Book Report: Vegan: The Cookbook + Bonus Recipe

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Have you seen this book yet? It has a bright yellow cover with a colorful artsy vegetable design. It’s Vegan: The Cookbook by Jean-Christian Jury and it first came to my attention when a review and a few recipes were printed in the Wall Street Journal. I guess vegan is now mainstream, even conservative!

Jury’s premise is this, “At the root of it, vegan food is just food: vibrant, flavorful, fresh – making you feel good inside and out.” And that is how the book is written, as a celebration of plant vitality and variety with seemingly endless possibilities. And with over 500 recipes, you are not kidding!

It will take me a long time to get through this book, but I can say up front that I am going to be cooking from it for a long time to come. There is a lot to discover because the recipes are simple, most with short and easy-to-find ingredient lists. The typeface is super easy on the eyes, the sections are color coded on the edges, and there are no headers on the recipes. The book isn’t cluttered. But even without headers, each recipes is from a different country and there are some nice photos. The whole design makes me want to cook from it.

After short introduction and a run through of the essential vegan pantry, there are the usual chapters for starters, salads, soups, main courses, grains, beans, pasta and desserts, plus a chapter by guest chefs. There is something for everyone in this book!

There are like 7 different recipes for hummus, tons of dips and appetizer ideas, interesting soups and salads, over a dozen curries, over 2 dozen stews, and tons of dessert ideas. Some recipes that stand out to me are the Pizza with Lemons and Brussels Sprouts from Belgium, Caramelized Pineapple and Tofu from Cambodia, Macaroni and Roasted Cauliflower Bowl from Morocco, and the Salty Caramel Cake from Austria.

This book that belongs on any bookshelf, in a vegan house or not. There is so much variety and the recipes are super easy. I have earmarked a bunch of recipes to try,  ut this one jumped right out at me. I made it straight away because I had all of the ingredients on hand.  It’s called Leeks in Mustard Sauce, a really interesting and tasty way to serve leeks. I got permission to reprint the recipe so try it and see what you think!

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Leeks in a Mustard Sauce (Ireland). Photography: Sidney Bensimon (Page
191)

Leeks in Mustard Sauce, serves 4

For the vinaigrette:
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 shallots, finely chopped

For the leeks:
salt
6 leeks, white and pale green parts
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts
Freshly ground pepper
Baked potatoes or boiled potatoes, to serve

To make the vinaigrette, put the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and shallot into a bowl and whisk together.

To make the leeks, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Carefully drop in the leeks and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes, until tender and easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Drain the leeks and pat dry with paper towels. Slice the leeks in half lengthwise.

Arrange the leeks on a serving plate and pour over the vinaigrette. Garnish with parsley and walnuts and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with baked or boiled potatoes.

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From my kitchen: Leeks in Mustard Sauce

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