighter on the earth, though it is. Not because a pound of snap peas costs less than a pound of tenderloin, though it does. Gorge on green beans and favas, pomegranates and peaches, Swiss chard and honeydew because they’re beautiful, flavorful, versatile, and undeniably delicious. Canoodle them because you crave what they offer—freshness, color, snap, and taste. Kiss them, love them, hug them, squeeze them, and enjoy them morning, noon, and night.
Don’t eat your fruits and veggies because your mama told you to. Eat them because you want them in every sense of the word. Because seeing them in the market, at the produce stand, on an iPhone, or in the pages of a cookbook accelerates your pulse and makes you very, very hungry.
What This Book Isn’t, and What It Is
Many, if not most, produce-centered cookbooks are organized by season, and with good reason: seasonal eating makes sense from an environmental, fiscal, and culinary point of view. I eat seasonally, and I encourage you to as well. But this is not a seasonal eating book.
Many books also explain why you should eat more fruits and vegetables. They recount studies about how diets lower in animal products protect your heart, slash obesity, tread lighter on the earth, and are more ethically sound. And I don’t disagree. Not a bit. In fact, I’ve spent years as a food writer penning these stories myself and believe deeply in these messages. But this book is different. It’s not a health-focused prescription. It’s not an environmental screed.
So relax. Soften your shoulders. What you’ll find in these pages is sensory, pretty, practical, and fun. Why? Because those other, more serious books have already been written, and written quite well. Consumers and diners already know that they should be eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; that they should be consuming fewer overall calories; that they should be sourcing their food more consciously and responsibly. They don’t need to be told again and again and again.
So I’m glossing over the shoulds. I’m presuming you know them, and I respect your ability to make your own choices about what foods you’re willing to include in your diet and why. Instead, I want to excite you and show you a good time. By presenting stories, photographs, recipes, and practical, flavorful ingredient combinations, I’m hoping you’ll pick up that pomegranate because you genuinely want to eat it, not because it’s low in calories or rich in vitamin C or because studies show it blah blah blahs. I want you to crave that pomegranate, or that peach, or that head of ivory cauliflower. I want you to reach for the bok choy because you finally know how to prep it, and aren’t afraid it’s going to shrivel and die before you figure out how to cook it. I want to show you how to make an hors d’oeuvre with nothing more than a few radishes and some crusty bread, or a simple tart with a tangled mess of onions, some sun-dried tomatoes, and a shower of finely shredded cheese.
I want you to love produce because—well, simply because you love it.
Not because you should.
What are Simple Uses For?
In addition to photos and complete recipes, you will also see three Simple Uses For each featured produce item. These quick-hit ingredient combos are just that: ideas to jump-start your own creative process when considering each fruit and vegetable. They are not full-fledged recipes, but rather a fast, easy way to begin exploring compatible flavors and become inspired. Feel free to search your favorite culinary websites (there are so many!) for how to execute the suggested dishes to your liking. I’ll be right there, in spirit, cheering you on from the sidelines.
A note about lemons, salt, eggs, oil, puppies, chocolate, and coconut
As the proud owner of a Meyer lemon tree, I use these mild, low-acid citrus fruits in my recipes when they’re in season. Where I call for lemons, therefore, please always adjust the amount to suit your taste, especially if you’re using the more widely available Eureka variety. By the same token, salt is always kosher (unless coarse salt is specified), eggs are large, and olive oil is extra virgin. Also, puppies are cute, chocolate is delicious, and I really, really, really like coconut.
Imagine pulling a beet from the earth. It looks like a dirty, bulbous ball with stringy entrails. If you didn’t know better, you might pass it up in favor of something cleaner looking—a shiny tomato, say, or a gobstopper. But reconsider. Once scrubbed and prepped for the plate, beets undergo a miraculous aesthetic and culinary transformation. When blasted with an oven’s dry heat, they sweeten considerably, so roasting is a popular method for coaxing forth their natural sugars. And while some people steam or boil them, I think this makes them taste too much like feet, so my strong personal preference is either to roast them or eat them raw. In fresh, crisp slaws or when you shave them ultra thin, you get a bonus crunch, all that glorious color, and a sweetness that doesn’t smack of trodden mud.
Tip: If you buy impeccably fresh beets, go ahead and toss the leaves in salads, or sauté or braise them as you would other greens.
