Book review: The vibrancy of vegies

This book is for anyone who loves cooking with vegetables.
This book is for anyone who loves cooking with vegetables.

THIS is my kind of cookbook - it's for people without a lot of time, perhaps not a lot of skill or big gourmet dollars to sprinkle around, but those who enjoy imaginative, healthy and easy-to-make meals; (ie. vibrantly colourful dishes that have a dashing look of personal creativity).

The book is all about the wonderful world of vegetables, pulses, berries, spreads and sauces. There's more than 100 vegetarian recipes and it gives us much more than just smart new ways to use our ancient produce. The book's introduction is quite justified in boasting suitability for a wide range of palates including, gluten-free, vegans, pescatarian or a "meat-on-the-side-ian'.

Because of recipes such as the heavenly blueberry, mango and mint ice cream, I must also include those known to possess a healthy sweet tooth.

As the author, Jeanine Donofrio, explains: "This book is not organised by breakfast, lunch and dinner - it's organised by vegetable, so that if you come home with something beautiful from the farmer's market, you can then figure out what to make with it. Or you can start with a vegetable or two that you have on hand and build from there."

Donofrio kicks off the flavour of the book with kitchen practicalities, "how to cook with what you have" and moves on with, "what to make when you have many vegetables," building on ideas such as just add tortillas, veggie-ful pasta, many-vegetable soup and kitchen sink salad.

To assist us in our meal making, you will find more than 300 beautiful photos, snapped by Donofrio's husband Jack Mathews. These vibrant pictures truly encourage your own creativity.

There is a very good mix and match chart for multiple variations on pestos, salsas, hummus and all sorts of sauces that (could possibly) prompt guests to utter whispers of praise around your gourmet creation such as: "It's a triumph."

Our Love and Lemons author hails from Austin, Texas, but the universality of fresh produce means we Aussie east coasters and beyond can equally enjoy dishes such as: cucumber, basil and watermelon salad or winter warmers in the form of crispy baked eggplant; curried cauliflower fried rice; red capsicum and feta frittata.

However, the simplicity of kale salad with roasted root vegetables gains another star from me.

Topics:  cooking reading review

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