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The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation by Mollie Katzen

imagesIt’s so easy to enjoy cookbooks.  We ALL like to eat after all, but one of the great joys of cookery tomes is that they are most often designed for durability and collectability.  The weight and sheen of the paper is lovely and the photographs inspiring. With all that as a ‘given’, what makes any specific cookbook stand out?  When it’s written by Mollie Katzen, author of Moosewood Cookbook, said title, The Heart of the Plate:Vegetarian Recipes for a new Generation jumps right to the top of any cook’s reading list.  So much has happened to American cookery since the 1977 publication of Moosewood.  Our best cuisine is no longer governed by ‘quick and convenient’, rather local and fresh and high quality are the new rallying cries.  Many American palates are no longer solely ‘meat and potatoes’.  Those changes are all featured in Katzen’s new book, The Heart of the Plate.  Full color photos fill every second page in this excellent production from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  Text spacing for the ingredients and recipe steps is easy on the eyes and most recipes include ‘optional enhancements’; ingredient suggestions to ‘change up’ the course.  Best of all, for this reader, is that many of the recipes are ‘easy’ to follow for the occasional cook.  Among my favorites are: Stir-fried noodles with Asparagus, Mushrooms, Tofu, and Cashews; Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese; and Golden Mango-Nectarine Gazpachio.  Highly recommended.

Amy P.

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