With the inspired recipes that chef and author Arthur Potts Dawson has created in Eat Your Vegetables, bland side dishes are banished forever from the kingdom of the delicious. These recipes allow vegetables to be stars of the table. As the author states, "This isn't about becoming vegetarian, and this isn't a vegetarian cookbook - this is about putting veg at the center of the plate.' And what glorious plates they make, with their range of colors and textures, their ability to adapt to other ingredients. The 250 recipes range from quick to classic to feast-worthy dishes. Some of the dishes incorporate meat or seafood, but they are supporting players there to enhance the vegetable star, and make a dish even more delicious.
To illustrate the range of any one vegetable, Dawson has organized into five chapters, with several recipes for each vegetable included in each category:
-Roots & Tubers
-Bulbs & Stems
-Leaves & Flowers
-Fruits & Fungi
-Beans & Pods
As one example, if beets are fresh in the market when you shop, the author offers recipes that use beets in a variety of ways: Beet Soup with Cumin & Cilantro; Beet Salad with Watercress & Horseradish; Warm Beets with Soaked Eel & Beurre Rouge; Raw Beet Salad with Pumpkin & Sunflower Seed; Scandinavian Beets with Soused Herrings & Potato.
We love these recipes for many reasons. We love "Waste Not Asparagus Soup" that brings one of our favorite vegetables to the table by using that part of the asparagus that we often toss to the side. (Nice on the pocketbook, as well.) We love the pages that organize by type of dish, such as gratin, and give us half a dozen recipes for that dish, each uniquely designed to bring out the best in an individual vegetable. We love the use of various herbs, such as Chilled Pea Soup with Lemon Thyme; Heritage Tomato Salad with Marjoram; Sorrel & Egg Yolk Soup; Penne with Garlic, Rosemary & Mascarpone.
These are recipes to embrace. As a bonus, you can eat seasonally, a gift back to the earth to say thinks for the world of veggies that nourishes us so well, and the most nutritionally sound way to eat.
There are color photographs throughout by Liz and Max Haraala Hamilton. The author has included a guide to eating seasonally to stocking your larder so you will have ingredients on hand when you find the freshest vegetable in the market. He includes some recipes for basics that include doughs, sauces, stock, even garlic bread.
Delight in vegetables, and enjoy the inventive creations of the man that Jamie Oliver calls "...the original Green Chef."