When Deborah Madison wrote Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, who knew that the title would end up being so close to prophetic? The book has more than 400,000 copies in print, which isn’t literally everyone, of course. But when I think of all the photocopied and e-mailed recipes I’ve seen, the dog-eared, sauce-splattered editions on the shelves of libraries and home cooks and restaurant chefs, 400,000 suddenly seems like a conservative estimate of the book’s impact.
I wasn’t vegetarian when I first started cooking from the book, shortly after its 1997 publication. But I was certainly interested in vegetables. Madison opened up a universe of possibilities for cooking them, and a streamlined, elegant, modern sensibility that made many of the vegetarian cookbooks that came before hers seem fusty by comparison. Madison has continued to write interesting, beloved books since, including last year’s Vegetable Literacy, but this year she decided to return to her magnum opus and update it. The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is an even fresher, honed version of her formidable vision, including an easier-to-read design, 200 more recipes (bringing the total to more than 1,600), and a new introduction. Out: soy milk and deep-frying. In: coconut oil and the slow-cooker.
“I really want to make it resonate more in the times that we live in,” she told me when I called her at her Santa Fe, N.M., home to talk about the new book. “There’s a whole new generation of young people who are looking for this kind of information.”
Tangerine Pudding Cakes With Raspberry Coulis
Makes: 6 to 8 servings
For the cakes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the ramekins
3 large eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons organic sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated tangerine zest, plus 1/3 cup fresh tangerine juice (from 2 to 4 tangerines)
1 cup whole milk or light cream
3 tablespoons flour
Softly whipped cream, for serving
For the coulis
2/3 cup water
3 tablespoons organic sugar, plus more to taste
3 cups frozen organic, unsweetened raspberries
3 tablespoons orange muscat wine or other sweet wine (optional)
1 teaspoon fresh tangerine juice, plus more to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter eight 4-ounce or six larger ramekins or custard cups and seat them in a roasting or baking pan large enough to hold them all with a bit of space around each one. Boil a kettle of water for the bain-marie (water bath).
Combine the egg whites and salt in the grease-free bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the balloon whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until foamy; increase the speed and gradually add 2 tablespoons of the sugar, beating to form thick, glossy peaks. Scrape into a large bowl.
Rinse out the mixing bowl, wipe it dry and return it to the mixer. Switch to the paddle attachment. Beat the 3 tablespoons of butter with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and the tangerine zest until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating to incorporate before each addition. Gradually pour in the milk and juice, then sift in the flour, beating on low speed until combined. (A few lumps are okay.)
Pour the batter over the whites and fold them together. Distribute evenly among the ramekins or custard cups. Place the pan on the middle oven rack (pulled out halfway), then pour enough of the just-boiled water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins or cups (to create the bain-marie). Bake for about 30 minutes, until the tops have risen and are golden; they should spring back when lightly pressed with a finger.
Meanwhile, make the coulis: Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and give it a stir, then reduce the heat to medium or medium-low so the mixture is gently bubbling; cook until the sugar has dissolved.
Stir in the raspberries; cook for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and let the fruit stand in the syrup for 5 minutes. Force the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer placed over a bowl; discard the solids. Stir in the wine, if using, and the juice. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
Remove the pudding cakes from the water bath. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Drizzle sauce over each pudding cake; top each one with a small cloud of whipped cream.
Edamame and Sesame Puree
Makes: 6 servings (makes about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups shelled fresh or frozen edamame (green soybeans)
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon Meyer lemon juice, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds, toasted (see NOTE)
1 scallion, thinly sliced on the diagonal, for garnish
Bring a few cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the edamame and a few pinches of salt; reduce the heat to medium or medium-low so the water is gently bubbling. Cook until the edamame are tender, about 4 minutes, then drain, reserving at least 1 cup of the cooking water.
Transfer the edamame to a food processor along with the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of the oil. Pulse, adding the reserved cooking water as needed to make the mixture smooth and creamy — about 1/2 cup or more. Stir in the teaspoon of lemon juice, and taste; add lemon juice and salt as needed.
Scrape the puree into a shallow bowl and run a knife back and forth over the top to smooth it. Drizzle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of oil over the top, then sprinkle with the sesame seeds and scallion.
Mung Beans and Rice With Spicy Tomatoes
MAKES: 4 to 6 servings
3/4 cup whole green mung beans
1 cup long-grain white rice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon peeled and chopped fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 1/4 teaspoons dill seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 or 2 jalapeno peppers (to taste), seeded and finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
1/2 cup whole-milk or low-fat yogurt (optional)
In separate bowls, cover the beans and rice with water.
Use a mortar and pestle or a food processor to pound or puree the cilantro, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric and cayenne.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the ghee in a 12-cup saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon of the cumin seed and 1 teaspoon of the dill seed. Cook until the onion starts to take on color, 5 to 7 minutes, then stir in the cilantro mixture and cook for 3 minutes.
Drain the beans and add them to the saucepan along with 4 cups of water and the salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, keeping the liquid barely bubbling. Drain the rice, add it to the pot and cook, covered, for 18 more minutes or until both the rice and beans are tender and the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of ghee in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cumin and 1/4 teaspoon of dill along with the jalapenos. Cook until the seeds start to brown, just for a few minutes, then raise the heat to medium-high, add the tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften, 1 to 2 minutes.
Serve the rice and beans warm, garnished with the tomatoes, yogurt (if using) and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.
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