As award-winning food writer Nigel Slater so astutely states in his newest cookbook, autumn and winter call for far different types of meals. With brisk weather and darker nights, they fairly demand more substantial and weightier fare to nourish and warm us through and through.
As his new “Greenfeast: Autumn, Winter” (Ten Speed Press) shows, though, that doesn’t necessarily dictate huge slabs of meat. In fact, in this cookbook, of which I received a review copy, he shows with 110 vegetarian recipes that even in the throes of deepest winter, you can feel mighty satiated with plant-based fare.
As always, his joyously descriptive writing is evident throughout, including in the introduction, where he unabashedly states, “There will be carbs. They protect and energize us. They bring balm to our jagged nerves.”
With their flowery, showy crowns, broccoli florets get all the love, leaving their thick, knobby stems so often woefully underappreciated.
I grew up in a household that actually valued those stems. My mom would squeeze two meals out of a couple heads of broccoli, stir-frying the florets with pork one night, then stir-frying the thinly sliced stalks with shrimp the next evening. It was not only frugal, but double the deliciousness.
If you ever doubted that the appeal of those stalks, then “Broccoli Salad with Peanuts and Tahini-Lime Dressing” will definitely sway you.
This inventive recipe immediately caught my eye because it includes popcorn that’s pulverized in a food processor until it becomes popcorn flour. Whatever you do, just don’t sneeze or be near a fan when you make this flour because the particles are so light, that it doesn’t take much for them to go flying everywhere.
The cookbook includes more than 100 recipes very much attuned to Northern California sensibilities, with dishes such as “Smoked Trout Hash,” “Peanut Soba with Chicken and Mint,” “Broiled Halibut with Citrus Salsa,” and “Fruit Salad with Limoncello and Whipped Mascarpone Cheese.”