Marrying taste and health


Book serves both epicures, the Earth


October 30, 2002|By Arthur Hirsch | Arthur Hirsch,SUN STAFF

Perhaps Whole Foods has not quite reached the Starbuckian heights of brand uber alles, but it is surely emerging as a national name.

The Austin, Texas-based corporation recently brought all its 130-plus natural/gourmet stores in 25 states under the Whole Foods banner, eliminating the regional names of markets it has acquired over the years: Fresh Fields and Bread & Circus, among others.

As yet, there's no compilation CD (Miles: The Vegan Sessions?), but there is The Whole Foods Market Cookbook (Clarkson Potter Publishers, 2002, $25.95) by Steve Petusevsky and assorted Whole Foods Market team members, which is company-speak for employees. The book offers 450 pages of recipes and advice for the Earth-conscious cook.

Whole Foods and other organic-food advocates would like you to see that epicurean and environmentalist values need not compete for your soul. The two can be compatible, says Whole Foods. Petusevsky, for example, was educated at the Culinary Institute of America, and is billed in the summary bio as a "pioneer in the marriage of taste and health."

While the book features recipes suiting a vegan diet (no animal products whatsoever, not even milk and honey), it also offers instructions for a hazelnut-crusted pork loin and grilled lemon pepper rib-eye steaks. The preparations offered here fall well within the capabilities of the beginner cook.

If you prefer cookbooks that resemble slick travel magazines, pass on this selection. You'll find no calendar photos of sun-dappled Tuscan hillsides nor gushing prose.

The book conveys an earthy aesthetic with its rough paper and simple drawings and emphasizes information and lots of it: 350 recipes, a glossary of terms, a guide to ingredients and tips on cooking techniques and tools. As if to stress the point that Whole Foods is hardly synonymous with asceticism, there's a brief wine selection guide.

Bay Scallops Dijon

Serves 4

1 pound linguine

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup thinly sliced red pepper

1 cup thinly slivered red onion

1 clove garlic, minced ( 1/2 teaspoon)

3/4 pound bay or sea scallops

1/2 cup white or rose wine, or 1/3 cup sweet vermouth

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine.

While the linguine is cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the red pepper, red onion and garlic.

Saute, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft, for about 2 minutes. Add the scallops and cook for 30 seconds for bay scallops, a minute longer for sea scallops. Add the wine, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes to reduce the liquid in the pan and concentrate the flavor.

Stir in the mustard and parsley, and heat through. Be careful not to overcook the scallops. Serve over the drained linguine.

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