Synopses & Reviews
For cooks who have been waiting for vegetarian cooking to achieve its potential as a cuisine with genuine complexity, sophistication, and subtlety, here is a strikingly original collection of recipes that points the way.
In The Vegetarian Compass, Karen Hubert Allison brings over twenty years of experience as a chef, restaurateur, and teacher to an entirely new conception of the vegetarian kitchen. At her landmark New York City restaurant, Huberts, vegetables were always a cornerstone of the menu, in adventurous dishes that honored their unique flavors and textures. The key to the brilliance of these dishes was Allison's insistence on bringing the rigorous techniques of classic French cooking to a repertoire that had seldom been treated as seriously as it merited. Even seasoned vegetarians were delighted by the visionary elegance of her food.
The Vegetarian Compass brings together the best of these recipes as well as dozens of new ones that borrow ingredients and methods from a broad range of ethnic cuisines and even macrobiotic cooking. Familiar ingredients like grits are transformed by a wild mushroom sauce; rice reaches new heights in Fruit Sushi; and even black-eyed peas attain unusual distinction when featured in a warm salad with chanterelle mushrooms and a champagne vinaigrette. A selection of vegetable-based pates, burgers, and sausages will convince anyone that Shiitake Hazelnut Burgers or servings of Spicy Potato and Spinach Chipotle Sausage cede nothing to their meat counterparts. Vegetables are featured in forms as varied as ragouts, puddings, souffles, and strudels, and as dramatic as an entire grain-stuffed head of savoy cabbage braised with lentils in Riesling. In Allison's hands, even products like tofu, tempeh, and seitan leave the prosaic far behind in dishes such as Green Curry Lasagne with Wild Mushrooms and Tempeh Scaloppine with Sorrel Cream.
Few cookbooks have conveyed the excitement of crossing new boundaries, of discovering the possibilities of cooking with vegetables, as compellingly or as engagingly as The Vegetarian Compass, which is destined to become a classic in its field.
About the Author
Karen Hubert Allison was the former owner, with her husband, Len Allison, of the three-star New York City restaurant Huberts. She taught at the Culinary Institute of America and was the author of the novel How I Gave My Heart to the Restaurant Business (1997). She lived in New York and Maui until her death in 1997.