Bold Vegetarian

Kirchner, Bharti. The Bold Vegetarian: 150 Inspired International Recipes. New York: HarperPerennial, 1995.

A cookbook chock full of information beyond ho hum vegetarian recipes. Eggplant is listed in the index but you won’t find a recipe for Eggplant Parmesan. Special recognition must be made to the word “international” in the subtitle because The Bold Vegetarian takes you on a culinary adventure around the world. Oh, the places you will go! In no particular order:

  • China
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • India (this is a given because Kirchner is a renowned author of Indian cookbooks).
  • Korea
  • France
  • Japan
  • Caribbean
  • Africa
  • Thailand
  • Greece
  • Middle East
  • Germany
  • Mexico
  • United States, and because food is subject to the literal and cultural melting pot,
  • International (in other words, who knows where it originated!)

In addition to great recipes that sound different and exciting, Kirchner adds serving suggestions to create entire menus. She offers variations to make a dish vegan instead of vegetarian. She includes anecdotes, illustrations, and trivia to spice up the pages (pun intended). There are even a few notes for the Grow It At Home gardener. All recipes are simple to follow. Cooking directions are aided by a glossary of terms (just in case someone doesn’t know how to blanch, grill or simmer) and a “pantry” list although the term pantry is misleading because I would never consider storing ghee or feta in a traditional pantry. To say these are ingredients to have on hand would be a better way to phrase it. One other small detractor – no nutritional information. In this health-aware age knowing what you eat is all the rage, especially when it comes to foreign foods made from scratch.

Meals I am most looking forward to making:

  • Curry Gyozas (p 38),
  • Chipotle Chickpeas (p 150),
  • Plum Kuchen (p 254)

BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Fiction for Foodies” (p 88). Even though this is a straight up cookbook Pearl mentioned it because the author, Bharti Kirchner, also wrote a fiction called Pastries: a Novel of Desserts and Discoveries (to be read later).

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