THE Vegetarian Cookbook

Can you ever have enough cookery books? In our household it seems not, as every week a new book appears on our already over-crowded book shelves. Thankfully they are not on show but tucked away in a cupboard that is opened up every weekend or when fellow foodies visit and want to admire our vast collection of culinary editions. The books go back many years, but pride of place is given to 'BBC Masterchef 1992', which features my partner's recipe from the TV show's Regional Heat. Loyd Grossman raved about her 'Tian of Beef Nicoise'. ''Very refined'' said Loyd.

We have cookery books by all the well know chefs like Oliver, Lawson, Stein and Fearnley-Whittingshall and a few by the lesser known Nick Nairn, Valentine Warner and Gino D'Acampo. Most get an outing on a regular basis, but there is one book that is always on hand when planning a menu and you need to solve the vegetarian option.

A few years ago, we happened to be in in Sussex on a short break and as usual we could not pass a bookshop without a swift glance through the cookery section, to see if there was anything to add to our collection. On this occasion we spotted an unusually named culinary delight. ''Terre A Terre - the Vegetarian Cookbook'' by Amanda Powley with Philip Taylor. At £20, reduced to £14.99, it seemed a bargain, as at that time our vegetarian section looked very thin.

It was by coincidence, that we noticed that that this book originated from a vegetarian restaurant called 'Terre A Terre' in nearby Brighton. The opportunity to taste some of the recipes emanating from our new purchase could not be missed and we promptly headed for the seaside town. 'Terre A Terre' is situated in East Street in the centre of Brighton and owned by Philip Taylor with his chef Amanda Powley. On a midweek lunchtime, tables were available and we opted for their seven course taster meal.

Every plate appeared as if it had been photographed for the book - a selection of brilliantly inventive vegetarian food that was fresh, creative and inspiring. Our dishes included:
Starter -Soba Salad (chilled soba noodles, piled with crisp raw vegetable spaghetti, beansprouts and mizuna leaves in miso and mirin plum dressing, served with skewered smoked tofu, pickled ginger, pomegranate seeds and wasabi cashews).
Main - Between the Sheets (lasagne with a filing of creamy goat's cheese, zesty salsa verde and seared cherry tomotoes, served with courgette noodle tangle and cheese fritters) below.

Dessert - Rhubarb and Custard Bricks (deep fried custard pastry parcels served with baked early rhubarb and rhubarb and rosehop sorbet) below.

We left the Terre A Terre restaurant feeling we had experienced one of the world's great vegetarian destinations and eager to put our newly purchased cookbook, of the same name, into immediate use.

We have found this vegetarian cookbook the best ever. How often have you struggled to cater for your vegetarian guests when they come for supper? Why do vegetarian dishes so often look boring and lacking in flair, compared to their carnivore cousins? This book will inspire you to cook wickedly inventive veggie food that looks and taste of Michelin stars!  ''One taste of Terre A Terre's startlingly original vegetarian dishes will coax drooling effusions from even the most hardened of carnivores'' (The Guardian) 

Arepas Mojo (corn cakes in rolled spice dust, stacked and served with tamarillo salsa, oregano mojo and avocado lime salsa) below.

''Terre A Terre - The Vegetarian Cookbook''  by Amanda Powley with Philip Taylor is published by Absolute Press (2009) ISBN 9781906650049. (This book also lists the restaurant's UK specialist suppliers of vegetarian ingredients used in their dishes). It is available on-line at the website below. Cost: £25

''Terre A Terre'' restaurant website at:- 


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