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Hardcover The Vegetarian Compass: New Directions in Vegetarian Cooking Book

ISBN: 0316038431

ISBN13: 9780316038430

The Vegetarian Compass: New Directions in Vegetarian Cooking

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

From one of New York's most esteemed restaurateurs comes a contemporary cookbook that brings vegetarian cooking to a new height of sophistication and elegance with more than 300 remarkably original and satisfying recipes.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Delicious, inventive recipes... an exciting cookbook!

This is the vegetarian cookbook I have been waiting for -- and it's ten years old! There are lots of wonderful inventive recipes that don't involve quantities of grains or cups of cheese. Fava Crostini, for example, is a combination of fava beans, avocado and asparagus. The mixture is wonderful on a crusty bread and just as good thinned a bit and served over pasta -- it has a bright, fresh flavor (and a beautiful green color). Many of the recipes suggest equally unexpected combinations and can be used as a starting point for your own variation. Refried Beans with Truffles combines pinto beans, olive oil, roasted garlic & shaved truffles. If you don't have the truffles to hand (smile), follow the recipe note's suggestion and fry the beans in truffle oil -- an old standby becomes something else entirely. Vegetarian cooking is sometimes so frustrating. I look with envy at all the wonderful books of inspired meat-based recipes and wonder why there are so few parallels among the vegetarian books. I've relied almost entirely on Deborah Madison and Annie Somerville for years, so it's exciting to have the range of choice expanded by a nice thick book (nearly 400 pages) with hundreds of recipes that reflect a different sensibility. It's sad to know that the author, Karen Allison, died of breast cancer shortly before the book appeared. The Foreward, written by her husband, Len Allison, explains that she did not live through the final editing. For those of us who came to vegetarian eating long after the Allisons' NYC restaurant, Hubert's, closed, this book is a kind of message in a bottle, capturing a unique & wonderful way of cooking.

Creative, fun, and the food tastes great!

My husband and I have loved every recipe we've made out of this book. I especially loved the potato gratin stuffed with collard greens and leeks, which I'm also going to try stuffing with spinach. And the caramel parsnip cake was fun and beautiful to mix together, as well as delicious, like a spicy-sweet carrot cake. The vegetable kabobs with peanut sauce were the big hit of our best barbecue ever.The organization of the book, by ingredients and by method, makes it easy to find the kind of food (or type of cooking) you're in the mood for. And the author's stories are understatedly hilarious. (Don't miss the chapter about the Seventh Day Adventist ladies teaching the author to make seitan.)Visually the book is pretty unappetizing, with no photos and printed in purple, gray, and black - the colors of decay, or a bruise? But please look past the design and try this book. I haven't tried a single recipe in it that wasn't imaginative, fun to make, and delicious. This book is a gift to cooks everywhere.

As fun to read as it is to use!

I recieved this book as a birthday present from my sister. It covers a very wide range of vegetarian cooking, with a DEFINITE emphasis on non-traditional approaches to some "old favorites". Some of the recipies are quite humble, with simple ingredients and preperation, and it ascends all the way up to high-style gourmet. A number of recipies are meant to be shared with others, and will yield numerous servings, which is great if you love having dinner parties! The layout of this book is eye-pleasing and easy to understand; it is categorized by main ingredients (such as Vegetables, Rice, or Tempheh, Seitan, and Tofu) and then SUB-categorized into preperation methods (braised, fried, baked, etc). However there are no illustrations or pictures, and often the specific ingredients or preperation methods are somewhat exotic, so a refrence manual might be useful to those who are not professionals. Many of the ingredients are VERY ethnic, and thus it might be difficult for those who don't live in or near a large city with a variety of markets. And some of the ingredients aren't "truly" vegetarian- such as bonito fish flakes, or fish sauce. However these are usually called for in small amounts and a substitute should be found easily enough.However, don't be intimidated by this book- the absolute #1 reason that I love it so much is because it is PACKED with little stories and personal details from the author- how she got the idea, trips to places near and far, stories about other cooks that inspire her. She draws inspiration from her midwestern family's cooking, and will mix it up with ethnic influences. The author's love of food and the culinary lifestyle come through almost effortlessly, in these moments as well as in the recipies themselves. One gets the idea the recipies are MEANT to be experimented with! This book is very inspiring and is sure to fire up the imagination, even if you don't prepare a single recipie.

See veggies in a new light

The typical Vegetarian book takes one of two paths: (1) tofu and granola or (2) vegetable as art. This book, however, takes a different road and rethinks cooking with vegetables from the ground up. The recipes are of medium difficulty and there are no pictures, so some cooking experience is desirable. If you can appreciate the full variety of vegetables and think of them as building blocks for creating meals, you will enjoy.
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