Cookbook #52: Vegetarian Planet. Didi Emmons, The Harvard Common Press, Boston, Massachusetts, 1997. This is the second of my five vegetarian cookbooks. (The other one I covered in this blog is 1000 Vegetarian Recipes.)
I do like this cookbook! Great presentation and illustrations, personal notes, and recipes I’d like to try. Since I first bought this cookbook, I have been exposed to Thai and Mediterranean cuisines, so that many of the recipes I might have passed over in 1997 are now very interesting to me. The author claims a fondness for cheese, so it is not a vegan cookbook (a plus!).
This vegetarian cookbook is not bossily telling readers to give up meat. Instead, the author talks about how the flavors of herbs and spices come through clearer in meatless dishes. At the time of publication (1997), the author notes how US markets are seeing an influx of new food items from other countries. Many foreign cuisines use less meat and more grains, vegetables, and spices. That’s exactly what we found to be true on our recent travels to Turkey and to West Africa. Viva les légumes!
I am looking forward to trying some of the slaws, small bites, and dumpling recipes in this cookbook. A recipe for black rice cakes – now I can cook that “forbidden rice” I bought awhile ago but didn’t know how to cook. I want to try the recipe for Korean vegetable pancakes, and snappy snap-pea salad with sumac. (Can I find sumac in one of my favorite local stores? That might be an adventure.) There are over 500 pages of recipes in this book. What fun. And if I want more, I can go to Didi Emmons’ web site for more.
Unfortunately, the recipe I chose to try for this blog was not a hit. My mind was still foggy from our recent African travels, and I chose a recipe that I should have known my dining partner would not like. I enjoyed it, but probably will not make it again.
I loved the garlic flavor in this soup. It was both well-seasoned and filling. The piece of bread in the bottom was fun. But my dining partner took one taste, said “yuck”, and that was that.