Release date: 2012 / 320 pages
Synopsis (from Amazon.com): 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.
Review: In Herbivoracious, Natkin offers “a collection of vegetarian recipes that are so full of flavor, so pleasurable to make and to eat, and so satisfying that, if you are an omnivore, you won’t give a second thought to the fact that they contain no meat.” Natkin first became interested in vegetarian food at the age of 18 when his mother, battling cancer, decided to try a macrobiotic diet. This sparked Natkin’s enduring passion for food that lead to an award-winning vegetarian blog Herbivoracious praised as “cutting-edge, light and healthy.”
Vegetarians will be thrilled at the wide variety of recipes — from a beginner-friendly Aglio E Olio (spaghetti with garlic and oil) to the more challenging Chirashi Sushi. But even the most exotic recipes are explained with clear, simple instructions that will not intimidate even the greenest chef.
In addition to recipes, Natkin includes a section on ingredients – how to choose a perfectly ripe avocado and which canned tomatoes have the best flavor – and a section on equipment. Sidebars provide background on how to find the best ingredients, when to veer from a recipe and how to perfect a technique. Natkin believes experiencing other cultures’ cuisines can bridge differences and encourage mutual respect, in addition to providing original flavors, so Herbivoracious is quite international as well.
At the end of his introduction, Natkin answers the question, “Why vegetarian?” “Because vegetarian meals are good for you, tread more lightly on our planet’s resources, and are kinder to animals.” Add to that “simply delicious” and you have a recipe for success.
Thank you to Shelf Awareness for asking me to read and review this!