OK. So this is not, strictly speaking, a vegetarian cookbook. But it mostly is. It is also a cookbook with no pictures–generally my least favorite kind.

But this is one of my favorites. It is that good.

Why?

The arrangement it superb.

Have you ever had a lot of a vegetables from your garden or perhaps you got carried away at the farmer’s market or a neighbor came to you to make their bounty a gift to you (and part of your problem)?

This is THAT book.

I used to regard French cooking with disdain–I was the anti-snob snob. But these are not haute cuisine recipes. These hundred-years-old-or-more recipes are simple, rustic French cooking.

The book provides timeless, tested, and gratifying recipes for vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini and everything in between. Celery root, carrots (who has not had too many carrots at one time or another?), chard, spinach, etc.

Truly, unless you are dealing with someone who only eats steak and beef jerky, this is the book for you if you are staring askance at some vegetable and saying to yourself, “I don’t know what to do; I am so tired of crudites and salad!”

The book came about by dint of the efforts of Robert Reynolds to record the classic French country recipes of Josephine Araldo through interviews with her and those who knew her.

Araldo was one of the first women to attend the famed Cordon Bleu in the 1920s. But don’t worry–the recipes demonstrate that in simplicity, lies elegance.

If I recommend a cookbook without pictures for just about every recipe, know that it is one of the best in the field. I have turned to this cookbook often in a fraught decision of how to combat my CSA box of vegetables or something of an “over harvest” in the garden–

There is a reason as well that French cuisine is so renowned–even simple, French cuisine from the countryside.