Thought this title continues to remind me of Mr Rosenblum’s List this is in fact a cookbook. Any self-respecting inner-north cafe connoiseur will know Pope Joan, a fixture in the cafe scene for awhile. Matt Wilkinson is the co-owner and chef, formerly of Circa, and here we have his very first cookbook. About vegetables. For the guy who is responsible for a cafe I’ve personally been whigned to about for its serious lack of vegetarian options it struck me as an intriguing choice. “A cookbook to celebrate the seasons” is a catchy sub-title however and this book is set out really nicely. Chapters are devoted to each of Wilkinson’s 24 favourite vegetables* and there’s a double page spread at the start telling you a little about its subject. Varying from “Growing” to “Preparing” to “How to Avoid Getting Stung” this information is exactly what you need to know about an ingredient you rarely use or maybe haven’t even heard of. And you’ll definitely learn something about the history and varieties of some of your old favourites too. From horseradish to corn and nettle to radishes there is a wealth of vegetarian meals and side dishes that will keep you full and inspired, for a long while. And there are some optional meat additions thrown in making this not simply a ‘vegetarian cookbook’ but a cookbook with lots of vegetables. You’ll never have meat and 3 veg again. A lovely publication, hardback, $50.
I had a go at making the logically named “Some Different Beans As A Salad” which was easy to make and really tasty! The dressing is what makes it, I recommend making it a bit ahead of time as the dressing sort of soaks into the beans with time. Delicious. As it says in the book it is excellent the next day too! I would also add extra canellini beans next time…but I really like canellini beans.