Do you buy cookbooks? As much as I love cooking and trying new recipes I have so few cookbooks, which is a shame as my most recent purchase, Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, has made me well aware of. There are well over one hundred vegetable-based recipes that play to all types of tastes and interests. Broken down into sections such as Breakfast & Lunch, Little Meals, and Platefuls, the book showcases a variety of preparations that vary by season. Pizza for Four Seasons, Roasted Vegetables for Four Seasons, and so on.
Before the recipes, however, there is a generous section about how to create a well rounded larder. Sarah Copeland gives great advice about what ingredients should always be on hand, such as multiple grains (barley, couscous, oats, etc.); fresh, dried, and canned beans (chickpeas, edamame, and lentils); various oils for different culinary needs (coconut oil, extra-virgin oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, etc.); and several other oft-used components (cheese, pasta, flour, etc.).
There are brief notes on recommended storage of certain products (did you know cheese should always be wrapped in butcher or wax paper, not plastic wrap?), best sources of nutrients and vitamins for the healthy vegetarian, and ideas on what exactly you need for a well stocked Asian pantry. It has prompted an interesting exercise on both stocking up and simply paring down to the essentials.
The back of the book has an especially handy prep school that I’ve already spent significant time looking at. I’ve always been curious about properly preparing and cooking artichokes; now I know. Toasting nuts, storing asparagus, poaching eggs, and tailoring a homemade stock are a few other items on which Copeland offers advice.
A few recipes I’m excited to try:
- Warm Winter Vegetables with Farro
- High-Rising Buttermilk Biscuits
- Greek Lemon and Pasta Soup
- Polenta with Mushroom Pomodoro
- Red Lentils with Yogurt
- Eggplant Parmesan Summer Supper
- Ricotta Fritters with Meyer Lemon Glaze
We’re dedicated meat eaters, that is for sure (obviously), but it’s nice to expand our repertoire and explore more options in the kitchen. Meat in Switzerland is of excellent quality, but you’re certainly paying a premium for the free range habitats and organic diets that are the standard in the country. Finding hearty and healthy substitutes for meat has become a recent goal of mine and Feast has quickly established itself as a great tool and resource.