7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
adventurous and full of big flavours,
This review is from: The Modern Vegetarian: Food Adventures for the Contemporary Palate: Over 120 Recipes to Wake Up Your Palate (Hardcover)
I own many vegetarian cookbooks, but this is the only one where I actually want to try all the recipes. In the two years I've had the book, I have tried more recipes than from any other cookbook I own.
Unlike some previous reviewers, I haven't found the techniques difficult at all. Many of the dishes are very simple ideas, but they pack in lots of flavour.
The author is clearly creative, adventurous and enthusiastic about food and experimenting. Some of the ingredients are a little unusual but not difficult to track down; some come up again and again (feta, watermelon, filo pastry), betraying Maria Elia's roots.
We have tried the watermelon gazpacho (delicious), watermelon, black bean and paneer curry, apple baklava with Turkish delight ice cream (superb), lavender syrup cake, tomato, feta and date baklava, baked feta on a watermelon slab, butternut squash tagine with couscous, white chocolate and lemon brownies (yum), lemongrass and ginger chocolate tart (subtle, rich flavours) and more.
If I have a criticism, it's that the recipes are written by someone who is instinctive about cooking and expects the reader to be as well, so she doesn't always spell everything out. She is brimming with ideas for variations, but I'm not always convinced that she has thought them through, or that the recipes have been thoroughly tested (cooking times especially). Some of them take quite a lot longer to make than she suggests; and watch out, sometimes they're very salty!
But overall, it's an inspiring book and I'm looking forward to cooking many more recipes. By comparison my older vegetarian cookbooks seem full of brown, dull, worthy food.