SIMPLE USES FOR BEETS:
composed salad = roasted beets + burrata cheese + beluga lentils + walnut oil
slaw = shredded raw beets + carrots + red cabbage + red apple + red onion + cider vinaigrette
pickled beets = beets + sherry vinegar + allspice + bay leaf + peppercorns + sugar + water
Shaved Chioggia Beet Salad
with Mixed Citrus Vinaigrette
This salad couldn’t be lovelier, unless it were wearing a sparkly tiara. Slice the beets—
Chioggas are sometimes called candy striped or candy cane beets—as thinly as possible.
SERVES 4 TO 6
Finely shredded zest and juice of ½ lemon
Finely shredded zest and juice of ½ lime
Finely shredded zest and juice of ½ orange
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
6 small Chioggia beets, trimmed and peeled (reserve greens for another use)
¼ cup (40g) golden raisins, slivered
1 large head frisée, or other tender salad greens, sliced crosswise
¼ cup (1oz) crumbled goat cheese
Coarse salt, for sprinkling
Combine the citrus zest from all three fruit halves in a small bowl. Set aside.
Combine the lemon, lime, and orange juices in the bottom of a large salad bowl. (You should have about ¼ cup, or 60ml juice.) Slowly whisk in the olive oil, the sugar, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and a generous grinding of pepper. Taste, and adjust the seasonings (especially the sugar) if necessary. Transfer half of the dressing to a small dish.
Carefully shave the beets into thin slices using a mandoline on its thinnest setting, or a vegetable peeler. You want to expose the beets’ concentric circles, so shave horizontally across the bottom of the beets. Transfer to the salad bowl.
Add the raisins and frisée. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with the goat cheese and a few pinches of the mixed citrus zest. Adjust seasonings to taste, adding a bit of the reserved vinaigrette, if desired. (Any leftover vinaigrette and zest may be stored, separately, in the refrigerator for several days.) Sprinkle with the coarse salt. Serve immediately.
Pity the blood orange’s violent name; it’s actually quite a peaceful fruit.
Most often associated with Sicily, where they abound in simple desserts and salads, blood oranges boast deeply pigmented flesh thanks to anthocyanins, those same compounds found in blackberries and purple cabbage. Eat them for their bright and balanced citrus flavor, a flavor sometimes called berrylike. I personally think they taste like oranges, only a bit more complex.
Play up their bold, unique color by keeping preparations clean. Tuscan kale with blood orange, a tall glass of fresh juice, a blood orange tossed in a lunchbox. Just imagine the fun a fourth-grade boy could have in the cafeteria when he peels one for his buddies. “It’s so blooooooooooooooooooody.”
Tip: Look for heavy blood oranges with scarlet color visible in patches on the peel.
SIMPLE USES FOR BLOOD ORANGES:
classic Sicilian preparation = blood oranges + red onions + olive oil
sorbet = blood orange juice + sugar + vanilla bean
salad = blood oranges + spinach + roasted beets + olives + blood orange vinaigrette
Boozy Blood Oranges
This dessert makes a light, sophisticated,
and stunning finale to a heavy winter meal. Serve it in shallow bowls so you can lap up any residual liqueur like a thirsty dog.
4 blood oranges
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
¼ cup (55g) Marcona almonds, finely chopped
Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the peel and white pith from the blood oranges. Cut the oranges into thick circles and arrange decoratively on a platter. Drizzle with the liqueur and set aside for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve immediately.
Warning: if you don’t wear an apron when pitting cherries, you’ll look like you’ve killed someone. Also, it’s tempting to pop them in your mouth as you work. One for you, one for the bowl. Three for you, one for the bowl. Eight for you, one for the bowl. After thirty minutes, your bowl will hold about two and a half cherries.
Cherry season is relatively short, so each summer, buy pounds and pounds of cherries to toss both in sweet dishes, where they’re expected, and savory ones, where they’re not. Garnet, Brooks, Rainier, Bing—chuck them all in your bag, filling it with sweet, happy weight.
When their final week arrives, set aside several hours to pit the last, red batch, preparing them for a cryonic nap in the freezer. It’s tiring work, this cherry-slaughter, but worth the investment. Months later, when you crave a warm cherry crisp, you’ll feel quite smug. A soothsayer, you’ll spoon up summer in a bowl, as the wind howls and whips just outside your door.
Tip: Buy fresh cherries only at their seasonal peak. They should be firm, unblemished, and shiny, without pocks or soft spots. Seek out those with stems still attached.
