cover image Ultimate Vegetarian Cookbook

Ultimate Vegetarian Cookbook

Paul Gayler. DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley), $24.95 (168pp) ISBN 978-0-7894-4184-3

Currently head chef at the Lanesborough Hotel in London, Gayler (Virtually Vegetarian) determinedly sets out to prove that vegetarianism and haute cuisine ""can meet on the same plate."" With pizzazz, Gayler presents a visual guide to ingredients, equipment and techniques, recipes and menu planning. His ""contemporary vegetarian"" approach applies various cooking methods (saut ing, braising, deep-frying) to a global panoply of ingredients (Asian herbs, Middle Eastern grains, Mexican chiles) and seasonings (olive oils, cooking pastes); he unapologetically uses butter (vs. margarine), cream (vs. yogurt) and chocolate (vs. carob) for depth of flavor. Gayler also enthusiastically explores every conceivable food category, including pies (Salsify & Wild Mushroom Tart), stews (Hungarian Stew with Caraway Dumplings), grains (Lemon Couscous & Chermoula Mushrooms) and desserts (Candied Eggplant & Cardamom Ice Cream). While innovative and creative, a number of Gayler's vegetarian-inspired dishes are time-consuming and dairy rich (Spinach & Cumin Ravioli with Lemon Butter, containing 12 tablespoons butter) or unexpectedly caloric (Mixed Salad Pizza with Roasted Garlic, at a whopping 646 calories per serving). All in all, however, Gayler introduces a vegetarian interpretation that is exciting, compelling and flavorful. BOMC alternate, QPB selection. (Apr.)