bittman-ed

Monday, January 31, 2011


Yet one more reason to love the library: Cookbooks.

I can't tell you how many times I've bought a cookbook, only to have it sit on the shelf collecting dust because it didn't fit into my life -- the recipes required too much advance planning, or the ingredients were difficult to find, or the cookbook was more of a coffee table picture book than an actual reference work.

But the library changes all of that. I love being able to check out cookbooks and take them on a little test run before making the commitment to buy them.

Recently, I borrowed Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

There is just so much to love about Mark Bittman. First of all, he's a marathoner. Second, there is his food philosophy. While he advocates eating a largely plant-based diet, he doesn't believe in cutting things out forever because he doesn't want to stop eating food he loves -- he has a "vegan before 6 p.m. rule," where he pretty much eats like a vegan all day, thereby receiving the health benefits of a mostly vegan diet, and then allows himself to enjoy dinner. (You can read more about this philosophy here.)

And finally: He is a great teacher. (I'm sure those of you who were fans of his now-retired Minimalist column will agree.) His recipes are straightforward, he uses ingredients that are highly likely to be found in your pantry (I've flipped through the book numerous times to choose a dish based on what I had on hand, and it wasn't tough to find something) and he suggests variations for each dish, so once you've learned the basics, you can change things up.

Tonight Todd used Bittman's book to make Braised and Glazed Turnips (and if you don't have turnips, the same recipe applies to radishes or any other root veggie) and Broiled Sunchokes. (We also had some tofu, turnip greens and mushrooms over brown rice, which you can see in the photo above.)

The result?

Delicious. And I'm pretty sure I'll be buying How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and making it a permanent part of our cookbook collection.

1 comment:

Kate said...

That cookbook contains so many recipes that have been put in permanent rotation. Didn't I make the quinoa and potatoes with smoked cheese for you? It's my favorite dish in the whole book. Definitely worth buying.

 
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