Tuesday, May 11, 2010
This made us remember the early days of Ruth's vegetarianism, when people would ask her if she still ate chicken and fish. No? Well, what about shrimp, they would ask. But the most common questions she got had to do with tofu. Was that all she ate? Dinner parties became fraught with concern; people didn't know what to cook for her or what she would serve them.
Fortunately, vegetarian cooking has come a long way from the days of mushy zucchini, brown rice, and tofu. With the right ingredients and cookbook, you can make meals that taste so good, people don't even notice they aren't eating meat.
Our favorite vegetarian cookbook, hands down, is Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.
Bittman, who writes the Minimalist column for the New York Times food section, is not himself a vegetarian, and maybe that's why this is such a good book. He cares only about maximum flavor and ease of preparation.
As its title states, this book covers everything: appetizers, soup, main courses, pasta, sauces, desserts. And everything we've tried has been good. This recipe, for a simple chickpea pancake, has become a staple appetizer.