SIMPLE USES FOR CHERRIES:
frozen yogurt = minced cherries + whole milk yogurt + sugar + lemon juice
green salad = cherries + baby spinach + spiced nuts + goat cheese + balsamic vinaigrette
grain salad = mixed cherries + wild or red rice + almond oil + raspberry vinegar + mint
Smashed Cherries, Amaretti and Ricotta
This no-cook summer dessert pushes cherries center stage, where they belong. Serve it up in clear glasses and give yourself the biggest one.
4 cups (1 to 1¼ pounds, 450g to 480g) fresh red cherries, stemmed
¾ cup (170g) whole milk ricotta
2 teaspoons sugar
4 teaspoons milk
½ teaspoon almond extract
4 amaretti cookies
1 teaspoon cacao nibs, or mini chocolate chips
Thwack the cherries with the flat side of a heavy knife so they flatten. Discard the pits. Divide the cherries among 4 pretty, clear glasses.
In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta, sugar, milk, and almond extract. Spoon pillows of ricotta over the cherries in equal proportions. Crumble one amaretti cookie over each serving and sprinkle with the cacao nibs. Serve immediately.
Tip: You’ll find amaretti cookies (Italian macaroons) in larger supermarkets or Italian grocery stores, though you may substitute toasted, chopped almonds if you like. Then you can eat this dish for breakfast.
An oceanfront room in South Beach or Tortola appeals to some. The blue sky, the blue sea, blue, blue, blue. Yawn. What I’d really like, what I’d far prefer, is a room in New England looking out on a cranberry bog.
Each fall, millions of pounds of cranberries are harvested from bogs in a dozen states. While wet-harvested berries end up in commercial sauces and juices, others, bound for plastic bags, are plucked by metal-toothed machines. I picture Jaws from Moonraker holding this job. Hailed for their health properties—cranberry juice can help fight infection—and sacred place at the Thanksgiving table, these fruits have much more to offer than antioxidants, vitamins, and a storied North American lineage. They punch up sauces, chutneys, and desserts with their no-holds-barred flavor, leaving dramatic, tart bursts in their wine-colored wake.
Tip: Cranberries freeze beautifully and can be tough to source during nonpeak times. Buy extra bags in season and tuck them near the ice cream.
SIMPLE USES FOR CRANBERRIES:
tea bread = fresh and dried cranberries + flour + baking soda + pumpkin pie spice + eggs + brown sugar + pumpkin purée + oil
cooked cranberry sauce = cranberries + honey + brown sugar + water + star anise + cinnamon + Grand Marnier
raw cranberry applesauce = cranberries + apples + orange + honey + cinnamon + cardamom
Cranberry Apple Butter
Thanks to the slow cooker, this festive, burgundy spread comes together effortlessly.
Slather it on holiday breads, muffins, or scones, or spoon some into the
Pomegranate Clove Thumbprint Cookies on page 32.
MAKES 2 TO 2½ CUPS
1 (12-ounce, 340g) bag cranberries, fresh or frozen (unthawed), rinsed briefly
2 medium red apples (Pink Lady, for example), peeled, cored and roughly chopped
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cranberry or apple juice, cider, or water
¾ cup to 1 cup (188g to 250g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Combine the cranberries, apples, cinnamon, cocoa, juice or water, and sugar (use the larger amount if you prefer sweeter spreads, the smaller amount if you enjoy a tart bite) in a slow cooker. Cover, turn on low heat, and cook for 8 to 10 hours (see Tip).
Using a potato masher, slowly but carefully mash the fruit to a thick and even consistency, leaving a few berries whole, if desired, for a tart burst of flavor. Cool until just warm, about 1 hour. Whisk in the melted butter until incorporated.
Serve immediately, or cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. (May be stored, refrigerated, for up to two weeks, tightly covered.)
Tip: When using a 6-quart (or smaller) slow cooker, cook the butter for 10 hours. If using a larger one, check it after 8.
When I was young, my family appetized. No silver trays, no frouffy caviar. These starters were modest, quick, straightforward affairs: canned soup and fruit cocktail in heavy rotation with melon wedges or grapefruit halves. Those tart grapefruits would cut through my tongue like nails through a two by four unless I went to town with the honey, so go to town I did. I went to town and back, and then I went to town again. I lived in town, basically.
To this day, I still believe deeply in the grapefruit-honey yin-yang. It’s not a religion per se, but a firm belief that they go together. Like ramma lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong.
Tip: I highly recommend adding a few serrated grapefruit spoons to your silverware drawer. Not only are they ideal for serving grapefruit, but you’ll use the spoons for everything from scraping out pumpkins to seeding melons.
