Cookbook Review: Vegetable Revelations

Well, I’m three out of three for continuing my latest theme, reviewing new cookbooks.   Most of the books I’m reviewing I found on a “Best of 2023” list somewhere.  I can remember the source, but so far it’s led me in the right direction.

Today’s cookbook is Vegetable Revelations: Inspiration for Produce-Forward Cooking by Steven Satterfield.

About the book:

Discover innovative, adaptable, and delicious ways to serve a wide range of vegetables with this inspired cookbook featuring over 150 recipes from Steven Satterfield, the James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef and author of Root to Leaf.

In the last decade, vegetables have taken a prominent place on the plate. At his hugely successful Atlanta restaurant, Miller Union, Steven Satterfield is constantly searching for new ways to serve the vast variety offered each season. When it comes to cooking meats and seafood, there are specific guidelines for texture and doneness. But each vegetable has inherent properties that can be enhanced or manipulated in infinite ways, offering numerous opportunities to innovate.

In Vegetable Revelations, Satterfield explores how texture affects the eating experience, how globally inspired ingredients can make vegetables more compelling, and how valuing every part of a plant is the key to creative cooking. Best of all, he provides flavor-packed recipes that celebrate the delicious diversity available to us, arranged by botanical families and culinary categories, including Roots, Leaves, Stalks, Brassicas (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower), Legumes, Cucurbits (cucumbers, zucchini, watermelon, squash), Nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes), and Mushrooms. Experience vegetables in a whole new way in bold dishes such as Grilled Hakurei Turnips with Miso Vinaigrette, Luck and Money Dolmas, Asparagus Bottom Soup, Romanesco Campanelle with White Bolognese, Warm Field Peas with Tangy Pepper Sauce, Yukon Gold Tartiflette, Honeydew Aquavit Slushies, Miso-Pickled Shiitakes

But veggies aren’t just for lunch and dinner—here are recipes for breakfast, desserts, beverages, and snacks. Satterfield even includes a section on textural toppings and flavor-forward sauces, spice blends, and condiments that can be mixed and matched to enhance any simply prepared vegetable. While vegetarians and vegans will love these recipes, there are some fabulous dishes that include meat, poultry, and seafood as well.

Illustrated with sumptuous photos throughout, Vegetable Revelations will broaden your kitchen know-how, open new doors for exploration and adventure, and give you fresh and flavorful ideas for great meals that omnivores, vegetarians and vegans will love. (Publisher’s blurb)

About the author:

Steven Satterfield is the executive chef and co-owner of Miller Union, an award-winning, seasonally-driven restaurant located in Atlanta’s Westside neighborhood. Since opening in 2009, the restaurant has received various honors on many national lists including Eater, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine and Esquire. In 2015, Satterfield released his first cookbook, Root to Leaf, to broad critical acclaim. In 2017, after four previous nominations, Satterfield was named “Best Chef: Southeast” by the James Beard Foundation. Satterfield’s dedication to seasonal cooking and his unwavering support for local farmers is the driving philosophy behind his restaurant and everything he does. (From Miller Union website)

What I thought…

First and foremost, the photography (by Andrew Thomas Lee) is outstanding.   Honestly, it’s just amazing.  That’s the first thing I noticed and that alone made me want to dive into the recipes.

Before I jump into the recipes, I have to mention the structure of the book.  There are two sections, Part I—Building Blocks and Part II—Recipes.   But, that’s not all.  Recipes are then listed by chapter so you can easily find the vinaigrettes or the recipes involving roots.

As with a lot of the cookbooks (and novels) I’ve read that were published this year, COVID becomes a central theme.  It was the catalyst for some to cook, it’s mentioned often, and in the case of Satterfield, Vegetable Revelations was just going into the production phase.  His focus shifted from recipe development to keeping Miller Union open and caring for his employees.  He and his “masked-up” cookbook crew did persevere so we do have this wonderful cookbook.

Satterfield’s theme is to start with the very best ingredients and to showcase fresh produce with plant-focused recipes.

I am always looking for recipes that can become “gifts from the kitchen” during the holidays.   The Spice Blend section, the first part of “Building Blocks,” had my brain whirring.  I can see giving whole gift sets of homemade jars of curry powder, Garam Masala, Ras el Hanoutquartre épices (“France’s original pumpkin spice”), and Ajika (a Republic of Georgia hot pepper spice blend).

Vinaigrettes are something I struggle with.  I know there’s a ratio, but I really need recipes.   There’s plenty to choose from here:  basic French, coriander, chile, sumac, and miso vinaigrettes.

In “Crunchy Toppings,” I found even more things I could add to my spice box like crispy fried shallots and shallot oil, “Mole Crunch,” and “Everything Seasoning.”  In the “Flavor Bomb” section, there were even more ideas (“Green Chile Sambal, “Sweet Pepper Harissa,” “Spiced Tomato Jam”).

When I finally got to the “Recipe” section, I wanted to make every single thing.  I cannot attempt to list all the goodness that is in this book.  Instead here’s a list of some very inventive sounding dishes:

  • Spiced Parsnip Cake with Lemon Glaze
  • Fragrant Beets and Cherries with Cashew Butter
  • Kale French Toast
  • Homemade celery soda
  • Every single recipe in the brassicas section.
  • Green Butter Bean Hummus
  • Heirloom Tomato and Peach Juice
  • Garam Masala Pumpkin Pancakes
  • Frothy Cucumber Limeades

It seems like I always have stalks of celery in the crisper just wasting away and biding time until they end up in the composter.   Never again because of his celery salad!

I apparently (and appallingly) did not write this recipe down before I sent it back to the library.   As I recall, it was one whole stalk of celery, pears (but I used apples), blue cheese, pepitas, and an apple cider vinaigrette.  It was amazing and I will make it again (once I find the recipe).

So, I don’t want to sound like a broken record but this is a book I will check out of the library over and over again.  (Or, I simply might add it to my Christmas list.)  I am obviously checking it out again so I can copy that celery salad recipe!  

I’m linking up with Foodies Read for September.

As I’ve mentioned, this is the third review of cookbooks published this year.  To see them all, click here.


3 comments to Cookbook Review: Vegetable Revelations

  • mae

    Interesting review! So many recipes, so many cookbooks… makes my head spin. I just read another list of the 20 best cookbooks of Autumn, 2023. WHEW!

    I had to look this up: the host of the TV show “High on the Hog” is named Stephen A. Satterfield — definitely a different person. I was quite confused.

    best, mae at

  • I’ve got it on reserve at the library. shoot you that recipe if you want. Speaking of spices, unusual vegetables, etc, we’ve just discovered two allspice trees in the yard at our office! Absolutely full of berries! So I’m researching how best to deal with them.

  • It sounds like a really nice book. Vegetables seem to be an afterthought in so many cookbooks.