Picks and Pans Review: Fresh
by Carole E. Schneider
Tomatoes could kill you, it was once believed, and eggplants would drive you mad. Leeks, some say, will keep your hair from turning gray. The Greeks used carrots as a "love medicine" just as they used that old romantic standby, the snout of a hippo. Pelting your enemies with turnips was the insult of choice in the Middle Ages. King Louis XIV's courtiers liked a platter of peas before bed, and Mark Twain considered cauliflower "a cabbage with a college education." So you see, fruits and veggies aren't a bit dull.
And neither is this bold collection that sparkles with lore and easy instructions for making simple feasts with fresh produce. Compliments to Debbie Glasserman for a clean, clever design. The recipes are imaginative, and the rapturous photographs (shot by 10 practitioners of the art) make this book look good enough to eat. (Random House, $19.95)