I want to make practically everything in this book, and so will you. If you loved Jerusalem or Plenty, you will love this book too. It would make an excellent gift for vegetarians and omnivores alike.
A few years ago I heard Aglaia Kremezi speak at Worlds of Flavor at the CIA in Napa. She was talking about the diet of people on a Greek island and the kinds of wild greens they ate. It was fascinating. So I’m very happy to tell you about her latest book, Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts, in which Kremezi admits to unwittingly being mostly vegetarian. The book has basic preparations and techniques for how to prep, cook and store ingredients like leafy greens, eggplants and peppers, tomatoes, fresh herbs and zucchini and squash. The recipes are divided into meze and salads, soups, main courses, breads and biscotti as well as some desserts. The recipes come from all over the Mediterranean, there are recipes for Greek Skordialia, Tunisian Chickpea Soup, Linguine with Spicy Lentils and Caramelized Onions and Spinach, Herb and Feta Skillet Pies. Each recipe is labeled so you can quickly find the ones that are vegan or gluten free. Some, like Quince Stuffed with Wheat Berries, Nuts and Raisins are more inspired than strictly traditional. But these are easy to follow and gorgeously photographed by Penny De Los Santos.
I know what you're thinking, Moosewood Cookbook is not a new book! And you're right. It's the 40th anniversary edition of a landmark vegetarian cookbook. The book has so many "classic" recipes it's a go to source for things like gazpacho, pesto, mushroom moussaka, crepes, spanikopita--the book was already a classic when I was in college but I used it a lot back then and my copy is dog eared.
Some of the recipes are updated in ways that make sense in terms of how we eat today such as lowering the amount of butter or using fresher ingredients. But for the most part the recipes are just as they always were.
The recipes are easy to follow and easy to make. There is no kale, no couscous, no quinoa. But is it still worthwhile? I'd say yes. This is not trend setting stuff, but it will feel nostalgic for many, me included, who discovered vegetarian food in the 70's or 80's.