I do not consider myself a gourmet cook and therefore generally do not purchase gourmet cookbooks, even if they are vegetarian. However, I made an exception with the Horizons Cookbook by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby. Why? Because before I purchased their book, I ate at their restaurant, originally called Horizons Cafe and now called Horizons.
Introduced to the restaurant by friends who are not vegetarians, we became hooked with the first bite of each of our dishes. The presentation, the sauces, the variety—unbelievable! Even my husband likes their food and he is about as far away from vegetarianism as I am to eating carpaccio (thin slices of raw beef or fish). This is incredible, considering all the recipes are vegan.
Most of the recipes are not super-simple because, after all, it is a gourmet-style cookbook. But many of the recipes are not that difficult to prepare and the color plates of the dishes are mouth-watering enough to make you eager to try some of them. Actually, I did find a recipe that is quite simple: Sauteed Baby Bok Choy with Pine Nuts. Try it as a side dish for dinner soon.
(See reprinted recipe below.)
In addition to the wonderful recipes, the early pages explain how the book came to be and contains a section called Getting Started, which includes Basic Cooking Methods and Common Ingredients for Savory Foods. And the dishes are savory!!! Rich is in charge of the entrees and Kate deals with desserts. By the way, the desserts are wonderful; you don’t even miss the milk or eggs found in most desserts.
The authors travel extensively to bring back flavors that tempt any palette, vegetarian and non-vegetarian. If you ever do come to Philadelphia, I urge you to eat at Horizons. If not, get a copy of their cookbook, published by the Book Publishing Company. Their website is: www.healthy-eating.com or call them at 1-800-695-2241. The book costs $19.95, plus postage and handling.
Just click on www.horizonsphiladelphia.com for more information about the restaurant. When I spoke with Kate Jacoby about the review, she said the book is also available through their restaurant, so feel free to call them at 215-923-6117, Tuesdays through Saturdays. Or send a check for $25 to their address: 611 S. 7th St., Philadelphia, PA,19147. The book is well worth the price.
Sample Recipe from Horizons Cookbook: Gourmet Meatless Cuisine
Sauteed Baby Bok Choy with Pine Nuts
Recipe notes on p. 95 from Rich Landau: Bok choy has always been one of my favorite vegetables. Watch the leaves when cooking. Cook them just until they wilt and turn a deep green. The base of the bok choy will still be crunchy at this point. Baby bok choy is great to work with since you can serve the whole vegetable, which makes a beautiful presentation.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, crushed
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
4 heads baby bok choy (allow 1 whole head per person)
2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the garlic and pine nuts, stirring until they start to turn brown. Add the orange juice and water, and bring to a boil. Add the bok choy and cover to steam for about 2 minutes. Uncover and add the tamari and sesame oil. Continue cooking until bright green. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Note: I added bean sprouts for garnish for the photo. EllenSue