Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekend Cooking: The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without by Mollie Katzen

I'm not a vegetarian, but I love cooking with vegetables. When I saw this cookbook featured in Hyperion's newsletter, I decided I needed to experiment a bit more in the kitchen and I ordered it.

Mollie Katzen is famous for her vegetarian recipes, and of the 90 or so recipes in this book, most sound delicious albeit rather time-intensive. So far, I have made 4 of the recipes - with another 10 under serious consideration.

Let's look at what I've cooked:

Oven-"Fried" Sweet Potatoes. Mollie has you cut sweet potatoes into thin 1/4 inch slices and then 1/4 inch batons. This is the labor intentive part. Once you have them cut up, you just drizzle them with extra-virgin olive oil and bake them in single layers for about 20 minutes (turning them over with tongs at the halfway point) at 375 degrees. Daniel and I both gave these an A. Great taste and texture.

Sesame-Braised Cabbage with Leeks. This is also a fairly simple recipe involving chopped leeks and cabbage cooked on the stovetop. Mollie has you fry the leeks for 10 minutes over medium heat in butter and then add the cabbage and some water to cook over low heat (covered) for another 20 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and dark sesame oil and enjoy. I'm usually not a big fan of cabbage but this was very tasty. Daniel would have liked a bit more spice, so he rated this a B.

Best Ever Green Beans Amandine. This was the most complicated recipe I attempted, but it was worth the effort and the dirty pans. I couldn't find any pre-chopped/slivered almonds, so I had to chop my own. Mollie has you frying a 3/4 cup of almonds in olive oil and butter for 5-8 minutes over low heat, and then adding 1 teaspoon of minced garlic to the mix during the last few minutes. Stir in green beans that have been simmered for 5 minutes in boiling water until well coated and then serve. This had a wonderful aroma and taste. Grade A.

Leek Chips. Mollie advises topping the Green Beans Amandine with these oven-crispened leek rings, so we did. This was also pretty easy. All you have to do is slice leeks into rings, drizzle them with olive oil and bake them at 250 degrees for 30-60 minutes (until golden brown and crisp). Grade A.

Other recipes I plan to try soon:
Artichoke Heart and Spinich Gratin
Asparagus Crepes with Mushroom Sauce
Broccoli with Garlic, Dried Tomatoes and Lemon
Feta-Walnut-Stuffed Cucumbers
Bright Greens on a Bed of Creamy Polenta
Mushroom-Stuffed Mushrooms with Wild Rice and Goat Cheese
Creamed Spinach with Mushrooms

Find out more about Mollie Katzen and all her cookbooks at her website. She has a ton of recipes there so check them out if you like cooking with veggies.

Weekend Cooking is a feature at Beth Fish Reads that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. This was my first time partcipating, but it won't be my last. I'm so grateful that this feature has inspired me to cook more!


Suzanne Yester said...

I'm so hungry for veggies so early in the morning now! :-) I'm not the most creative with my vegetables, and this books sounds like the answer to that! Those green bean amandine look wonderful! And yes, I looks to be worth the dirty pan! Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!

Sandy Nawrot said...

I grew up on a farm, so I had all kinds of fresh veggies as a kid, and I HATE them! Even to this day, the only thing green I eat is lettuce in a salad. These recipes sound so good, it makes me want to try to make them and see if I could eat them!

Diana Dang said...

Meal you made looks delish!

Beth F said...

I have pretty much all of Katzen's books. I like her recipes and style of cooking. I am not a vegetarian either but we eat meat only a few times a week. I don't have this cookbook . . . yet. But plan to pick it up soon.

Yay you for doing all that cooking and thanks so much for playing along this week.

caite said...

I love veggies...every veggie except okra.

Especially come summertime, I really want to try some new veggie dishes and this cookbook sounds like one I have to check out. Those green beans sound excellent.

Mrs. DeRaps said...

This is one of my all-time favorite cookbooks! A couple of years ago, I bought it for everyone on my Christmas list! Now, they all cook from it when I go to their houses--It's awesome.

Janicu said...

That food picture is SO pretty. I think your plates are perfect for showcasing the dish because of that green color. Lovely. And looks so appetizing!

Jen - Devourer of Books said...

Mm, these sound so good! I may have to order this.

bermudaonion said...

I'm not a vegetarian, but I easily could be so these recipes sound heavenly to me.

Linda said...

all the recipes sound good, but the green been one sounds the best. Going to have to check them out!

Linda said...

green *bean

Hannah S. said...

Those are smily icons, by the way!
You always have such quirky posts. Thanks!
Love, Hannah S.

Hannah S. said...

ESH, my smily icons looks like frowns!
However, I swear they're happy inside.
Love, Hannah S

Anonymous said...

Mmm that dish you made looks delicious! The sweet potato recipe also sounds really good. I love tasty veggie dishes!

AHS said...

Yum! These sound excellent. I'm a vegetarian, and I'm always looking for more good veggie recipes. Thanks for this review!

Tasha said...

I'm a fan of goat cheese, so those stuffed mushrooms sound delicious.

Darlene said...

These recipes sound awesome. I'm not a vegetarian either but I do love vegetables and I love to cook with them and eat them. Thanks for reviewing this book. I'll have to look into it.

Michelle said...

Oh one of my new favorite things is to roast sweet potato 'fries'. So glad you enjoyed them. I'd recommend using the same technique with cauliflower - it will blow your mind. So yummy.