The angle: Southern food isn't all barbecue ribs and fried chicken! This book celebrates the vegetarian side of Southern cuisine.
Recipes for right now: Sweet Potato Pancakes with Peaches and Pecans, Oyster Mushroom Rockefeller, Zucchini Fries, Fried Green Tomato Po' Boy, Tacos with Spicy Smoky Lentils, Spicy Cucumber-Lemonade Popsicles
Who would enjoy this book? Southern food-loving vegetarians and omnivores, alike.
• Who wrote it: Justin Fox Burks & Amy Lawrence
• Who published it: Thomas Nelson
• Number of recipes: Around 100
• Other highlights: This book isn't about convincing you to give up your pulled pork sandwiches or bacon-topped deviled eggs — it's more about inverting the usual balance of greens and proteins on your plate and giving more playtime to those vegetables. And from where I stand, drooling over pictures of vegetable galettes and craving a plate of zucchini fries, the book accomplishes this goal without breaking a sweat.
For the most part, the recipes in this book take vibrant, seasonal vegetables and do them up Southern-style. There are a lot of breaded and pan-fried dishes along side vegetables smothered in delicious, creamy sauces. Spicy and smoky flavors wind their way through the dishes. When recipes riff on classic Southern dishes, they do so in a clever way that manages to bring the vegetable front and center while also still paying homage to the original, like Oyster Mushrooms Rockefeller and "Chicken" and Waffles.
Whether you're a vegetarian craving the classic flavors of the South or an omnivore wanting more greens without sacrificing some of those beloved comfort food classics, The Southern Vegetarian will help you fill your plate.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: The Southern Vegetarian by Justin Fox Burks & Amy Lawrence
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(Image credits: Emma Christensen)