Pure Vegetarian is, as it says, modern and stylish vegetarian cooking…and this lovely book is also modern and stylish. It’s a large format volume with the most amazing close-up shots of Paul’s dishes by Gus Filgate, a talented photographer.
Paul Gayler has written a shelf-full of cookbooks, some more of which I’ll be reviewing over these next weeks. He has got to be one of the most openly positive chefs with regard to vegetarians and this book reflects his passion for meatless cuisine as much as any other sort of cooking. These are a selection of top-class dishes that happen not to contain meat. Carnivores will not feel short-changed when presented with Paul Gayler’s food.
Pure Vegetarian, dear reader, is the book for those of us who want to present vegetables in stunning fashion but don’t want to invest in three terms of evening classes to do it. Paul leads you through each step of these easy-to-follow recipes to a professional-looking and thoroughly delicious result. Even your most sceptical of meat-munching friends will be impressed.
Have a look at Cajun Black Bean Soup. At first glance the list of ingredients seems long but closer inspection shows that it’s made up of common herbs and spices and some black beans. The soup is served with an exotic garnish of Smoked Tomato Nachos and that really elevates this into the realms of a dinner party favourite. The soup and nachos could be made way ahead and the final dish assembled when guests arrive.
There are lots of posh but easy recipes that can be made in advance. Spanish Romescu Baby Leeks are eaten at room temperature so that’s obviously a no-stress dish, easy to prepare in advance. Parsnip Tatin wound be a wonderful vegetarian Christmas option and would work well with all the other traditional vegetables. The Roasted Pepper Pasata would make a festive-looking starter for meat eaters and vegetations alike and you can prepare it in advance.
Pure Vegetarian is a selection of exciting and new recipes. It might not persuade me to give up my bacon butties for ever, but all of these dishes are tempting and a credit to Paul Gayler.
Author: Paul Gayler
Published by: Kyle Cathie
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018