meaning noun a body of important works of art, an influential body of literature.
It has been a long time coming, but l have been intending to compile a list of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks that inspire me. Welcome to my delectus!
To make what would otherwise be a generic list of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, I thought I would offer a personal review of sorts, not the kind of reviews to encourage you to rush out and pick up a copy (though that would be nice), but more how they came to be in my possession, what I like about the book and what I don't like so much. I will also cook a recipe or two from the cookbook. I hope to do this once a week. Please do join me if you wish and I will share your link in my side-bar (see rules below).
There was another reason that spurred me to do this now, I was actually a little surprised that my Top 5 vegetarian and vegan cookbooks from 2015 were unknown to a number of readers. I think this is a shame, as often celebrity endorsed and glossy vogue coffee table style cookbooks seem to steal the limelight. I want to put the spotlight on vegetarian and vegan books that get pushed to the bottom/back or are simply overshadowed for whatever reason. These will not only include new publications, but publications of the past that are still relevant and full of inspiration - you just have to look.
To start of with I begin with Cranks Fast Food Its a vegetarian cookbook that inspired and helped me through my University student days. I wasn't your typical student living off baked beans and jacket potato. Its also my most stained and splattered cookbook! I have to admit, it wasn't always this way. For the first few months, it sat on my bookshelf next to academic books largely being ignored, I wondered why I had picked it up sold by a review, but then one day when it was my turn to cook at the shared student flat, I decided to cook from it. I made the Thai Green Curry, and oh my goodness - the feedback I got from my diners was fabulous and encouraging. It also gave me a boost of confidence in the kitchen and in myself as a cook. I swooned my student boyfriend, now my husband on so many recipes in this particular cookbook - well then the rest is really history.
Nadine Abensur's cookbooks opened my eyes to new ingredients then such as balsamic vinegar, black sesame seeds, couscous, halloumi cheese, harissa, miso, pesto, polenta, preserved lemons, sumac, tahini , tamarind, tapenade and even zhug, ingredients that we take so much for advantage now. Nadine Abensur is perhaps the number one innovative vegetarian chef who has influenced me and got me cooking out of the so-called culinary vegetable box, injecting bold flavours into traditional fare, but also encouraging me to explore worldwide ingredients. As a self taught home cook, I often wish that Nadine Abensur still lived in the UK, if she did then I would have loved to have attended one of her cookery classes. Without meaning to boast, I think I have all of Nadine Abensur's cookbooks from her first Secrets From A Vegetarian Kitchen to Enjoy: New Veg with Dash and will write more about them in time.
I positively blame Nadine Abensur for starting my love affair with experimental vegetarian cooking, exploring the diversity of vegetables and worldwide cuisines and towards my vegetarian delectus!.
Here are some recipes that I have made over the years. Some blogged, some not, but more importantly many that I often return to time and time again - I know them now off by heart!
Braised Baby chard and Broad Bean Pilaf
Black Eyed Bean Burgers
Broad Beans with Cumin, Paprika and Olive Oil
Carrot and Thyme Risotto
Coconut Dal with Raita, Cardamon rice and Paneer Tikka
Cream of Fennel Soup with Pernod
Dolcelatte Gnocchi with Broccoli and Squash
Feta Cheese Souffles with Black Olive Toasts
Filled Courgettes with Ricotta and Toasted Almonds
Harira (Chickpea Soup) with Harissa
Linguine with Asparagus and Truffle Oil
Orecchiette with Broccoli, Almonds and Taleggio
Roasted Tomatoes with Parsley, Breadcrumbs and Garlic
Sweet Potato and Tamarind Soup
Tabbouleh with chickpeas and garlic Tzatziki
Thai Green Curry
Sweet Potato Chips with Coriander Pesto
Do you have a vegetarian or vegan cookbook that you go to time and time again?!
PLEASE PARTICIPATEAs I mentioned earlier, if you want to join in and share with me your favourite vegetarian or vegan cookbook, please do.
Share an image of the cookbook and cook a recipe from it (you don't have to share the recipe - please be mindful of copyright)
Mention The Vegetarian Library in your post and link back to A2K - A Seasonal Veg Table.
Then leave a comment on this blog post with link to your blog post.
I will do a Round Up at the start of the following month.
Please tweet @SeasonalShaheen #VegetarianLibrary #vegetarianlibrary