Monday, 30 July 2012

Vegetarian Cookbook Review: Market Vegetarian

Call me shallow, but I was drawn to Ross Dobson's Market Vegetarian: Easy Organic Recipes for Every Occasion, by the lovely picture on the front. I had honestly never heard of Ross before, but he looked friendly enough smiling there with his heirloom tomatoes, so I thought I'd give it a read.

Flipping through the pages of Market Vegetarian, it is clear that Dobson has good grasp on flavour combinations and a genuine passion for food. The book's menu is predominantly Mediterranean with lots of aubergines, tomatoes and peppers in Italian, French and Spanish recipes. There are a few nods to his Australasian upbringing with some East Asian inspired noodle dishes, but the book clearly has western Europe's markets in mind.

Though Dobson himself is not vegetarian he has a clear passion for fresh fruit and veg. The book opens with a quick guide to market finds that will be useful for those who are looking to expand their knowledge of ingredients. And while he very often relies on cheese, eggs and yogurt to make up the content, vegans will be able to find a good deal here to appreciate.

The places where this book really works for me is when Dobson does dips and sauces. It is here where he walks the tightrope between the everyday ingredients and unique spices to entice you into trying things you had never previously considered. My go to flavourings are garlic, onions, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper because they work for most things. But one of the reasons that I started blogging was to push myself and my vegetarian cooking skills. Dobson's dips are definitely about adding new spices into the mix. So you get pairings like beetroot and caraway seeds; carrots and fenugreek; aubergine and cumin; Thai pesto with peanuts, coriander, basil and lime...I'm salivating while I'm typing it. Recipes like the Red Pepper Tapenade - a revelation that is definitely going into regular rotation - are delicious and easy to incorporate in your repertoire.

No comments:

Post a Comment