The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen

The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen

by Peter Berley


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Peter Berley's mission is to show how the simple act of cooking food can enliven your senses and nourish your life––from going to the farmers' market and outfitting your kitchen with the simplest, most useful tools to learning techniques and sharing meals with friends and family. The much–admired former chef of Angelica Kitchen, one of New York City's finest restaurants, Berley takes you through the seasons, with more than two hundred sumptuous recipes that feature each ingredient at its peak.

A cooking teacher for many years, Berley has kept the needs of his students continually in mind in this book. The recipes are written to feature the basic techniques and background information needed to create wonderful meals with fresh vegetables, fruits, and grains. He truly inspires both novice and experienced cooks to understand what they are doing and why, to learn to work with ingredients, and to apply their skills creatively. This wonderful book brings vegetarian cuisine to a whole new level.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060989118
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/28/2004
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 7.38(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.16(d)

About the Author

Peter Berley is the owner of The North Fork Kitchen and Garden, a culinary studio where he teaches intensive workshops on modern food craft and wood-fired bread baking and cooking. The former executive chef of the world-renowned Angelica Kitchen restaurant in New York City, he holds classes at The Institute of Culinary Education and Natural Gourmet Institute. Berley has contributed to Edible Brooklyn, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Natural Health, Cooking Light, and Fine Cooking magazines. His groundbreaking first book, The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, received both the James Beard and IACP Awards. He lives with his family in South Jamesport on the North Fork of Long Island, New York.

Read an Excerpt

Chestnut Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms, Pumpkin, and Leeks

4 to 6 servings

Solio is a town high in the Swiss Alps that is the nearest thing to heaven that I have ever seen. Locally harvested porcini mushrooms and chestnuts dry in the rafters of the ancient barns that line the winding narrow backstreets of this rustic little village. That was my inspiration for this autumnal dish. The dark, musky aroma and flavor of the dried mushrooms goes particularly well with the sweetness of the pumpkin and leeks. I also add red tomatoes to brighten the color and cut through the intense earthiness of this ragout.

Chestnut flour is perishable, so make sure yours is fresh. It should smell and taste pleasingly sweet and nutty without any trace of bitterness. Store the flour tightly wrapped in the freezer.


For the Pasta:
2/3 cup chestnut flour
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose or white bread flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 large eggs

For the Ragout:
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped leeks, white and tender green parts
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 cups peeled and roughly chopped winter squash or pumpkin
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 (28-ounce) can peeled tomatoes
Coarse sea salt
Freshly milled black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish


1. To make the pasta, mix the chestnut flour, 1 1/3 cups whiteflour, and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center and crack the eggs into it. Beat the eggs with a fork and incorporate the flour from the sides of the bowl until a soft dough forms.

2. Scoop out the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Rinse off any flour stuck to your hands. There will probably be some flour clumps left in the bowl. Sift them through a fine strainer onto the dough and discard the scraps. Wash out the bowl.

3. Knead the dough for 15 minutes, adding additional flour if necessary, to form a smooth, firm, elastic dough. Wrap the dough in plastic and set aside to relax for 30 minutes at room temperature. (At this point it can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)

4. Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the remaining dough covered with plastic wrap. Roll the dough on the counter with outstretched palms into a loose 2-foot-long cylinder the width of a thin cigar. You may need to mist the rolling surface with a spray bottle if you don't have enough friction to roll the dough. Cut off 1-inch long pieces of dough and roll them back and forth between your palms until they are approximately 3 inches long. Place the pasta on clean towels and continue to cut and roll until all the dough is used up.

5. While the pasta dries, make the ragout. Place the mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 1 1/2 cups warm water. Set them aside to soften.

6. In a heavy 3-quart saucepan or flameproof casserole over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until they begin to color. Add the garlic, squash, and sage. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

7. Gently massage the mushrooms between your fingers. Allow the grit to settle on the bottom of the bowl. Remove the mushrooms and chop them up. Strain off and reserve 1 cup of the soaking liquid. Be careful to stop before you reach the grit.

8. Place a food mill fitted with medium disk over the vegetables and pass the tomatoes with their juice directly into the pan. Add the chopped porcini and the reserved soaking liquid, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash is tender and the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. When the water returns to a boil, add the pasta and stir to prevent sticking. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is al dente. Drain.

