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Making vegetables the rock stars
October 20, 2013 8:36 PM   Subscribe

"The semantic mission for me is to have “vegetarian” become an adjective that describes food rather than a noun labeling a person." An interview with Mollie Katzen, author of the iconic Moosewood Cookbook. (Includes a recipe for Vegetarian Tan-Tan Noodles from her newest cookbook, The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation.)
posted by Lexica (14 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
How would you describe this approach?
I would call it creating a craveable, arresting plate that draws people in without being precious. Just a lovely arrangement of delicious fresh ingredients, simply prepared and juxtaposed, that invites mindful eating by its very nature.


I love her writing, and I have cooked recipes I learned in the Moosewood Cookbook for many, many years now. Nice interview.
posted by xingcat at 8:45 PM on October 20, 2013


I look forward to seeing what she has been up to in the new book ' I largely keep things simple and separate: showcasing individual ingredients side by side in artful arrangements. Everything is more modular.'
posted by asok at 1:34 AM on October 21, 2013


I love that pullquote so much, I'm going to have to get this cookbook for my mom. The tan tan noodles look yum!
posted by dabitch at 2:12 AM on October 21, 2013


When I remember my mother's cooking, mostly what I'm remembering is the Moosewood Cookbook.
posted by BinGregory at 4:38 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


She retweeted me once and I nearly died of joy. Mollie was one of my childhood babysitter/cooking teachers via her PBS shows, and her books are mainstays in my library.
posted by padraigin at 4:59 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm really excited for this new book. It's not an exaggeration to say that I've liked every single recipe I've ever made from the Moosewood Cookbooks. And back when I used to cook for 15+ people, the Moosewood Cooks for a Crowd was a lifesaver.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 5:04 AM on October 21, 2013


As a vegetarian, I thought of myself as a rock star. As a vegan, I became death metal.
posted by orme at 6:47 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


That framing - 'vegetarian' as dish rather than person - is really attractive to me. "I eat vegetarian." vs "I am a vegetarian." I think Noam would approve. Because it's the food, yo, not my political identity or moral POV.

Moosewood++
posted by j_curiouser at 9:02 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


orme: "As a vegetarian, I thought of myself as a rock star. As a vegan, I became death metal."

I'll just leave this here then.
posted by Lexica at 9:32 AM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I grew up on her food, and I'm curious to see the new stuff, but she's definitely a part of people mistaking "vegetarian" for "healthy" and "bland." A lot of it may just be that she's coming from upstate New York, and her vegetable options tend toward the hearty, but it's rare that the old Moosewoods have enough punch for my palate anymore.
posted by klangklangston at 10:54 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Whoo hoo! I have a copy of her original Moosewood book. My scribbles and notes combine with her drawings and voila! A cookbook written by Mollie and me. I am eating chili that is loosely based on one of hers right now.

I've never bought another of her cookbooks (still so much to go through with the first one) but will definitely add this to my "buy for the library" list.
posted by Elly Vortex at 10:58 AM on October 21, 2013


She was on KQED Forum recently. Delightful.
posted by morganw at 3:53 PM on October 21, 2013


based on my decades of research in restaurant menus across the country and around the world, I think that mission's been pretty well accomplished for a while now.
posted by badstone at 5:39 PM on October 21, 2013


While we're on the subject of reframing "vegetarian", one of my many quixotic dreams is the death of the infantile "veggie" and substituting the British "veg" abbreviation.

That and corporal punishment for use of the word "generous" in recipes.

posted by Celsius1414 at 10:31 PM on October 21, 2013


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