Cookbook: Vegetarian recipes prove winning

Lisa Abraham More Content Now

Amy Chaplin, an Australian, has worked as a vegetarian chef for more than 20 years. Her first book, “At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen” (Roost, 400 pages, $40), was released this year to high acclaim.

It was named best vegetarian cookbook in the James Beard cookbook awards and also won the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ top cookbook award in the health-and-special-diet category.

Chaplin, of New York, encourages cooks to use the best local ingredients they can find and to support regional farmers and farmers markets.

Her book is filled with recipes to please vegans and meat eaters alike.


Makes 4 servings

For the dressing:

1/4 cup pine nuts, plus

2 tablespoons for salad

1 garlic clove

1 scallion, white part only, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad:

8 small zucchini, mixed gold and green (about 1 pound)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cups trimmed purslane sprigs (see note) or 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup chopped chives

To make the dressing, warm a small skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and toast, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.

Roughly chop 2 tablespoons of the pine nuts and set aside for salad. Place remaining ¼ cup pine nuts in an upright blender along with garlic, scallion, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt and pinch of black pepper.

Blend on high speed for 1 minute, scrape sides using a rubber spatula, and blend again. While blender is running, slowly add olive oil and continue blending until thick and creamy. Transfer to a jar and set aside until ready to serve salad. Dressing can be refrigerated for up to three days, but allow to come to room temperature and mix well before using.

To make the salad, wash zucchini and trim ends. Cut in half any zucchini longer than 5 inches. Using a mandoline or vegetable peel, shave the zucchini into long, thin strips. Place in a salad bowl along with cherry tomatoes, purslane and reserved crushed pine nuts; toss to combine and sprinkle with chives. If dressing has separated, shake well and drizzle over salad, lightly toss and serve immediately.

Note: Purslane is a succulent weed that can be found throughout the summer, growing everywhere from the cracks in sidewalks to the side of the road. It is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, containing higher amounts than some fish oils. It’s also high in iron, calcium and vitamin C. It has a lemony flavor when eaten raw and can also be cooked.

PER SERVING: 311 calories, 4 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugars, 30 g fat (4 g saturated), 0 cholesterol, 167 mg sodium