Can a grown man have a crush? Darn straight he can. Can he fall in love with a book? Why not? As relationships go, it can be a whole lot more rewarding than the human kind. And if the book happens to be Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison then all these questions are just plain silly because VL (for short) is a one of a kind.


How to describe it? It’s a mixture of food, cooking, gardening with some botany thrown in.  Deborah is the author of 11 cookbooks, started her career at Chez Panisse in California and ran her own restaurant Greens. And did I mention she lives in New Mexico?

I rest my case.


In Vegetable Literacy she covers the veg gamut including chile – of course. You’ll find it in the chapter on the nightshade family (peppers, potatoes, eggplants and tomatoes to name a few august members). Just read the opening line in that chapter and you’re hooked: “The nightshades have been loathed and loved and regarded as lethal and luscious.” Sounds like someone I used to go out with…

I digress.

The book is also packed with 300 recipes including my fav for Chilled Avocado Soup with Poblano Chile and Pepitas. Are you hungry yet?

So for all its 405 pages (weighing in at over 4 lbs so you can use it as an alternative to a workout at the gym) we say, “Bring on the Golden Chile!”