A new cookbook, Ripe: A Fresh Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables, celebrates colorful produce in all their desirable goodness.
I recently received a copy of a beautiful new book, Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables by Cheryl Sternman Rule (Running Press), author of the popular (and 2012 IACP award winning) blog, 5 Second Rule.
I can hardly count the number of cookbooks I receive each year, but this one stands out for a number of reasons. First, it’s a truly useful book, based on “a novel principle: eat fruits and vegetables not because you’re told you should, but because you want them.” Yes! Eating deliciously means knowing that healthy, fresh, beautiful foods are the tastiest, most joyful foods you can eat. I love how Cheryl describes each fruit or veggie with a personal, cheerful essay (no highbrow lectures) and includes how-to tips and simple uses (no recipes required).
Second, this book is jaw-dropping beautiful. In a clever move, Cheryl arranges the ingredients by color, not by season or alphabet, to showcase the natural winsomeness of rich red beets, sunny orange clementines, earthy green kale, regal purple eggplant, pure white cauliflower, and so much more, accompanied by 150 incredibly gorgeous photos by Paulette Phlipot.
Third, the recipes sound truly delightful and doable, crucial for the vast number of people who really want to cook fresh food but lack the confidence. In addition to simple tips, Cheryl inspires readers with recipes (and photos) that highlight each fresh pick, such as Pomegranate Clove Thumbprint Cookies, Mangoes with Lime Crème Anglaise, Wine-Braised Artichokes with Feta and Orecchiette, and Green Beans with Smoky Pistachio Dust.
And finally, I’m particularly delighted with this book because of an email I received from Cheryl last fall.
“I feel like writing to you is a full-circle moment for me,” she wrote. “You gave me my first magazine assignment back in 2004/2005, and I'm now writing to let you know that the galleys for my forthcoming cookbook—RIPE: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables—are on their way to the Delicious Living office. To say that I'm grateful for the boost you gave me early on in my food writing career would be an understatement.”
I am truly thrilled to know that I gave this talented writer and recipe developer her first assignment. As I told her then, “I feel like a proud parent, but of course it’s really your talent that deserves the credit.”
Brava, Cheryl, and we look forward to more.