Herbivoracious: A Flavor Revolution with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes
Some of the most creative new minds in the kitchen and the most exhilarating new voices in food writing come from the world of blogs. Michael Natkin, creator of the wildly popular Herbivoracious.com, indisputably fits both of those descriptions. In Herbivoracious: A Vegetarian Cookbook for People Who Love to Eat, Natkin offers up 150 exciting
Some of the most creative new minds in the kitchen and the most exhilarating new voices in food writing come from the world of blogs. Michael Natkin, creator of the wildly popular Herbivoracious.com, indisputably fits both of those descriptions. In Herbivoracious: A Vegetarian Cookbook for People Who Love to Eat, Natkin offers up 150 exciting recipes (most of which have not appeared on his blog) notable both for their big, bold, bright flavors and for their beautiful looks on the plate, the latter apparent in more than 80 four-color photos that grace the book. This is sophisticated, grown-up meatless cooking, the kind you can serve to company—even when your guests are dedicated meat-eaters. An indefatigable explorer of global cuisines, with particular interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East and in East and Southeast Asia, Natkin has crafted, through years of experimenting in his kitchen and in loads of intensive give-and-take with his blog readers, dishes that truly are revelations in taste, texture, aroma, and presentation. A third of the book is taken up with hearty main courses, ranging from a robust Caribbean Lentil-Stuffed Flatbread across the Atlantic to a comforting Sicilian Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower and around the Cape of Good Hope to a delectable Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans and Tofu. An abundance of soups, salads, sauces and condiments, sides, appetizers and small plates, desserts, and breakfasts round out the recipes. Natkin, a vegetarian himself, provides lots of advice on how to craft vegetarian meals that amply deliver protein and other nutrients, and the imaginative menus he presents deliver balanced and complementary flavors, in surprising and utterly pleasing ways. The many dozens of vegan and gluten-free recipes are clearly noted, too, and an introductory chapter lays out the simple steps readers can take to outfit a globally inspired pantry of seasonings and sauces that make meatless food come alive.
Michael Natkin on Herbivoracious
My journey as a serious cook began when I was 18 years old. My mother was dying from breast cancer and was trying a macrobiotic diet to see if it would help. A friend of mine, a vegetarian and a good cook, showed me the ropes so that I could make meals for my family. It didn’t take me long to realize that I loved everything about cooking.
When I moved to Providence for college, I was exposed to international cuisines that I’d never seen in my hometown of Louisville. I subsequently worked in a beautiful Zen Buddhist farm kitchen in California and traveled the world, gradually settling into a career as a software engineer, making dinosaurs for “Jurassic Park” and animation software for Adobe.
My love for cooking deepened through the years. I wanted to do more than simply prepare meals for my own family. I started my blog, Herbivoracious.com, in 2007. Thousands of people see fit to visit daily and share my passion for vegetarian food that draws on global inspirations and, above all, puts flavor and pleasure first. I also spent some months interning at restaurants in Seattle and New York. This book is the next step. I’ve brought together classic techniques and flavor combinations from around the world, along with ideas from cutting-edge cuisine, to create 150 original recipes that you will be able to use for every occasion, from casual weeknight suppers to your fanciest dinner party.
It seems that everyone I meet, even dedicated carnivores, recognizes the value of eating more plant-based meals. I’ve written Herbivoracious both for vegetarians and for others who are just looking to broaden an omnivorous repertoire.
This is the book for you if you’d like to eat lusty Crispy Polenta Cakes with White Beans and Morel Mushrooms, rich and fragrant Brown Butter Cornbread, or an unusual and refreshing salad of Persimmon, Parsley, and Black Olives. I get excited thinking about the aroma of making red curry paste from scratch, the first taste of a new year’s olive oil, or the texture of beautiful chanterelle mushrooms, and I want to share those discoveries with you.