We scoured Western Living's cookbook library for the best tips and tricks for cooking with vegetables.

With summer harvest just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start experimenting with your vegetables. Who better to tell us the tips and trick to creating the perfect veggie dish than the experts? That’s why we scoured our office (from the intern desk to the archives) for the best advice cookbooks have to offer for cooking with vegetables this July. 

1. Grill your veggies with six essential questions.

It’s all about choosing the right ingredients, at least according to Aaron Ash, author of Gorilla Food: Living and Eating Organic, Vegan, and Raw. Here are the six questions he suggests you should ask of all your food, vegetables included, when determining who makes first string and who’s warming the bench.1. Where did these ingredients come from? Who grew them? Why?2. What are their medicinal properties? What are their flavours?3. What different textures can be created from them?4. What season is it? What is ripe now?5. What does my body want? What do my guests want?6. What colours are right?GorillaFood_caulifowerATry out your skills: To put your veggie choosing skills to the test, try Ash’s Gado Marinated Veggies, recipe here

2. Choose the best vegetable oil.

Choosing the right oil can be tough, especially in such a saturated market. According to Straight from the Earth authors Myra and Marea Goodman, it’s all about buying organic: “the more you learn about the processes and additives involved in the manufacture of commercial oils, the more choosing organic vegetable oil makes sense.”RollsATest out your skills: Try out your top organic vegetable oil pick with the Goodman’s Thai Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce, recipe here

3. Smooth things over with a vegetable smoothie.

There’s no denying it, making a nutritious breakfast isn’t always easy. Good thing Sarah Britton, author of My New Roots has the answer to every not-quite-a-morning-person’s woes: vegetable smoothies. “Nothing is faster and more delicious than a meal-in-a-blender,” says Britton. “There is no better way to get a megadose of superfoods to help kickstart your day.”Green-Galaxy_Page_1ATest out your skills: Britton’s Green Galaxy Smoothie Bowl with Buckwheat Crispies takes green juice to a whole different level and with variable ingredients you can custom make it to your liking. Try the recipe hereAll recipes are reprinted with permission by Appetite by Random House, Chronicle Books and Arsenal Press. All rights reserved.