The Accidental Vegetarian – how come?
In this book Simon Rimmer explains how he became the owner of a vegetarian café in the 1990s. He isn’t a vegetarian and initially wasn’t even a chef. He and his partner bought Green’s café in Manchester intending to employ one, but soon realised they couldn’t afford to.
They had to learn quickly and, determined to make vegetarian food more exciting than the ‘brown stodgy food that was all a little bit worthy’. Rimmer experimented with vegetarian dishes from different cultures like Asian, Mediterranean and African, mixed in with more traditional European fayre. Without formal training, he made a success of Green’s and says he is still learning.
In the Accidental Vegetarian he features some delicious and inspiring recipes to inspire even the most ardent carnivore. The book is divided up as follows:
Dips and morsels
Sticky rice and peanut balls sound amazing. Not low calorie as they are deep fried! How about Thai spiced potato cakes with spicy coleslaw or Greek dolmades – vine leaves stuffed with rice and pine nuts?
Sun blushed nicoise salad sounds like a meal in itself and Coronation chick peas and potato salad looks super easy. I intend to try rocket, fig and pecan salad with creamy Lancashire Blue.
Small platefuls feature the kind of quick and easy meal you can have for lunch or a light supper. Mushroom rarebit on brioche toast, anyone? Chinese mushroom pancakes?
This chapter moves onto more substantial dishes. Some of the pastry dishes sound divine. Hazelnut and mushroom parcels or filo strudel with port wine sauce sound delicious enough for entertaining. Lancashire cheese sausages with onion gravy could solve my problem finding a decent veggie sausage that isn’t full of soya. Moroccan spaghetti brings fresh herbs and spices together with almonds and chick peas as an alternative to spaghetti Bolognese.
An ingredient I haven’t used in ages is caraway seeds! Simon Rimmer adds them to glazed carrots. Stuffed pimentos feature on the cover of the book and look lovely. Parmesan roasted parsnips are another side dish I will be trying.
The Accidental Vegetarian doesn’t skimp on the puddings. Peanut butter and jelly cheesecake, pecan and white chocolate pie and spotted dick with banana and toffee make stunningly decadent desserts.
What I like about the Accidental Vegetarian is that the recipes are short and clear. They are special without being too fancy and requiring a host of ingredients you will never use again. The photography is lovely too.
For more of my book recommendations, see here.
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