Picks and Pans Review: Victory Garden Recipes

updated 06/08/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/08/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Roasted asparagus with Parmesan. Corn and cream pudding. Spicy cauliflower. Honeyed rutabaga disks. Marian Morash makes magic with such vegetable dishes as these. A Julia Child crony, she is the author of The Victory Garden Cookbook, which grew out of the PBS how-to-garden series produced and directed by Morash's Emmy-winning husband, Russell. He also nimbly directed this 90-minute tape, in which Marian tells when to pluck and how to prepare 22 veggies in 53 ways. With the matter-of-fact manner of a craftsman, she cuts kale from beneath a coverlet of late winter snow in her Massachusetts garden, pulls parsnips in early spring and picks corn cobs when their tassles are tan at summer's end. Morash's recipes (summarized in an accompanying booklet) are as simple as her how-to tips: When cleaning fresh spinach, warm water is better than cold to release soil. To peel a tomato, plunk it into boiling water for 15 seconds, douse it in ice water and the skin slips off by hand. To peel peppers, blacken them under the broiler and let them steam in a paper bag before removing their jackets. Morash also curries cabbage shavings, sautées eggplant cubes with garlic and basil and takes the blahs out of Brussels sprouts with a heavy drizzle of lemon butter and a dusting of ground pepper. Your backyard may never be mistaken for the Garden of Eden, but with Morash as your tutor, even that slightly wilted stalk of broccoli from the supermarket can seem divinely inspired. (Knopf Video, $29.95)

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