Vegetarian Planet

Didi Emmons, Author
Didi Emmons, Author Harvard Common Press $24.95 (512p) ISBN 978-1-55832-115-1
Hardcover - 576 pages - 978-1-55832-114-4
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Emmons, chef at Boston's ultra-hip Delux Cafe, makes a bid for the new generation of vegetarians with this tightly packed and somewhat overwhelming cookbook. Describing her style as ""twists on traditional concepts and dishes"" rather than fusion of various ethnic cuisines, Emmons has loads of good ideas and exuberantly insists on using all of them. Often, this yields brilliant results: Dried Cranberry-Pecan Coffeecake is enlivened with ginger, and Gun Smoke Slaw jumps with chipotle peppers. On the other hand, while some may welcome the addition of quinoa to Soft Polenta with Spicy Tomato Sauce as a way to raise the dish's protein level, others may consider it needless fiddling with a classic. Emmons has a fondness for exotic ingredients, but her genial headnotes explain both where to find them and what to use as substitutes (e.g., brown rice for the spelt in Whole Spelt with Choy and Sesame). The sections on various burgers (Portobello Burgers, Curried Carrot-Walnut Burgers, Yucatan Burgers) and salad dressings (Chile-Cumin Dressing; Creamy Three-Herb Dressing) are particularly strong. Suggested menus, lists and descriptions of, for example, peppers and greens, and informational boxes--on everything from Guanabana, a tropical fruit,to purchasing a spice grinder--add to the fun. 27-city author tour; BOMC/Good Cook and QPB selection. (June)
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