Top critical review
11 people found this helpful
Just add an expensive dairy product and your veggies will taste good!
on November 4, 2014
When I first got it I was a bit disappointed. I was hoping for something that would teach me how to make vegetables really well using spices, herbs, and technique. Instead, many recipes contain an expensive (at least in Canada) dairy product ' yogurt, cream, or a particular cheese. It's not like you can't leave them out, but some recipes seem to depend on them. It's pretty easy to make something taste good using melted taleggio or artisanal unripened goat's cheese. Other recipes also seem to contain unnecessary steps - the garlic prep in the caramelized garlic tart, for example (I have done it without par-boiling the garlic first, and it was no different) and baking the rice in the oven for the cardamom rice with yogurt (you can just do it on the stove, like normal). The recipes taste good, but overall this book isn't teaching me many useful tricks and preparations for vegetables. Updated March 2016: I've been now cooking from this book for awhile longer, and I came here to comment on it forgetting that I already had! And the reason I wanted to comment is because it *still* disappoints. I've tried at least 6-8 more recipes from the book now, and nothing yet has blown me away with taste. On top of that, the recipes still seem to generally depend on expensive or difficult to find products; and they still seem to have multiple unnecessary ingredients or steps. The black pepper tofu, aside from being WAY too peppery - that's all I could taste - also calls for 3 kinds of soy sauce, which I replaced with just one. I looked at the socca recipe, but it contains egg whites, so instead I just used David Lebovitz's recipe, which turned out very well and essentially contains chick pea flour, water, and oil. I wanted to try dried lime powder so I tried his quinoa/sweet potato salad that uses it, and even with 3 kinds of fresh herbs, fresh lemon juice and feta cheese, it was fine but still not incredible, and the lime powder certainly wasn't anything mindblowing. When I use the recipes, I end up having to leave out or sub a handful of ingredients most of the time, and so I think I am just going to use this book more for some general ideas than to actually follow recipes from. Too bad. Not sure why everyone loves it.