Cookbooks in Our Cupboards How to get inspired to cook more vegetables by and for Stoney Acres Farm



  1. From Asparagus to Zucchini – The most perfect compilation for CSA cooking and also the most local. Produced by the Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition the cookbook takes you alphabetically through Wisconsin vegetables providing interesting historical background, basic preparation and storage information, and several wonderful recipes. The book’s introduction lays out ‘what is so special about eating locally’ and after zucchini provides a host of fantastic seasonal combinations perfect for every week’s box. My favorite recipe: Glazed carrots. I use it all the time, and though it is hard to go wrong with butter and maple syrup (substituted for honey), the mint is a special something.


  1. Local Flavors – Deborah Madison’s newest book which is centered on recipes that “tour” farmers markets across the US. A great book for basic cooking techniques for vegetables and sauces that can be used on a variety of dishes. Lots of great recipes for mid-summer through winter. This book does include rare vegetables and fruit which is particularly useful. At times includes ingredients that are harder to find.


  1. Farmer John’s Cookbook – Put out in association with Angelic Organics CSA near Beloit. This book is a good reference with listing by vegetables. Some of the ingredients are less common than those found in Asparagus-Zucchini, so they require planning but it is almost as good as a seasonal reference.


  1. Chez Panisse Vegetables - In this cookbook Alice Water’s presents an A-Z list of vegetables with rich, simple, and seasonal recipes. The only problem with this locally focused book is that her seasons take place in California and there are several recipes that draw on ingredients that are not grown or found locally in the Upper Midwest, like avocados.  Nevertheless, this book includes veggies that are not found in most other books like amaranth and chicory, and she provides beautiful, informative descriptions of vegetables and gives you creative ideas for entire meals. 


  1. How to Cook Everything – We are newly converted to Mark Bittman’s reference book, but honestly it offers a wonderful how-to guide to follow for cooking most dishes, including vegetables (arranged alphabetically). With over 2000 recipes it has been called the modern Joy of Cooking and has great ideas for simple soups, salads and stir fries and more creative dishes for all your vegetables.


  1. The Joy of Cooking – If this were cookbooks for the general kitchen and not just the CSA box this would be at the top of our list. We love this book for its general approaches, sauces, and ease of use. It contains a very good guide to cooking lots of vegetables. It does not contain references to more obscure vegetables and is often not seasonal but for basic “how to make great mashed potatoes” or how to incorporate vegetables into roasted meats this is the best book.


  1. The Midwest Gardner’s Cookbook – This book is a much more standard “how my grandmother cooks vegetables” type guide to vegetables that come from the Midwestern garden. It is almost perfectly in tune with our seasons and has some great staple recipes. Our favorite is Poor Man’s Caviar, which uses lots of eggplant, tomatoes and creates a wonderful spoonable or spreadable sweet dish. Some other recipes focus on basic dishes of mashed or buttered vegetables. There is some discussion of preservation here as well.


  1. We mentioned it before but this is a just a great, search by ingredient website. It is useful for all dishes, has ratings and reviews and additions offered by other folks who have used the recipes, and draws on a list of well known cooking magazines. And…. It is free.


  1. Ball Blue Book- The best guide for how to can and freeze extra produce. It has temperatures, techniques, basic recipes that you can adapt and a long to preservation that is particularly useful for reference, or beginners. This book includes some basic pickling techniques although we recommend a specific book or fermentation if you want to make fermented vegetables or fruits.


  1. Moosewood Cookbook, The Original- A classic cookbook focused on vegetarian fair. Filled with lots of recipes that are centered on staple vegetables. We especially love the soups and entrees and find many of the basic ideas adaptable to vegetables from throughout the season. Some of our favorites are their carrot soup, cornbread laden with vegetables, and polenta pie. The restaurant does offer some free recipes on their website -