Question: When is a cookbook not really a cookbook?
Answer: When none of the recipes in that book actually involves cooking. “Everyday Raw Gourmet” by Matthew Kenney is that sort of a cookbook, there is no cooking. So perhaps we had better call it a food book instead.
Many of us are embracing healthier lifestyles. Are you trying to make wiser choices about the food that you consume? One could possibly consider eating more raw, uncooked foods. Books like “Everyday Raw Gourmet” are an indication that this particular dietary school of thought is surging in popularity.
There are dishes that you might consider serving the next time you entertain. The author writes that your guests might “marvel at their surprise to learn the food before them is composed of fruits, nuts and seeds, none of which have been cooked, canned, or processed in any way.”
And since you won’t be tied up in cooking for your guests you might have more time to sit down and enjoy their company. And there’s another added bonus: There won’t be any messy baked on pans to scrub up afterwards.
Matthew Kenney is described as “the world’s leading raw chef.” He has divided “Everyday Raw Gourmet” into sections that are unusual. Here are the titles of these sections: blossom, contemporary, inspiration, spice, radiance, revolution and meaningful.
In the “flower” section you’ll obtain recipes for dishes like squash blossoms with pistachio puree, green zebra fondue, pine nuts, and purple basil. There are a number of tantalizing desserts, too. The raspberry parfait, vanilla bean cream, dark chocolate sauce and coconut brittle looks really toothsome.
In the “contemporary” area you’ll discover recipes for things like ocean vegetables and squash noodles with oyster-mushroom escabeche, faded green caviar, and miso tahini sauce. In case you’re wondering, the “caviar” does not contain any fish eggs.
Chocolate lovers will appreciate the “inspiration” in several recipes.
Imagine eating chocolate chili tacos with marinated arugula, pear tomatoes, and pignoli “sour cream.” There’s also one for bitter broccoli ravioli and pine nut “cheese” in chocolate wrappers with orange powder and pinot noir sauce.”
In “spice” you could experience avocado tartare with tamarind-glazed cherry tomatoes, black sesame pappadam, and curry froth. “Radiance” reveals creamy eggplant and hummus cream in almond tart shells with green olive tapenade.
Our “revolution” breaks out with chocolate ancho chile tarts with lime-spiced mango chutney and cinnamon vanilla cream. There’s also picadillo santiaguero, aroz amarillo, y mariquitas, translation: portobello-meat stew with yellow “rice” crisp plantain, and macadamia “sour cream.”
“Meaningful” has the recipe for cold spicy long-life noodles with ginger sauce. There’s another one for spicy “fried” spring rolls with sweet tamarind fondue. Those rolls are not actually fried.
Most of the dishes do require advance planning and preparation. There are gorgeous photos here of every single one. And not a bit of cooking is involved. Raw, raw, raw, that’s the spirit that we have here!
“Everyday Raw Gourmet” by Matthew Kenney (Gibbs Smith, 144 pages, $19.99)