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by Judith Olney

Pub Date: May 31st, 1991
ISBN: 0-385-41096-4
Publisher: Doubleday

 Not, as the title might suggest, a collection of vegetable recipes, this goes well beyond vegetables and, in fact, well beyond recipes. Downright Aquarian about the ``revolutionary changes'' and ``better and healthier world'' she expects to arise from the recent revival of farmers' markets, Olney celebrates the local markets she has visited across the country and the folks she has met there peddling their fish, fowl, goat cheese, home-baked sweets, and, yes, produce. And so we meet a state-of-the-art astro-organic garlic farmer holding forth at Oakland's annual height-of-summer tasting; a teen-ager at Bateau Landing, in Virginia, who turned down the homecoming prom that cut into market time (``After my grandmother's passing I want to carry on the tradition''); a butcher at Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market (``When you buy a leg of lamb, buy the left one. They scratch with their right and that makes it tougher meat''); and a market detective on pickpocket patrol at N.Y.C.'s Union Square Greenmarket. The recipes, reflecting the variety of products, are heavy on sweet baked goods and include some local items such as wild rice and sugar cane. They can be as down-homey as watermelon pickles but tend to the novel or upscale touch (rhubarb in rose), or, as Olney says of one, the ``witty'' creation.