Veg Forward

Super-Delicious Recipes that Put Produce at the Center of Your Plate

by Susan Spungen

On Sale: 2023-05-30

Price: $35.00

Book Summary

In this vegetable-forward cookbook, veteran cookbook author and food stylist Susan Spungen highlights the vegetables and fruits of each season--from spring to early summer to the bursting harvest of late summer, then ebbing into autumn and, finally, into the earthy flavors of winter.

About the Book

Stylish, practical meals that put vegetables first, by "an authentic culinary star" (Boston Globe) and the founding food editor of Martha Stewart Living.

After spending two decades at a leading lifestyle magazine, Susan Spungen is used to the questions cooks ask her in the produce aisle and at the farmers' market. Do you have a great zucchini recipe? What can you do with garlic scapes? What's an easy seasonal meal I can make for friends?

In Veg Forward, the veteran cookbook author, columnist, and culinary consultant supplies the delicious answers, with 102 recipes in which vegetables claim a starring role. Big platter salads. Soups for muggy days when all anyone can manage is to run the blender. Warm-weather grain bowls. Freeform fruit tarts and snacking cakes. Each one coaxes a maximum amount of flavor from a minimum number of ingredients; each looks as good as it tastes.

Veg Forward is full of extraordinary recipes for ordinary vegetables like tomatoes, corn, and potatoes, and it also offers beguiling choices for less familiar ones like fava beans, kohlrabi, and nettles. Spungen shares scores of tips from her years as a caterer and chef: the efficient vegetable prep technique professionals use, a genius tactic for cutting into hard squash, the single finishing touch that transforms a homey fruit dessert into something spectacular. Everything in this book makes cooking with vegetables easier, better, and more satisfying.

  • Asparagus Pizza with Arugula Salad
  • Sungold Spaghetti Carbonara
  • Sheet-Pan Roasted Ratatouille
  • Spoonbread-Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Tomato Cream
  • Simple Gazpacho
  • Eggplant Parm and Pasta Bake
  • Veggie Ragu Bolognese
  • Mushroom Bourguignon
  • Cheese Blintzes with Sour Cherry Compote
  • Chocolate Zucchini Bread


Susan Spungen was the editorial director for food at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. A New York Times contributor who also writes Susanality, a Substack newsletter, she was the culinary consultant and food stylist for the hit movies Julie & Julia and Eat, Pray, Love. She is the author of Open Kitchen, Recipes, and What’s a Hostess to Do?. She lives in New York City and East Hampton, New York.


'A book full of vibrant, seasonal, and nourishing recipes that put vegetables front and center. I want to cook them all.'

'As my gardens expand in size and I experiment with growing more delicious and varied vegetables, a book like this becomes more and more valuable. I cannot wait to prepare each and every one of Susan's mouthwatering recipes!'

'I've been friends with and worked with Susan for quite some time now. Her presence in the culinary world is legendary. I proudly own all her books-and for good reason. I know and trust that not only is the food delicious and beautiful, but the recipes are foolproof. Few, if any, take the time Susan does to make sure you will have the same success she does re-creating her recipes. In her newest book, Veg Forward, she has taken her love of everything that comes out of the soil and transformed it into truly magical recipes that have this carnivore begging for more. My only regret is that I wish I had this book years ago because I simply can't stop cooking out of it!'

'Make room for more produce in your life! I can think of few people who know their way around a vegetable like Susan: how to cook it, how to coax out all its flavor, how to transform it into something simply special, and-of course-how to make it look like a million bucks on the plate. Veg Forward advances plant-based cooking several steps ahead with its savvy, seasonal, (dare I say) sexy recipes, and of course the gorgeous photography you'd expect from a Spungen production. From grain dishes and soups to pizzas and desserts, not only will you not miss the meat-you may never need it again.'

'Not only is Susan making vegetables approachable and easy in Veg Forward, but she's making them extremely delicious. At the end of the day, all that matters is deliciousness, and these recipes are oozing with flavor that packs a punch. Mushroom Bourguignon? Yes, please. Asparagus Pizza with Arugula Salad? You already know ya' boy is game. You see, I've had the pleasure of Susan cooking for me and of knowing how much passion she brings to her cooking and recipes; these are sure to become household staples for not just me but for many vegetable-curious and vegetarians out there in the world.'

'Susan creates smart and delicious recipes you can trust. Veg Forward is brimming with ideas that help you make the most of your farmers' market haul. Whether you're looking to impress your dinner guests or bring more veg-focused recipes into your weeknight rotation, these recipes will help you do it in style.'

'Susan Spungen has a way with vegetables, and 'Veg Forward' is the ultimate farmer's market companion for this summer (and summers to come, for that matter).'

'The latest from America's culinary rock star, Susan Spungen is literally a cook's dream. Try the Spoonbread-Stuffed Poblanos with Tomato Cream, Cheese Blintzes with Sour Cherry Compote, Rhubarb Galettes with Hazelnut Frangipane, or the Sungold Spaghetti Carbonara. These recipes are laden with wonderful instructions, handy tips, and amazing food lore. Susan has managed to blast into the vegetable-forward movement with panache and humor-what could be better? I am totally going to make all these dishes; you will too!'

'Trust Susan Spungen and follow her lead. Veg Forward is glorious-fresh, colorful, smart, and perfectly seasonal. Susan's food always makes me happy.'

'We can always trust Susan Spungen's eye for detail, color, and perfectly crisp vegetables from the farmers' market-pairing that with her exacting recipes that are genuinely doable (from Monday to Sunday!) is Veg Forward's big win. From a creamy nettle sauce on pasta to smoky corn salad and peach galettes, these meals are restaurant-worthy in flavor but wildly easy to make at home. I'll be dipping back into this book again and again, in every season.'

'With this beautiful cookbook, Susan has created a blueprint for exactly the way I want to cook and eat right now, namely, with vegetables stepping into the spotlight to play the starring role. As usual, her recipes toe that magic line between stunning and simple (she shot all the photos on her iPhone, in real time!), and I've already dog-eared half the pages. This one's a keeper.'

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780785292982
  • ISBN 10: 0785292985
  • Imprint: Harper Celebrate
  • On Sale: 2023-05-30
  • Pages: 256
  • List Price: $35.00
  • Publisher: Harper Celebrate
  • Publication Date: 2023-05-30
  • Category 1 : COOKING / Seasonal
  • Category 2 : COOKING / Regional & Ethnic / American / General
  • Category 3 : COOKING / Specific Ingredients / Vegetables
  • Category 4 : COOKING / Vegetarian & Vegan