If mountaineers need field guides, then any chef, no matter how seasoned, needs this reference book.
Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini: The Essential Reference by Elizabeth Schneider is the go to resource for everyone owning a frying pan.
After stumbling upon it at a library in Alabama, it was love at first page. This book covers common, and not so common, vegetables from around the world; there are entries for Chinese market finds and Turkish delights. Each vegetable has pictures, history, common uses, cooking techniques, when to find it and even a selection of recipes. The book is organized alphabetically, making it a snap to locate what you have in your midst. It's a great find for those of us adventurous enough to buy a new item at a farmers market and take it home before asking yourself "What the hell am I going to do with it?".
Although this book doesn't contain every single vegetable, despite its six pounds of paper, it is one of my favorite go to books. And besides, so what if Lemon Cucumber isn't in the index, create your own entry. Discovery is half the adventure.