Cafe Paradiso Cookbook

Denis Cotter, Author, Jorg Koster, Photographer
Denis Cotter, Author, Jorg Koster, Photographer Hylas Publishing $35 (290p) ISBN 978-1-59258-065-1
Hardcover - 167 pages - 978-0-9535353-0-9
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Considered one of the best restaurants in Ireland, and one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Europe, Cafe Paradiso is known for serving dishes that are designed to highlight the fresh, delicious flavors of seasonal produce.""I get more of kick from people saying that they just ate the best beets ... than to be told that the cooking is smart,"" declares chef Cotter. Yet the 40 fruits and vegetables that bask in the sunlight of this book's recipes clearly have been the subject of some serious thinking: each one is presented in way that emphasizes the variety of its flavors. Artichokes, for example, are braised and served with a white asparagus mousse, grilled with roasted peppers and basil aioli, and roasted and topped with sheep's cheese and pinenuts. Arugula is tossed in a simple salad with olive oil, avocado and pecorino cheese, mixed into a warm pasta dish with cherry tomatoes and broad beans, and paired with grilled figs, mascarpone and pecans for dessert. Cotter's near-obsessive attention to detail pays off in assembly-complex recipes like Savoy Cabbage Dolmas of Wild Rice, Leek and Eggs in Truffle Oil. But the simpler recipes shine the most: Brussels Spouts with Tomato, Ginger and Coriander; Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar and Thai Basil. (One difficulty is that most of the recipes are written in weight measurements rather than volume; better include a kitchen scale if this book is a gift.) Cotter is the kind of chef who loves the nutty flavor of fresh kale, the shape of a pumpkin and the sweetness of a ripe tomato: gourmet vegetarians will reveal in his inventions.
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