6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Passionate, inventive, glorious celebration of vegetables, 26 Mar. 2013
Here is a timely cookery book that I reckon should be first in line on your cookery book shelf: a passionate emporium for vegetables, written by a chef who not only celebrates the glory of the potager, but almost reverentially coaxes the blossoming of each fruit or vegetable in the pan, even when bought mistakenly picked unripe from the tree or pulled from the ground too early or too late. Alexis Gauthier's affection for everything that the ground bestows is infectious and you get the feeling he didn't want to leave anything beautiful or delicious out, so this book is a veritable tome - a Big and Generous (in the greater sense) present for oneself or deserving others.
There are three distinct qualities of this book that I believe surpass the myriad of choice out there on the cookery bookseller's shelves: first, the recipes are extremely clear and simple to follow; second, they are graded according to ease of making and third, the photographs are inventive, fun and extremely salivating.
It is clear from the first page that Alexis Gauthier is determined to get us to revel in vegetables being seen as the main component of any meal, with or without meat or fish accompaniment. And this for me is the key. You arrive home from the market with a head of broccoli, so green, so crisp, so bursting with life that you want to give it a name and invite it to lunch and Vegetronic tells you how to place it right at the centre of your table cooked with coarse grain mustard. Jolly delicious it is too. This seems to be a book for vegetarians, pescetarians and carnivores alike, all of us in fact, who want to experiment in putting a vegetable of their choice right at the heart of an evening.
So this is the book for vegetable lovers who adore new ideas and veg box customers too who despair when, after all the easily wooed over red peppers, crisp courgettes and sweet potatoes there's some brown dull-looking salsify lying at the bottom and you need a helping hand. And he's very chatty - Monsieur Gauthier, so you feel he's perched on the end of the work surface giving you little tips about how to prepare unripe pears or do extraordinary things with a beetroot or make carrots more than interesting.
My only gripe is to see foie gras included when if only all those chefs knew about the processed cereal slurry forced down the beaks of those miserable, incarcerated ducks, they would see it on a par with intensive salmon. One day.....one day..... it will be gone, or consigned to dull and desperate restaurants. Time for a sumptuous champignon-porto paté to take its place....In fact, why not a book dedicated to glorious vegetable patés????