Here is an exceptional cookbook that should be on every home cook’s bookshelf. The Vegetable Butcher should have the highest rating, unfortunately, it’s not without faults. For one thing, page numbers referred to in recipes for other preparations are sometimes incorrect—very frustrating for the cook. Equally annoying is recipe layout; for many you need to leaf pages to overleaf and back again while following instructions. If you can live with these problems, Cara Mangini did an awesome job dealing with just about every vegetable available to us: selection, storage, with what to partner them, beautiful photos and good, well-written recipes. She arranged the vegetables alphabetically from artichoke to zucchini. She provided many great step-by-step instructions accompanied by good, helpful photos. With many recipes she also has nice notes and occasionally recipe variations. Sidebars labeled Butcher Notes are also useful and excellent. An extensive section on basics introduces us to everything we need to know about dealing with vegetables; equipment knife skill and side preparations (nuts, seeds, breadcrumbs, cheese). In many recipes she uses a beet symbol; these are freestyle recipes you are encouraged to vary and play with. Well cross referenced index is perfect.

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