ing outNowadays, with international imports readily available at increasingly savvy supermarkets, you can find a wide selection of vegetables all year long; the average American supermarket now carries nearly 400 different kinds of vegetables and fruits over a 12-month period. But in high summer, a cook's fancy turns to the home grown and the fresh-picked nothing beats an ear of corn that's just been taken off the stalk or a vine-ripened tomato right out of the garden. So this is the ideal time to browse through Jack Bishop's Vegetables Every Day: The Definitive Guide to Buying and Cooking Today's Produce, an A to Z tribute to the root, the shoot, the sprout, the leaf, the bean and the tuber. Bishop, a food writer and author of Pasta e Verdura, covers both the ordinary and the exotic. You'll find asparagus and eggplant, spinach and sweet potatoes, as well as broccoli rabe and boniato, chayote and Jerusalem artichokes. As he moves through the vegetable kingdom, he takes you on a tour of the buying and cooking process. Each of the 64 entries is packed with the detailed info you need availability, selection, storage, basic prep, best cooking method and veggie-specific recipes. The recipes, more than 350 in all, like Sauteed Beets with Butter and Orange Juice, Garlicky Chard or Braised Red Radishes show you how to make each vegetable sing its own unique song. You know that vegetables are good for you, now you'll know how good they can taste.
Sybil Pratt has been cooking up this column for more than five years.