Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mark Bittman, I may be leaving you for a lesbian fling with Donna Klein.

A big fat THANK YOU to Amanda and Marthe- and also an apology to Amanda for not listening months ago when you told me how good this book was. Now, it needs to be known that I have pretty much stopped buying books for myself, and severely cut back on my cookbook acquisitions in particular. I was, alas, overrun with books, and my space is VERY limited. So, hopefully, maybe Craig will get me clorox or something else appalling for a gift sometime within the next year, and I will throw another hissy fit and end up with an electronic book reader. All of that aside, I have been supporting my local library more and buying less books, which brings me in a very roundabout way to the topic of this post.

The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen by Donna Klein ROCKS. I am not vegan, and though I am very vegetarian friendly, I love me some cheese (and bad grammar, too, apparently.) I could never be vegan, which is why I would never have looked twice at this cookbook if Marthe had not a) insisted I would love it and b) brought her leftovers to my house and let me drool over them while she stored them in my fridge during play time. I think that may have been my undoing. All I want to eat this summer is cold food that requires minimum cooking time- frozen bruschetta popsicles, anyone? (That is NOT a recipe from this book- just a crazy pregnancy craving). So I looked at this book on Amazon, and ordered it immediately after reading the crostini section.

I cooked from it today. OH MY GOD. It was amazing. For dinner we had
-Bruschetta with Cannellini Beans, Bitter Greens, and Tomatoes (Craig's favorite)
- Roasted Red Pepper and Zucchini Salad
-Spaghetti Rigati with Fondue de Tomatoes (supposed to be made with capellini, but I did not have any)

Some of my favorite things about this cookbook? I feel like there are only about 20 ingrediants in the whole book, most of which are pantry staples or the kinds of produce we will have on hand anyway (tomatoes, green beans, arugula, cucumbers...). This means that I don't have to know in advance what I'm going to make for dinner- I am guaranteed to be able to eat something I'm in the mood for without preplannig. (A huge plus in my book!) Plus, at the risk of sounding pretentious, we should have most of the produce available from our garden this summer. (Anyone who was in my organic vegetable gardening class in college will know exactly how much gardening I did- I only cooked what Craig planted, tended and harvested. The garden is still Craig's baby, and I usually try to dissuade him from planting anything but herbs and tomatoes.) This cookbook is essentially delicious Italian food... superb.

Mark, my main man- looks like you have some competition.

1 comment:

lanet said...

I can't believe you are cheating on Mark Bittman! I have nearly finished his new book, Food Matters. Or at least the non-recipe part of it. He seems to be leaning towards two vegan meals a day, and then a third meal of eat-what-you-please. The good thing is that it's making me think more about eating whole grains and vegetables. The bad thing is that I feel like I will never ever have time to cook. I haven't made any of the recipes yet. Poop.
I desperately want to finish reading the rest of your blog but I need the sleep. Sigh. So glad there's more to read!

PS I was in your vegetable class! And I'm still amazed at how much food that little patch of fish-emulsion fertilized land produced...