If I wanted I could be a vegetarian without missing the meat. Since my uni days, which unfortunately ended a while ago, and those first experiences of cooking on my own and for myself; I have hardly ever cooked meat. After my student years I finally ended up realising what I suspected since I was a teenager: I enjoy eating vegetables much more than eating meat. That doesn't mean that once in a while I don't treat myself to a fantastic steak, I still like meat, especially if it's cooked with seasalt and accompanied by a bunch of fries. However, the one thing that worries me about eating vegetables and hardly any meat, is that I find vegetables incredibly hard to work with. I find them complex and even though I imagine there are a ton of ways of cooking them and combining them, I always end up cooking them the same 3 ways that I know best. While doing a bit a of research on cookbooks for The Amazing Blog, I came across Alain Passard's "The Art of Cooking With Vegetables". If you're a vegetable lover, I'm sure you'll find the book as inspiring as I did.
It all began when the chef Alain Passard removed from his successful 3-Michelin-stared Parisian restaurant L'Arpège 11 years ago. The result? A restaurant that only serves fruits and vegetables grown on Passard's own farm. The layout of the book is simple and it's nicely designed, in less than a 100 pages and organised in seasons, each recipe Passard includes a commentary on how he brings the ingredients together. Each recipe also comes with a recommended wine (for a wine lover like me, this is a huge plus!) and an illustration of the final dish. The recipes are innovative, full of unexpected combinations and flavours. My favourite recipes (for which I still have to perfect my amateur technique...) are the Avocado Souffle with Dark Chocolate and Baked Apples and the Beetroot with Leek, Green Apple and Green Tea.
"The Art of Cooking Vegetables" by Alain Passard is perfect for those of you who find cooking vegetables a real mission due to the lack of creativity or knowledge of the different cooking techniques. You can buy Alain Passard's book from Amazon for only £12.80.