Cathy’s New Book: “50 Best Plants on the Planet”

Cookbooks, Cooking, Recipes By Dec 29, 2012

Feel great, yes, and have loads of energy. And eat luscious dishes! Sounds great to me! And that’s the goal of my new book, “50 Best Plants on the Planet.”

Perhaps the sub-title says it best: “The most nutrient dense fruits and vegetables in 150 recipes.” These fifty beauties are the most nutrient-dense, meaning that they have the highest vitamin and mineral content when compared with total calories.

(The hardcover version is out in limited availability. Spring will bring the softbound version for national distribution from coast to coast. Right now it’s available at, or at most Bristol Farms and Mother’s Markets. In the spring, the soft-bound version will be available in national distribution from coast to coast.)

So, it’s not a diet book, per se … more a guide to packing the most good stuff into every bite. And yes, in a scrumptious way.

Here’s one example. Think you don’t like Brussels sprouts? Think again. Try pan-searing halved Brussels on medium heat in a little butter and evoo. Then put on the lid and let them cook tender-crisp. Oh, and add pistachios and dried cherries. Delicious. You’re gonna be a believer.

Sweet dried cherries and crunchy pistachios add a just-right spark to seared-and-steamed Brussels sprouts. If you buy roasted and salted pistachios, be cautious about adding salt to the recipe. If you wish to make this dish vegan, leave out the butter and double the amount of oil in Step #3.

Pan-Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios and Dried Cherries
Yield: 4 to 6 side dish servings
1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
22 to 26 small, tightly closed Brussels sprouts, halved top to bottom
1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt to taste
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pistachios, roasted preferred
1. In a small bowl combine warm water and cherries. Set aside.
2. Place halved Brussels sprouts in a bowl; drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil and gently toss to lightly coat.
3. Heat 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon oil in large skillet on medium heat. When butter melts, shake handle of skillet to swirl butter with oil. Place Brussels sprouts cut-side down in a single layer (pan shouldn’t be sizzling hot, or exteriors will over-brown before interiors are cooked.) Sprinkle with salt, and cover; cook until bottoms of the sprouts are starting to nicely brown and interiors are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.
3. Remove cover. Add water and cherries; increase heat to high. Cook until water evaporates and Brussels sprouts are nicely caramelized. Transfer to platter. Scatter pistachios on top and serve.

Source: “Melissa’s 50 Best Plants on the Planet” by Cathy Thomas (Chronicle)


No Comments

Leave a comment