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A Passion for Vegetables: Simple and Inspired Recipes from Around the Globe [Paperback]

Paul Gayler
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

June 1 2003
A PASSION FOR VEGETABLES is a feast of innovative and sensational recipes from one of the world's most brilliant chefs. Acclaimed for his creative cuisine, Paul Gayler celebrates the versatility, color, texture, and taste of vegetables in this modern collection of recipes, including:

Thai Coconut-Scented Eggplant
Southern-Style Okra Succotash
Swiss Chard and Pear Tart
Coriander Mashed Potatoes with Charred Chiles
Tunisian Carrot Salad

Imaginatively deploying more than sixty different vegetables from across the globe (from Swiss chard to choi sum, Jerusalem artichokes to kohlrabi), he covers every course, starting with delectable appetizers and even finishing with some vegetable-inspired desserts.
The intricacies of vegetable selection, storage, preparation, and nutritional value are also discussed in detail, and presented alongside more than 150 original, inventive recipes and dazzling full-color photographs, making A PASSION FOR VEGETABLES both a stunning visual treat and an undeniable taste sensation. An informative glossary of terms is also included.


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From Amazon

Paul Gayler, executive chef at the Lanesborough Hotel, the U.K.'s five-star hotel for cuisine, started his cooking career in the vegetable section. He has remained enamored and, inspired and "seduced" by the Mediterranean and the Far East, he has amassed a collection of unforgettable recipes with vegetables in the starring roles. A Passion for Vegetables is not, however, a vegetarian cookbook, as there are a few recipes that call for ingredients such as shellfish, sardines, and beef stock, although any of those recipes can be adjusted.

"Taste buds are at their sharpest at the beginning of a meal," says Galer, so he offers some of his most exciting recipes right from the start. Potato and Goat's Cheese Soup with White Truffle Oil, Corn Bisque with Cheese and Smoked Bacon, Baked Artichokes with Coddled Eggs Niçoise, and Beefsteak Tomatoes with Sardine and Fennel Risotto are all memorable. Stunning photography convinces you not to skip over recipes such as Pan-Fried Asparagus with New-Season Morels and Mediterranean-Style Fennel.

Chapters on main courses, side dishes, and desserts follow. Divided by type (fungi, cabbage, pods and seeds, vegetable fruits, etc.), Galer is creative, enthusiastic, and sometimes downright brilliant with his combinations. Stuffed Artichoke Rosti with Brie, Bacon, and Cumin is shown "cut open ... to reveal an oozing blend of soft cheese and smoky bacon." Marinated and Broiled Teriyaki Shiitakes made with sake, mirin, and garlic are inspired. Baked Eggplants with Samfaina (a type of Spanish ratatouille) are the epitome of comfort food, as is the Thai Coconut-Scented Eggplant with Nam Pla.

And Galer doesn't forget dessert. Among them are Fennel and Caramelized Banana Stacks made with phyllo layers, a wonderful, light fennel mousse, and richly caramelized bananas. For the more adventurous, there's Coconut Milk, Yoghurt, and Red Chile Sorbet.

Galer is a master chef, but his recipes are clear and easy to follow. The lists of ingredients are not complicated, and he is generous with his tips. From a shortcut to peeling small onions and shallots to the difference between types of potatoes to warnings against adding cream before puréeing, Galer is encouraging, informative, and a pleasure to cook with. --Leora Y. Bloom --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Suffused with inspiring ideas and a sense of genuine curiosity, Gayler's book is a paean to fine dining and the simple pleasures the earth can provide. Gayler often achieves eye-popping results with just a handful of ingredients in innovative marriages, as in Iced Cucumber and Almond Soup, Pan-Fried Asparagus and New-Season Morels, and Fava Beans and Salsify with Garlic Cream. London chef Gayler (A Passion for Cheese) uses a single condiment for balance, resulting in simple, powerful gestures: Balsamic Glazed Red Chicory, Saffron-braised Potatoes with Paprika, Lemongrass-Glazed Carrots and Pink Radishes. An impressive compendium of the world's sauces, from chermoula and tarator to tzatziki and sambal is prominently on display throughout the book. And lest anyone doubt that vegetables can find their way to the dessert tray, Gayler deftly pairs the sweeter ones with fruit (Swiss Chard and Pear Tart, Butternut Squash and Orange Sorbet). Essays on the vegetable families are interspersed throughout the book; categorized as "roots and tubers," "thistles and shoots," "pods and seeds," they show a refreshing awareness of where vegetables come from and how they are grown. This unpretentious book treats vegetables with clarity, elegance and respect.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Gourmet veggie food! July 15 2003
Format:Paperback
So Paul is not really a vegetarian chef as such - but really enjoys cooking with vegetables, adding the odd piece of pancetta here and there. There's no doubt he knows his way around the veggies though - but some of the recipes are just a bit to fiddly for everyday entertaining and shopping - or eating for that matter! Nevertheless a very interesting book, but probably to be saved for the more elaborate veggie dinner party - and for when you have plenty of time!! If you do do it though, it will be well worth the effort! Lots of great pictures and chapters divided according to vegetables.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gourmet veggie food! July 15 2003
By "zarahmaria" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
So Paul is not really a vegetarian chef as such - but really enjoys cooking with vegetables, adding the odd piece of pancetta here and there. There's no doubt he knows his way around the veggies though - but some of the recipes are just a bit to fiddly for everyday entertaining and shopping - or eating for that matter! Nevertheless a very interesting book, but probably to be saved for the more elaborate veggie dinner party - and for when you have plenty of time!! If you do do it though, it will be well worth the effort! Lots of great pictures and chapters divided according to vegetables.
5.0 out of 5 stars This Ain't Just for Vegetarians! Aug. 23 2008
By cultured cook - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There are plenty of ethnicities represented here, from Thai to Moroccan. And don't be fooled--though you might think that this is a vegetarian cookbook, it isn't; rather, vegetables are the main part of the dish instead of the side. The book highlights the type of veggies available--roots & tubers include beets, carrots, parsnips, and radishes; shoots & thistles include asparagus, celery, and artichokes; vegetable fruits includes avocadoes, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes. There are even desserts. White Peach Tarts with Tomato Jam & Lemon Sorbet sound pretty good to me! And check out the back of the book for descriptions of each vegetable.

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