On the surface, Lust for Leaf seems like an odd fit for my cookbook shelf, which has very little room to spare between all the Nigel Slater, MFK, and Deborah Madison. And yet, despite the fact that there are chapters titled Bro-tein and recipes for things like Weed Dip, Junk Food Potato Salad, and something called Nasty Dates, this slim, mostly vegan volume has captured my attention. Read on for why I think this unlikely cookbook just may be a keeper.
• Who wrote it: Alex Brown and Evan George
• Who published it: De Capo Press / Lifelong Books
• Number of recipes: 95
• Recipes for right now: These are summer fun recipes, taking full advantage of seasonal produce. Notable are Radish Remoulade; Elote al Echo Parque; Red Haterade (a non-chemical take on Gatorade); Butter Beer Flapjacks; Grass Crackers (made with fresh chives); Oyster Po' Boy (made with oyster mushrooms); Kaleslaw; Manhattan Pie (made with cherries, rye whiskey and vermouth).
• Other highlights: As mentioned, at first glance this looks like a ditzy party book geared towards your stereotypical college-aged, beer-drinking dudes. But a closer look and a few recipes later, I'm starting to see that there is some really good, creative recipe crafting here. In the aforementioned Nasty Dates, for example, are Medjool dates are stuffed with blue cheese and a bit of curry paste, then skewered and grilled until they're hot and melting. Yum!
• Who would enjoy this book? OK. If a sassy, youthful, life's-a-party outlook annoys you, then this book probably isn't for you. Nor will you be happy if you find the occasional four-letter word to be offensive. But if you have a sense of humor, enjoy innovative recipes, and like to cook vegan or vegetarian, then by all means check this out. This book is perfect for anyone looking for summer fun recipes, be it Grilled Peach Ice Cream, Cool Ranch Biscuits (where yes, the liquid in a classic biscuit recipe is substituted with cool ranch dressing!) or Mushroom Ceviche. So totally awesome.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Lust for Leaf by Alex Brown and Evan George
• Visit the author's website: Hot Knives
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.
(Images: Dana Velden)