The Gate Easy Vegetarian Cookbook Hardcover – 15 Jun 2007
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From the Author
On Adrian's 18th birthday, a few months after he turned vegetarian, we spent a beautiful day on London's Hampstead Heath with friends. As a birthday treat, they took us to a well-known vegetarian establishment. Eating in restaurants was not part of our upbringing, so it was an experience that we anticipated with great excitement. It was early evening, yet the restaurant was already packed with diners. We didn't recognize anything on the menu and happily abdicated responsibility to our equally famished friends, who ordered a selection of dishes for all of us to share. Upon the arrival of the food, which tasted as insipid as it looked, something happened inside us.
Although The Gate was not to be opened for at least another six years, we still feel that this was its moment of conception. We left that restaurant with one thought: that food, especially in restaurants, should be about pleasure and indulging the senses, rather than just sustenance for the body.
It was from this point that we really began cooking and concocting recipes, drawing on the wonderful food that we had grown up with and attempting to translate this into vegetarian cuisine. In 1987 we opened a catering company in north-west London, where many of the ideas and principles that now underpin The Gate began to evolve. The first and most important was that although vegetarians don't eat meat, neither do they desire a diet of indigestible wholefoods. Vegetarians seemed to be in a process of compensation, having omitted so many "unhealthy" aspects from their diet, and we felt the vegetarian cook should feel liberated to use butter and cream and generally encourage a sense of indulgence. Other golden rules began to take shape as well. Each vegetable has an optimum way of being prepared, be it roasting, grilling, or pan-frying, and the simple alchemy of how water is taken out of a vegetable will often determine its true flavour. It was also during this period, the final years of our grandmother's life, that we got to spend quality time in the kitchen with her, learning some of the wonderful recipes that she brought from India.
In December 1989, we opened The Gate at Hammersmith with a simple mission statement: "We have coffee, we have food, and we have love", an expression that Michael overheard in a Bohemian café in Tel Aviv. The menu in the early days was limited but as we developed and grew the menus became increasingly sophisticated and the restaurant more popular. In 1993 we were thrilled to be awarded the Time Out Best Vegetarian Meal Award. This was a watershed for us! Our quiet little place had finally grown up. It was no longer the hidden hang-out of trainee doctors from Charing Cross Hospital enjoying late-night lock-ins, and neither was there time to pick up buskers from the subway and invite them to play for dinner and a bottle of wine.
In spite of the commercial realities of running a "proper", busy restaurant, we have tried to preserve something of that spirit through our wonderful customers, many of whom have been eating at The Gate for more than 16 years. We hope that you will enjoy cooking the recipes from this book. They reflect the origins of The Gate and the simpe home cooking that was its inspiration.
From the Inside Flap
The Gate is one of the world's most celebrated vegetarian restaurants, with its unique brand of vegetarian food, which combines flavours from all over the world to create dishes that look and taste fantastic. In this follow-up to their successful first book, The Gate Vegetarian Cookbook, Adrian and Michael Daniel introduce more than 120 of their simplest recipes, each one made with just a few accessible ingredients.
Italian polenta chips, Eastern European blinis, Middle Eastern falafel, Indian pakoras and American corn bread; the influences are international and the food always easy and delicious.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I'll set up my credentials. I've been a vegetarian for 15 years and my girlfriend has been vegetarian for 18 years. We have a huge vegetarian and non-vegetarian cookery book collection and we've eaten in vegetarian restaurants all over the world - though randomly not at The Gate! Although I did pop in for a quick lunch once but that doesn't seem to count. I love cooking and obviously it's all vegetarian food.
For everyday dinners this cookery book beats all the other ones I own hands down - including the other recipe book by The Gate.
This is because -
The recipes are quick and simple to make.
They make really tasty food! That should be point 1 really - it is amazing how many cookery books have recipes in that produce really mediocre food.
The type of food is spot on - its got interesting recipes in there but nothing too weird. There's very few, if any, hard to find ingredients. A lot of it is spicy but not all of it - it reflects the kind of food that I like to eat these days and uses the kind of ingredients I like to eat like haloumi, paneer, shiitake mushrooms and butternut squash.
On the down side -
I think the directions are sometimes a bit too simple and it is sometimes a bit unclear how to do something or for how long etc.
Sometimes some of the proportions seem a bit out - like loads of pasta to not much sauce.
But you could level those criticisms at almost all recipe books. The good stuff far far outweighs the bad.
My current favourites:
Tagliatelle with spinach, mushrooms and dolcelatte cream
Rigatoni with arrabiatta sauce
Quesadillas with sweetcorn salsa.
With this new publication of the gate easy vegetarian cookbook with find a series of recipes that really are quick and easy to prepare but still produce the most wonderful food. This has been the answer to my dreams because it means that with the appropriate ingredients I can quickly create a superb meal.