Plants Taste Better – Delicious Plant-Based Recipes, from Root to Fruit will help you prepare all-natural, Mediterranean recipes for special occasions.
Richard Buckley presents a wealth of exquisite, creative recipes in his cookbook Plants Taste Better. The majority of the recipes take time and effort to prepare, which is why most of them are better suited for special occasions rather than everyday purposes. Plants Taste Better – Delicious Plant-Based Recipes, from Root to Fruit stands out on account of the all-natural, restaurant-quality recipes it contains.
Plants Taste Better – Delicious Plant-Based Recipes, from Root to Fruit contains many innovative and sophisticated Mediterranean dishes. Most of the ingredients for these often time-consuming dishes are fresh and can be purchased at any organic grocery store. Most of the recipes contain only a small amount of added oil. And sugar is primarily found as an ingredient in the small number of desserts included in this book. You will notice that preparation times are not included with the recipes. Since most of them are quite complicated and include several steps, it would be nice to have the estimated time required for each recipe included. It is, however, helpful that the author includes extra information about preparing certain ingredients, for instance, how to cook various types of pasta. Most of the recipes also offer a photograph of the finished dish, which is a nice touch.
Richard Buckley’s Plants Taste Better – Delicious Plant-Based Recipes, from Root to Fruit is a vegan cookbook filled with exquisite recipes that are primarily Mediterranean and feature clean foods. Since many of the recipes require good planning and working on several steps in parallel, this book is for special occasions and best for experienced cooks.
Plants Taste Better by Richard Buckley is available from The Quarto Group and on Amazon.
Richard Buckley was raised vegetarian and initially studied British literature before entering the world of professional vegetarian cooking. Today, he owns the Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen in Bath, England, which is considered to be one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the world.
In the introduction, the author explains the philosophy behind cooking with plants. The chapter "The Craft of Plant-Based Cooking" discusses flavors, taste, texture, and the required or recommended equipment.
The recipes are divided into six chapters:
You will find a large selection of recipes for finger foods including baked seeds, fried vegetables, oven-baked crisps, dips, and chutneys in this section. Most of the featured recipes are Mediterranean and include snacks like Tempura Kale, Garlic Panisse, and Fig Chutney. Given the methods used to prepare them, we feel that many of the recipes in this section contain too much oil.
Alongside soups and pâtés, this section also includes pickles and light vegetable dishes that can be served for lunch or as an appetizer. The author uses all fresh ingredients with the exception of one recipe that calls for canned beans. There is a very wide range of dishes, but about one-quarter of them contain fairly large amounts of oil. Some examples include Pea and Herb Soup with Almond Foam, Carrot & Cashew Pâté with Rye Crisp Breads and Pickles, and the Roasted Donkey Carrots with Cashew Cheese and Seeded Buckwheat.
This section primarily includes garnishes and toppings such as seeds, nuts, and powders, along with a handful of recipes that would work well served as appetizers. These include dishes like Roasted Cylindra Beetroot with Crushed Blackberry Dressing and Pistachio Purée, Mixed Toasted Seeds, and Orange Zest Powder.
You will find a nice variety of Mediterranean dishes here like homemade pasta, risotto, Spanish croquettes, and purées. The chapter also includes extensive information about making various types of pasta such as tortellini, gnocchi, and cavatelli.
Half of the recipes contain medium to high levels of fat. The ingredients are all fresh except for canned chickpeas, which are used in only one recipe. This chapter includes a wide range of recipes from Walnut Tortellini with a Red Wine Mushroom Reduction to Smoked Cashew Croquettes with Port-Glazed Red Beetroot (Beets) and Orange Emulsion, to Kale Purée.
This short chapter includes cakes, mousses, and fruity desserts such as Spiced Pineapple with Candied Fennel and Olive Oil Semi-Freddo as well as Poached Pears with Frozen Pistachio Cacao Cream and Tarragon Granita. Most of these recipes contain large amounts of sugar, but lower amounts of added fats. Almost all the recipes include xanthan as a thickener and gelling agent, and some also include iota carrageenan powder.
In this section, you will find recipes for Rye Bread, Rye Crispbreads, and Focaccia along with oils, butters, and milks.
The cookbook Plants Taste Better – Delicious Plant-Based Recipes, from Root to Fruit concludes with a recipe index at the back of the book.
Book review by Dr. med. vet. Inke Weissenborn