The Winter Vegetarian: A Warm and Versatile Bounty

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9780060932442: The Winter Vegetarian: A Warm and Versatile Bounty

With a true love for winter's culinary delights, Darra Goldstein's The Winter Vegetarian will make you long for the winter months year-round. Containing recipes from cold-climate cuisines all over the world, here is a creative and inspired collection that offers healthful and flavorful meals for any winter occasion.

From lusty Turkish Lentil Soup to spicy Basque-Style Scrambled Eggs to Ginger Pear Preserves, more than 150 delicious recipes--appetizers, salads, breads, desserts, and even Tolstoy's favorites--will help you face the challenge of remaining meat-free in the face of an often uninspiring produce department. With The Winter Vegetarian,yur meals will become the backdrop for a true appreciation of winter's rhythm as you luxuriate in the comforts of hearth and home.

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Review:

A meatless cookbook devoted to wintry food that is lush and engaging is unexpected, to say the least. The Winter Vegetarian (formerly titled The Vegetarian Hearth) offers a wealth of earthy, flavorful dishes fitting this description. Darra Goldstein, a professor of Russian, focuses here on northern European climes, where foods suited to cold weather abound. To Goldstein, winter is not a time of limitation, lacking in appealing vegetables, but an opportunity to enjoy bold-tasting vegetables made sweeter by the chilling breath of a hard frost. Many chapters open with literate, scholarly essays ranging from a meditation on buckwheat and an exploration of the customs of Shrove Tuesday to a defense of rutabagas.

The recipes make sustaining fare. Finnish Cabbage Pie Soup, a rich, roasted-vegetable broth ladled over a flaky crust filled with meltingly sautéed cabbage, is an unexpected, tempting dish. Other dishes are as simple as Spicy Winter Crudités, steeped in a cumin-accented marinade; warm, velvety roasted chestnuts; and comforting Basque Piperade, sautéed sweet peppers and tomatoes stirred with moist scrambled eggs. (Goldstein relates this dish to a wintry state of mind found even in sunny Italy and France when the season turns bleak.) Anyone not seduced by the dark tapestry of winter flavors woven by Goldstein's way with turnips, cabbage, roasted sweet potatoes, dried apricots, and other winterized fruits can start with something more familiar like bran muffins or Hot Snow, South African mashed potatoes seasoned with ginger, lemon, and rosemary. After that, you may be ready to try the tangy, mustard-dressed Rutabaga Salad... and enjoy it. --Dana Jacobi

About the Author:

Darra Goldstein is Professor of Russian at Williams College. She earned her Ph.D. at Standford University and has written extensively on Russian literature, culture, art and cuisine. Her previous cookbooks are A Taste of Russiaand The Georgian Feast, which was voted Best Cookbook of 1993 by the International Association of Culinary Proffessionals/Julia Child Cookbook Awards. She lives with her husband and daughter in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

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