José Andrés, the chef, restaurateur and philanthropist, sets off on an extravagant vegetable journey in his dazzling new cookbook by stating that he is not a vegetarian — “not even close.” A home cook has much to learn, though, from a professional about making the most of vegetables. Boil your vegetables in water, he says, but taste to make sure each is properly done. Keep frozen peas and canned white asparagus on hand. Simply roast broccoli florets. Slather asparagus with miso for grilling. Make a “bouillabaisse” with fennel, potatoes, tomatoes and rouille but no fish. A “poke” bowl features beets instead of tuna. There are recipes for some Spanish classics, including gazpacho (with many variations). He gives advice on cocktails and vegetable scraps and occasionally slips in eggs, cheese and bacon. Woven throughout are profiles of farmers.
“Vegetables Unleashed: A Cookbook” by José Andrés and Matt Goulding (Ecco, $39.99).