THE TAKEAWAY. Ripe is a cookbook full of liberated fruits and vegetables. “Fall in love with us because we’re smart, vibrant, and hilarious,” they’re not afraid to say. “Yeah, we’ve got antioxidants, but get over it already and have a little fun.” Maybe I’m a tad biased by the fact that author Cheryl Sternman Rule is one of my favorite food writers, but I can’t really imagine a better premise for a produce cookbook. Nor, frankly, a better execution.
THE DIRTY DETAILS. First things first. This book was organized by Roy G. Biv, that guy from elementary school who was obsessed with prisms and rainbows. 30 fruits and vegetables, 75 recipes, 150 colorful photos, all arranged across the spectrum from red to purple and, ultimately, white. (Is white the absence of color or the totality of it? Who cares? It’s delicious!) The recipes themselves are highly attainable yet creative, and the headnotes and section introductions are a pure joy to read.
THE LOVELY AUTHOR (& PHOTOGRAPHER). Author Cheryl Sternman Rule is the voice behind the popular food blog 5 Second Rule, named the Best Culinary Blog of 2012 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). We’re all lucky to be getting to know her now, before she becomes the official Voice of Our Generation and/or takes over the world using only clementines and her own opposable thumbs. Paulette Phlipot, who shares responsibility for the beauty of this book equally with the author, is an award-winning food, travel, and lifestyle photographer. I’m just learning of her work through this project, and I’m looking forward to being bowled over by a lot more of it in the future.
YOU HAD ME AT…. Cheryl says, “If you’ve never cooked with bok choy, and you think you think your life has been fine, I’m here to tell you, as gently as I can, that it hasn’t. It hasn’t been fine at all. There has been something missing, and that thing is bok choy. First, bok choy has a hilarious physical appearance. It looks like me on a rough morning.”
HOW TO GET IT. For a chance to win a copy of Ripe, leave a comment on this post before July 13 at noon Eastern time that fills in the blanks: If I were a liberated fruit or vegetable, I’d want to be a _____ because _____. (i.e. “If I were a liberated fruit or vegetable, I’d want to be a leaf of kale, because then everyone would be asking if I’m the new bacon. And you knowz I am, bitchez.”)