By R. Couri Hay | August 18, 2016 | People
Iconic author and entrepreneur Martha Stewart publishes her latest book, Vegetables, just in time for the fall harvest.
“There are lots of vegetables in the markets and in the farmstands that people have never seen or tried,” says Martha Stewart.
Martha Stewart turned 75 in August, but she’s just as busy as she’s always been, with a new book out on September 6, Martha Stewart’s Vegetables: Inspired Recipes and Tips for Choosing, Cooking, and Enjoying the Freshest Seasonal Flavors, full of advice on selecting, storing, and cooking what grows in the garden. “Gradually over the years, I have come to rely more and more on a vegetable-based diet, not because it’s going to make me live longer, but because I actually love vegetables and they make me feel good,” says Stewart, whose organic garden at her home in Bedford, New York, features cabbage, zucchini, squash, artichokes, peas, beans, onions, and 30 kinds of lettuce.
While her diet is not strictly plant-based—she also eats fish and other proteins—Stewart says the book is “mildly encyclopedic” about vegetables, some of which readers may not have encountered. “I believe that if you give people good recipes that are very tasty, they will try new and different things,” she explains. “There are lots of vegetables in the markets and in the farmstands that people have never seen or tried, and we try to inform and inspire people to actually try some of these.”
A cookbook is not Stewart’s only weapon in her battle to get Americans to eat more healthily. She has also launched a meal kit service, Martha & Marley Spoon, which delivers fresh ingredients for meals that you can prepare at home with simple step-by-step instructions. In addition to meals with meats and fish, the service offers vegetarian options, with each recipe balanced to include grains or beans.
“Martha & Marley is a partnership meant to save you a tremendous amount of time,” Stewart explains. “You do not have to shop. You do not have to waste money or waste ingredients. So if you need a tablespoon of sherry vinegar, that’s what comes in the box. You don’t have to go buy an $11.99 bottle that you may never use again.”
Blistered eggplant with tomatoes, olives, and feta.
Stewart is also currently at work on a new, long-anticipated project: her autobiography. “It’s pretty hard because my life is kind of an open book, [but] you’ll be pleasantly surprised,” she says. “I have learned a lot in a short time, and I think everybody will learn a lot from it.”
In the meantime, Stewart tends to her ornamental garden at her home in East Hampton; supports a number of local causes, such as the LongHouse Reserve, the East Hampton Historical Society, and the Ladies Village Improvement Society; and is a frequent visitor to area restaurants, including 1770 House, Clam Bar, and La Fondita. And while Stewart is a star around the world, on the East End, it seems, her dogs— two Chow Chows and three Frenchies—get all the attention. “The dogs love the Hamptons,” she says. “They’re fixtures on Lily Pond Lane. Everybody knows the dogs.”
Martha Stewart’s Vegetables: Inspired Recipes and Tips for Choosing, Cooking, and Enjoying the Freshest Seasonal Flavors (Clarkson Potter; $29.50) comes out September 6
photography by robert ascroft