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Alice Waters Advocates For Slow And Fresh Food

Armen Hareyan's picture
Alice Waters and her many cookbooks

Alice Waters, a well known California healthy food advocate appeared this evening on 60 minutes preaching her ideas about health food. She says eat fresh and slow.

Waters is actually getting very good reviews. I love seeing Alice Waters this evening on 60 Minutes as she says "Good food is a right, not a privilege." Amen to that, as this looks to be a big night for Slow Food in the U.S.A. I read one man commenting that "inspired by Alice Waters on 60 Minutes, we are putting the microwave in the basement to see how we do without it."

She has started the organic revolution and advocates for better food that can also turn to better health for the American people. Alice Waters thinks a veggie garden at the White House is a good idea. I agree. That will make our decision makers to think about policies that promote good health and eating habits.

Alice Waters started her restaurant Chez Panisse in 1971. From the beginning, Alice and her partners tried to do things the way they would like them done at a dinner party at home. The restaurant, located downstairs, is open for dinner Monday through Saturday, by reservation only.

Waters is an author of many recipes and cookbooks. Alice Waters cookbooks and recipes are very popular among those who like good food and subscribe to slow eating habits.

Some of her cookbooks include The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution, Chez Panisse Vegetables (it also has Cafe and Fruit versions), as well as Slow Food Nation's Come to the Table: The Slow Food Way of Living by Alice Waters.

I agree with Waters on many issues as she is so right on healthy food and slow eating. I lost many pounds by only cleaning up my food. I can't eat meat that has been injected so much corn.

Here is a little segment from Alice Waters' appearance on today's 60 minutes.

""You started a revolution in food. How we think about food. How we cook food. But do you think of yourself as a revolutionary?" correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Waters.

"I guess I do now, but when I started Chez Panisse I wasn't thinking of a philosophy about organic and sustainable. I just was looking for flavor," Waters replied."

Here is a sample of Alice Waters' numerous recipes reprinted from PBS.

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Soupe Au Pistou With Lamb Shanks

This version of the classic provencal garlic- and basil-infused vegetable soup is quite substantial and suitable for a main-course dish.

Serves 6 as a main course.

6 small lamb shanks
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
1 celery rib, sliced
14 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 medium tomatoes, quartered
10 cups Basic Chicken Stock
Bouquet garni: thyme, parsley, and bay

2 pounds fresh shell beans, shelled
1 pound romano beans, cut in ½ inch pieces
1 pound green beans, cut in ½ inch pieces
1 large bulb fennel, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 medium potatoes, diced
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 large onions, diced
2 small zucchini, diced
4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
Optional: 1 cup cooked pasta, such as orzo, mezzi tubetti, conchiglie or orecciette

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
3 garlic cloves
2 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Season the lamb shanks generously with salt and pepper, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat and brown the shanks. In a large enamelware Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat and lightly sauté the onions, carrot, celery and garlic. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock and bouquet garni. Season to taste and bring to a boil. Add the lamb shanks in a single layer, cover and reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook on the stovetop or in a 350-degree oven for 2 hours, or until quite tender.

While the lamb is braising, bring about 2 quarts of salted water to boil. Add the shell beans and cook until just tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the beans and let them cool at room temperature. In the same boiling water, replenishing as necessary, one vegetable at a time, parboil the romano beans, green beans, fennel, carrots and potatoes until just done, and spread them out to cool.

When the shanks are done, remove them from the broth and set aside. Strain the broth, discarding the braising vegetables. Let the broth settle, and skim away any fat from the surface. Measure the broth, and add chicken stock, vegetable cooking liquid, or water to bring the quantity to 10 cups. Return the shanks and broth to the Dutch oven. Set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and sauté the diced onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and continue cooking for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the parboiled romano beans, green beans, fennel and carrot and potatoes, stirring well to coat with he oil. Add the tomatoes, shell beans and chopped parsley and thyme. Season everything with salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes more.

Bring the broth and lamb shanks to a simmer. Stir in the sautéed vegetables and cook gently for a few minutes. Taste the broth, adjust the seasoning, and stir in the pasta if using. (The soup can be cooled to room temperature at this point, refrigerated, and reheated the next day.)

To make the pistou, pound the pine nuts and garlic with a pinch of salt as mortar. Add a few basil leaves and continue to pound. Alternating basil and olive oil, continue pounding until a smooth paste is achieved. Stir in any remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. You will have about 1 cup of pistou.

To serve, heat the soup and ladle into deep, wide soup plates, with a lamb shank in each. Swirl a heaping tablespoon of pistou into each serving.



she came across as elitist as she was reported to be. come on, in this climate she is pushing for us all to spend tons of $$ to eat well and offers no real solutions of how to do this other than planting vegetables at the white house. maybe she should take a ride outside of the friendly confines of berkeley to see how the avg american is struggling to put food of any kind on their table. glad she has the time to cook a freakin egg over an open flame and dice tomatoes in the morning while the rest of us are working hard to get the kids out the door. i am all for healthy food but she is not providing any solutions. what a waste of breath.
Anonymous: Try spending less time perusing the internet and leaving dumb comments on websites and make some good food for yourself.
Anonymous's comments were not dumb. There is a real frustration for those who are busy and broke that eating well costs so much and takes so much time. Whole Foods is nicknamed Whole Paycheck for a reason.
Hi: Just started culinary school. You love for cooking from natural products this is my husband desire as well. He wants a farm and all the animal to go along with it.So, I will do the baking and bread and he will do food. One question. What made you come to the conclusion that natural was the way? Thank you for your time. Katrina