10. Transfer the pasta to a warm bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon butter. Toss again with the sauce. Serve with grated cheese and chopped parsley.

Warm Lentil Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

4 servings

Lentils have been grown since 7000 B.C., making them one of the oldest cultivated legumes. They are indigenous to the southwestern region of Asia and southeastern Europe and are now an integral part of the cuisines of India, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. Here, the addition of sun-dried tomatoes gives this dish a decidedly Mediterranean flavor.


6 to 8 dry-pack sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup green lentils, sorted and rinsed
Coarse sea salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1/2 celery rib, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon or 3 to 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Freshly milled black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish


1. In a small saucepan, combine the tomatoes with water to cover. Bring to a boil, remove the pan from the heat, and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add the lentils and boil, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and continue to boil for 10 to 15 minutes, until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape. Drain, transfer the lentils to a mixing bowl, and toss them with 1 tablespoon of the oil.

3. In a heavy skillet over medium heat, warm the remaining oil. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, and cook, stirring often, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes longer. Stir the vegetables into the lentils.

4. Drain the tomatoes, slice them into quarters, and add them to the lentil mixture.

5. Season the salad with lemon juice or vinegar, add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve.

The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen. Copyright © by Peter Berley. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsix
Welcome to Your Kitchen9
Equipment Essentials11
Pantry Essentials19
Soups and Stews25
Stocks and Broths29
Seasonal Miso Soups37
Vegetable and Bean Soups42
Hearty Stews61
Seasonal Salads73
Spring Vegetables98
Summer Vegetables105
Root Vegetables and Winter Squash114
Cruciferous Vegetables and Greens128
Hot Pasta Dishes147
Cold Pasta Dishes170
Whole Grains, Polenta, Risotto, and Porridge181
Cooking Methods184
Grain Salads187
Pilafs and Grain Side Dishes194
Seasonal Risottos206
Croquettes and Hearty Grain Dishes212
Beans and Pulses225
Cooking Methods228
Dips and Spreads231
Bean Salads238
Hearty Bean Dishes243
Tofu, Tempeh, and Seitan: Protein-Rich Canvases259
Commercial Yeasted Breads311
Sourdough Breads322
Condiments and Sauces355
Pies, Tarts, and Fruit Desserts403
Brownies and Cookies426
Seasonal Menus for Lunch and Dinner430
Suggested Inspirational Reading436

What People are Saying About This

Michael Romano

What a wonderful book! In his days as a restaurant chef, Peter Berley never failed to provide me and countless others with soulful and delicious food. Cooking from The Vegetarian Kitchen, you'll be able to bring that same thoughtful, nourishing and informative attitude into your home. Vegetarian or not, I promise you this book will change the way you regard your kitchen, both in its physical aspect and in the wholesome, seasonal fare you'll serve your family and friends.
—(Michael Romano, executive chef/partner, Union Square Café)


Recipes from The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen
Creamy Pumpkin-Chestnut Soup
Chestnuts were once a staple of the simple diets of working people living in the northern parts of Italy and the Swiss Alps. After the decline of the Roman Empire, when wheat was no longer available and the Spanish hadn't yet brought back corn from the New World, pasta, bread, and polenta were all made from chestnut flour. Sadly, a disease destroyed nearly all of the chestnut trees in the United States and the delicious nuts now have to be imported. Nothing smells more like late autumn to me than the smoky, sweet scent of roasting chestnuts on the sidewalks of New York.

1 pound fresh chestnuts
3 tablespoons light sesame or extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups diced onions
4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash or pumpkin (1-inch pieces)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
Pinch hot red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cinnamon stick
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
6 cups water
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper

1. In a saucepan over high heat, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Score the chestnuts by making an "X" with the tip of a sharp knife. Drop the chestnuts into the saucepan and boil for 30 minutes, or until they peel easily. Drain them in a colander and cool briefly under cold running water. Peel the chestnuts, reserve the meat, and discard the shells.

2. In a heavy 3- to 4-quart soup pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and sauté for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the chestnuts, squash, garlic, and red pepper. Raise the heat to medium-high and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

3. Make a bouquet garni by tying together with kitchen twine or wrapping in cheesecloth the cinnamon, rosemary, and bay leaf.

