The Meatball Cookbook isn't the sort of title that immediately appeals to vegetarians like myself, so for weeks it sat unattended on the shelf. Then one day I finally gave Jez Felwick's new cookbook a gander. (Ensuing conversation with meat-eating boyfriend: Me: Wow, this book is actually very cool. Him: That's what I've been saying!) As I happily discovered, The Meatball Cookbook is for all of us: omnivores, vegetarians, comfort food lovers, flavor seekers, and anyone who's ready to enjoy endless varieties of meat-, fish-, and vegetable-balls.
• Who wrote it: Jez Felwick
• Who published it: Mitchell Beazley
• Number of recipes: 70
• Recipes for right now: Lamb, Goat Cheese & Caramelized Onion Balls; Wasabi Salmon & Sesame Seed Balls; Zucchini and Asparagus Balls; Spiced Red Onion & Tomato Sauce; Cheese, Charred & Herbed Polenta; Bean Balls (a superfood-y snack with coconut, nut butter, and cocoa)
• Other highlights: Jez Felwick is the chef behind The Bowler, a food truck that delivers handmade, gourmet meatballs, fish balls, and veg balls around the UK. Why focus on meatballs? Because everyone loves them, writes Felwick: "the flavor combinations and possibilities are endless, they're fun, they're comforting, they conjure up all sorts of nostalgic childhood memories ... and almost every culture has its own variation."
Indeed, The Meatball Cookbook is filled with recipes for meat, fish, and vegetable balls with international flavors that evoke Italy, Vietnam, Mexico, Sweden, Japan, and beyond. But the recipes don't stop with balls (and wink-wink titles about balls, from Sweaty Balls to Sticky Balls). There's an entire section devoted to sauces and dips, as well as one for (surprisingly healthy) sides, including salads, slaws, pickles, and more.
• Who would enjoy this book? omnivores, vegetarians, comfort food and international food lovers, The Bowler food truck fans
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: The Meatball Cookbook by Jez Felwick
• Visit the author's website: The Bowler
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(Images: Emily Ho)