SIMPLE USES FOR GRAPEFRUIT:
marmalade = grapefruit juice + lemon juice + orange juice + sugar + pectin
salad = baby spinach + avocado + grapefruit + jicama + champagne vinaigrette
broiled grapefruit =
Alice Waters, author of The Art of Simple Food and founder of the Edible Schoolyard.
The most convincing argument for eating fresh, organic, local food is discovering the peak ripeness of a fruit or vegetable at the farmer's market or in your own garden. Ripe teaches you how to choose your ingredients and cook them so their true flavor shines through.”
Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Every Day and 101 Cookbooks.com
”Ripe is first-and-foremost a celebration of all the wonderful facets of good produce (by a person who very clearly loves it). Cheryl's flavor combinations impress mePomegranate Clove Thumbprint Cookies, Radish Olive Crostini, Persimmon Apple Radicchio Stacks, and Maple Pomelo Parfaits. This is a beautiful cookbook full of wonderful, inspiring ideas that are sure to be warmly welcomed into many kitchens.”
Tara Mataraza Desmond, co-author of Almost Meatless
Ripe has good looks and a great personality. Paulette's stunning photography seduces your appetite instantly and Cheryl's smart humor makes it feel like you're cooking alongside a comic writer with an amazing grasp of ingredients and mad skills in the kitchen.” The Wall Street Journalentirely welcoming beautifully illustrated imaginatively organized.”
The Huffington Post
Ripetreats produce to the same sense of naughty decadence usually associated with cupcakes and cocktails. Paired with Rule's awesome recipes, bite-sized essays, anecdotes and kitchen tips are Paulette Phlipot's glam photos ”
If Skittles hadn't already trademarked the slogan taste the rainbow,” we would be nominating it for Ripe ”
There are over 150 photographs in [Ripe], with about 75 recipes. Lavishly illustrated” does not even begin to describe it This is a book to flip through and to savor, season by season, as colorful fruits and vegetables parade into your kitchen. It is a beautiful guide ”
A browser's mouthwatering delight, with gentle humor and appeal for cooks looking for specialty recipes with adventurous flavor combinations.”
Enjoy this color-coded journey through the world of produce, from bananas to pomelos. Explore new twists on fruits and vegetables, and combinations of ingredients to jolt awake your taste buds ”
Concierge Q / UR Here Travel
Ripe, a kaleidoscope of cultivars, was an idea that originally manifested with Paulette and, in an unusual occurrence in the cookbook world, the photographer approached the food writer about coming on board ”
San Jose Mercury News
When food blogger Cheryl Sternman Rule cruises the farmers market, produce comes to vividly described life . Now the San Jose-based produce whisperer has teamed up with photographer Paulette Phlipot to create a mash note to farmers market finds in a colorful cookbook ”
Clean Eating Magazine
Ripe is sure to engage your senses and teach you a thing or two about your favorite fruits and vegetables all the while helping you become a more creative cook!”
T. Susan Chang, NPR Summer Top Ten List For 2012
" treats of both fruits and vegetables. It's arranged, of all things, by color your visually inclined friends will ooh and aah over its rainbow eye candy. The recipes are well-chosen representatives that make the most of their featured ingredient, and most deliver high flavor with an absolute minimum of stress. It makes a lovely gift for your hosts at lazy summer parties one that neither assumes or demands anything."
Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables by Cheryl Sternman Rule, with fabulous color photos by Paulette Phlipot, is organized in a uniquely inviting and liberating wayby color. Cheryl figures that most of us know that we should be eating more fruits and veggies, and most of us understand why. So, her intent is not to preach about a peach, but to use Mother Nature's vivid paint box to spark your imagination. The photos alone will make you reach for that dark red head of radicchio, green-leafed bok choy or orange-hued papaya "
Rule, a noted food writer and blogger, offers a lovely and gorgeous tribute to vegetables and fruits everywhere in this unusual cookbook Chock-full of delectable photographs that whet the appetite, this collection will tantalize and educate on the many appealing ways vegetables and fruits can nourish and sustain.”
Idaho Mountain Express
Ripe is the Playboy magazine of fruit-and-vegetable cookbooks. Phlipot's luscious, larger-than-life images of perfect peaches and alluring artichokes will draw you in, and, yes, you will actually stay to read the articles ”
- On Sale
- Mar 27, 2012
- Page Count
- 312 pages
- Running Press