Today I’m writing about my favourite Vegetarian cook books of all time. Although in truth, hard as it is to say – they’re low on tomato. But so good and gorgeous on everything else, I can’t not include them.
The author and cook is Mollie Katzen. I’ve 3 of her titles:
- Moosewood Cookbook: the book of the restaurant ( Ithaca, New York) published 1977
- The Enchanted Broccoli Forest: published in 1982, by when she had moved to Berkeley, California
- The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without: Published 2007, 30 years on from the first !
The books are special for the recipes and for themselves. Food, art and literature all in one.
‘Illustrated and Hand-Lettered’, their pages feel like the author is handing on personal recipes, illustrated with doodles made on their pages as she passes time in the kitchen, waiting for something to cook.
So when the summers comes and tomatoes are plentiful in number and flavour what shall I make ….
From the Moosewood Cookbook:
- Gazpacho Soup- chilled for 4 hours (definitely a long way !)
- Minestrone Soup
- Spicy Tomato Soup
- Green Tomato Chutney
- Italian Tomato Sauce – Onion and Garlic base with flavour from Basil, Oregano and Bay but including Green Pepper (which you may have noticed I have a thing about in tomato sauces as plain wrong !)
- Mexican Hot Sauce – Onion and Garlic base with flavour and kick from Cumin, Cayenne, Coriander, Chilli ( perfect Friday night food)
- Nachos Sauce – Mexican Beer- Cheese sauce ( this too….)
- Tomato – Egg Curry
- And then this which I want to try but fear could go horribly wrong. Billed as ‘exotic and time consuming’ ….introducing…. Green Tomato Rellenos which are:
Green Tomatoes Stuffed with Breadcrumbs, Cheese, Onion, Garlic, Cayenne and Cumin. Coated in batter (beaten egg whites , egg yolks folded in). And ……Pan fried for a fluffy omelette type coating or
Deep fried for a puffy, crispy, fritter. Tomato Fritter – could there be more two more, never knowingly twinned but as it turns out perfectly coupled words ?
From The Enchanted Broccoli Forest:
- Cream of Tomato Soup – 3 variations
- Chilled Tomato-Egg Soup – which with Tomatoes; juice and fresh, Horseradish, Mustard, Tabasco and ….Coarsely Grated Hard Boiled Egg sounds like a brunch Bloody Mary; breakfast eggs included
- Green Gazpacho - with green tomatoes instead of red (how come that makes it sound even colder ?)
- Marinated Tomato Sauce. Raw for summer spaghetti with Tomatoes, Basil, Olive Oil, Garlic and Mozzarella
- Enchilada Sauce: Salsa Verde – cooked and simmered with green tomatoes
Red Sauce – uncooked using ripe, red tomatoes. And just in case it’s ever the last question on Millionaire; here’s the perfect definition of an Enchilada:
‘A soft corn tortilla wrapped around a filling and baked in a sauce usually the filling (cheese, chicken or beef) is plain and bland while the sauce is traditionally the spicier element’
- Bulgarian Salad which featuring as it does Feta, Onion, and Olives sounds Greek to me (!)
- And then under the wonderful title of ‘Cold stuffed Things’ – Tomato Fans – in which a tomato is sliced, toast rack style, and slices of Avocado and Hard Boiled Egg are slotted into the gaps, all dressed with Creamy Mustard Dressing. Does that combination work ? Does the tyranny of Avocado, Tomato and Mozzarella need to be overthrown or was this an early 80’s revolution which failed?
From The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without:
- Tomato- Basil Jam
- Oven-Scorched “Stewed” Tomatoes
- Oven Ratatouille
- Greek-Style Spinach with Caramized Onions, Tomatoes, Yogurt & Pinenuts
And lastly but deliciously …
- Gratineed Tomatoes – ‘Thick slices of Tomato, seasoned with herbs and sautéed until crispy on the outside and warm and soft within….’
All this and more will be mine come summer and the return of ….The Enchanted Tomato Garden.
Inside the Moosewood Cookbook: