Every now and again, I will read a book and think, "Now, why didn't i writ that!" and that is what happened to me when I read a review copy of Annie Bell's Gorgeous Vegetables cookbook. She has two others in this series, which I immediately ordered after reading this one – Gorgeous Cakes and Gorgeous Desserts. I just saw that a Gorgeous Christmas was coming out later this year and yes, I want that as well.
Why, you ask?
It is simple – Her recipes are super easy but yet have such depth and such flavor. The book is filled with splendid pictures of salads, a whole chapter on potatoes (which I salivated over) and then, what did me in.. a whole chapter on creating small delights using puff pastry (YUMMY). Absolutely a must have book for vegetable lovers and for folks who really enjoy the art of simple cooking and good eating.
I have tried many recipes and they were all excellent. I am posting the one that our whole family loved:
Asparagus tray tart
By Annie Bell, Gorgeous Vegetables, Kyle Books, 2010
Made as a big slab on a baking tray, this plays on the graphic beauty of asparagus to form neat lines and rectangles, so contrary to most food. That said it’s messier to eat than it looks, and it’s paper napkins all around.
1 pound finger-thick asparagus spears
10 ounces puff pastry (1 pre-rolled sheet)
2 medium egg yolks
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
sea salt, black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Trim the asparagus spears where they begin to become woody and peel to within 1 inch of the tip. Add to the pan, bring back to a boil, and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water. Remove and dry on a kitchen towel.
Roll the pastry into a rectangle 16 x 8 inches and trim to neaten the edges—make sure you have a baking sheet large enough, otherwise adjust the dimensions accordingly. Lay the pastry on the baking sheet, and lay the asparagus in rows of single spears, so there is a pastry surround of 1 inch. Beat the egg yolks and paint the pastry border. Bake the tart for 15 minutes.
Blend the sour cream, mustard, Parmesan, remaining beaten egg yolks, and seasoning together in a bowl. Spoon this over the asparagus and bake for another 15 minutes until golden on the top. Serve 5 minutes out of the oven, although it is also excellent cold.
GIVEAWAY – I asked the publisher if they would be willing to give away a copy to my readers and the answer was yes! In fact, we will be giving away two copies. Post a comment here about why you think you want this book! Winners will be decided on Monday 10:00 am, June 21st (Winners will be picked by a random drawing of names).