4. Add the water and bouquet garni and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the squash and chestnuts are tender. Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Add the vinegar.

5. Transfer the soup, in batches, to a blender and purée until creamy. (To avoid painful splatter burns, never fill a blender more than halfway when pureeing hot foods, or purée the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.)

6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Yield: 6 servings

Penne with Chick-Peas, Artichokes, Fennel, and Shiitake Mushrooms

If you plan on cooking the chick-peas for this scrumptious sauce, make sure to start soaking them at least 8 hours ahead of time.

3 large globe artichokes
1 lemon
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
1 onion, diced
Coarse sea salt
4 garlic cloves, sliced
8 to 10 fresh shiitake mushrooms, caps diced and stems reserved for broth
2 teaspoons freshly ground fennel seeds
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs parsley or a handful of celery leaves
1 (14-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 1/2 cups cooked chick peas (from 1/2 cup dried beans) plus 1 cup cooking liquid (or water if using canned chick-peas)
1/2 pound whole wheat or regular penne pasta
Freshly milled black pepper
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Parmesan cheese for garnish

1. Trim the artichokes down to the hearts and scoop out the hairy chokes. Put the hearts in a bowl of cold water acidulated with the juice of half a lemon. Add the fennel to the bowl.

2. Make a bouquet garni by tying together with kitchen twine or wrapping in cheesecloth the thyme, bay leaf, and parsley sprigs. Set aside.

3. In a wide heavy sauté pan over medium heat, warm 4 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes. Do not let the onion brown. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.

4. Drain the artichokes and fennel. Slice each heart into 4 to 6 wedges. Add them to the pan along with the fennel and mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the white wine and bouquet garni.

5. Pass the tomatoes and their juice through the medium holes of a food mill directly into the pan. Add the chick-peas and their juices and stir well. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the sauce thickens.

6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Add 2 tablespoons coarse salt. When the water returns to a boil, stir in the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, tip it into a warm serving bowl or platter, and toss with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

7. Remove the bouquet garni from the sauce and discard. Stir in the olives and simmer for 1 minute. Season the sauce with additional lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the penne and sprinkle with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan.

Yield: 4 servings

Baked Apples with Nut Stuffing and Cider-Raisin Sauce

This comforting dessert is almost like an inverted apple crisp -- instead of topping the fruit with an oat mixture, we're stuffing it.

6 baking apples, such as Rome, Cortland, or Mutsu
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup light sesame oil or unsalted butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Core the apples. Peel a 1/2-inch band of skin around the tops of the apples and sprinkle with lemon juice.

3. Scatter the raisins on the bottom of a baking dish and place the apples on top.

4. In a larger bowl, combine the sugar, walnuts, flour, oats, oil, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Fill each apple with some of the stuffing.

5. In a saucepan over high heat, combine the cider, water, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla and bring to a boil. Pour the liquid into the pan around the apples, not over them.

6. Bake the apples for 45 minutes, basting every 10 to 15 minutes, until tender.

7. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the baked apples to a platter. Pour the pan juices and raisins into a saucepan and reduce over high heat until slightly thickened. Pour the sauce over the apples.

8. Cool for about 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6 servings

Variation: Baked Apples with Caramel Sauce

If you want to gild the lily, try topping the baked apples with this ultra-easy caramel sauce, which is also excellent over ice cream.

To make the dish, omit the raisins from the original recipe and bake the stuffed apples in water rather than in cider. Transfer the baked apples to a platter and proceed to make the sauce.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 1/2 cups brown rice syrup, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/2 cup soy or dairy milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon cider vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to as low as possible and simmer, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes. Drizzle the warm sauce over the apples, or serve on the side.

Recipes from The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley with Melissa Clark. Copyright © 2000 by Peter Berley.

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Modern Vegetarian Kitchen 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
222sf More than 1 year ago
The first thing you notice is the design -- clean and well layed-out. Then when you read the recipes you find yourself wanting to make a few of them right away. From our bookcase of hundreds of cookbooks, this is one we pull down regularly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be enjoyable and informative. Now that I have it, I consider it an essential part of my kitchen library.
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