You know when you're excited about a book you count down the days until it comes out and pre-order your copy as soon as it's available lest you be put on the waiting list. That is how I felt about The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. I have literally looked at the The Flavor Bible every single day since I bought it, and I always use it for inspiration when I'm throwing things together.
My dear friends Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg have won every prestigious cookbook award or The Flavor Bible, and their vegetarian follow-up is just as brilliant. It's the answer to my plant-based prayers! A book that is "The Essential Guide To Culinary Creativity with Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, and More, Based On The Wisdom Of Leading American Chefs."
I want to travel around with Karen and Andrew! They get to travel to speak to the best chefs in the world and compile a book using all of their brilliant tips and ideas. This is an extraordinary encyclopedia of ingredients. Every single plant-based ingredient is listed with the flavor profile, what it is, techniques for preparing and using it, key dishes that it is used in, a comprehensive list of which other ingredients and flavor pair best with it (best pairing appear in caps and bolded for easy reference), and the ultimate flavor pairings.
This is not a cookbook. It's the ultimate cook's companion. There are other treasures in this book like all of the lovely quotes and anecdotes about the various ingredients from famous chefs, calendar of notable events in vegetarian history.
I highly recommend this book to any and every cook, whether your a beginner cook or an advanced home cook. I promise you, this book will make you a better cook, and will certainly give you the tools to make bolder choices in the kitchen sitting on the shoulders of chefs that have experimented before you. Do not think twice, buy this book!
Try these Spanish Marinated Portobello Mushrooms over Steamed Potatoes from Karen and Andrew that was inspired by the lessons they learned from their adventures writing The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. Here's the story:
"A few years ago while visiting the winery Bodegas Farina in the Toro region of Spain, we fell in love with an earthy, rustic one-pot dish they served us for lunch while tasting a number of their wonderful wines. The original dish called for pork ribs marinated in Spanish smoked paprika, dried oregano, cumin, bay leaf, and fresh parsley, stewed with potatoes that have been coarsely broken up. (You can find the original recipe on p. 110 of Penelope Casas’ cookbook La Cocina de Mama.)
After we switched to a plant-based diet in May 2012, this was one of the beloved dishes we most feared having to live without. However, instead of ribs, we now use Portobello mushrooms in the dish instead, and find we love it just as much – and even prefer its new lightness.
This is one of the examples from which we learned a key lesson of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible: that the flavor profile of any given dish isn’t necessarily rooted in its “main ingredient” but rather in its vegetables, herbs and spices. As the flavor profile of Spanish cuisine on page 474 of the book indicates, its essential flavors are rooted in ingredients like garlic, olive oil, and smoked paprika -- not in meat."
Get your copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible.