The angle: Vegan? Yes, vegan! This is African, Carribbean and Southern cuisine like you've never seen it before.
Recipes for right now: Mango-Habanero Hot Sauce, Blackened Okra with Red Rice, Sweet Corn and Ginger Soup, Dandelion Salad with Pecan Dressing, Chermoula Tempeh Bites, Ambrosia Ice Pops, Tamarind Sweet Tea
Who would enjoy this book? Vegans who like spice, vegans or omnivores alike who are seeking new ideas for using their CSA or cooking with whole grains.
• Who wrote it: Bryant Terry
• Who published it: Ten Speed Press
• Number of recipes: 100
• Other highlights: In Dana's interview with Bryant Terry around the time when Afro-Vegan first came out, this is the quote that stood out to me: "As someone who lives and breathes this work, I don't care how ethical, how sustainable, or how healthful the food is, if it isn't flavorful, if it isn't deeply satisfying, then I just don't want to eat it." Even a passing glance through his book is enough to confirm: this food is fierce. It's got attitude and character. The spice might light up your mouth or season a dish just right, but there's a definite zing! and pow! present in every dish. Many of the ingredients are familiar, but they become something new and exciting in Terry's hands.
This book is also a learning experience. I didn't realize that much of precolonial African cuisine was, in fact, vegetarian. The recipes Terry has developed for this book are deeply rooted in history — a history that he brings to life not only in the food itself, but also in the notes leading into each recipe and the books and music he "pairs" with the dishes. I love books like this that teach and inspire and nourish (literally!), all at the same time.
There are a lot of reasons why Afro-Vegan should be on your lists this summer. Pick it up for the insanely good-looking recipes, for the fact that it's vegan and focused on sustainable agriculture, or for its contribution to the continuing conversation about the African diaspora — whatever motivates you, I think you're sure to find it, and then some, between these covers.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry
Read more about Bryant Terry on The Kitchn:
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Image credits: Emma Christensen)