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).
I’d love this book because…
1. I love to cook
2. I am vegeterian
3. I entertain a lot with puff pastry :))
Wow… that tart looks good! I’m not a vegetarian, but I tend to cook mostly vegetables at home for myself. Would love some new inspiration!
Because the vegetables are, in fact, gorgeous.
it is a sexy tart! I’d love a copy of this book because I feel that I tend to get in a rut with vegetables and am always looking for new things to do with the veggies I get at the Farmers Market or that we grow in our backyard.
Why? OM NOM NOM NOM! That’s why!
Because I love veggies–and because my presentation skills are sorely lacking.
Wow, love cookbooks! Really working at eating as many veggies as possible, this would be a great resource! I’m tired of the same old, same old…
This book sounds amazing – I would love a copy of it as I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian who is married to a meat eater and I am always on the lookout for appealing vegetable recipes that will please both my husband and I! The asparagus tart looks beautiful and really tasty…definitely a must try!
Cheers, Sandy A. @savvari on Twitter
I go to lots of pescaterian potlucks.
I try to let my new and old friends see and taste how good veggie food is.
Hey, I just made this for dinner and its brilliant. Will post it on blog sometime later this week! thanks for the recipe, Monica!
Oh its a giveaway! I want then! 😀
I didn’t even read the post. When you posted this in the afternoon, I saw the recipe quickly and decided to do this for dinner tonite. Now, I want this book!!
I would love this book because I am trying to expand my vegetable cooking horizon!
Asparagus tarts look awesome.I am a vegeterian and always on the lookout for veg.recipes from cuisines around the world. Would love to have that book..hope the giveaway is available for Indian readers too!:)
Is the fact that I’m vegetarian and that I love cookbooks reason enough to want this book? 🙂
This recipe looks awesome. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables and I have been eating healthier as I age.I think this will be a hit with my family.
I would love a copy of the book because my family doesnt eat too many vegetables and I am always at a loss wondering how to makes eating vegetables more interesting and find a simple recipe to do so. The tarts look gorgeous…
I’d love this book because any book recommended by Monica must be special!
I am not a huge vegetable eater and trying to change. It’s not that I don’t like the veggies, it’s just I know only so many ways of cooking which i’ve already exhausted! Would love to get some new ideas and really gorgeous pics would be the extra incentive to get goign!
I’m a vegetarian and would love to have this book! I cant wait to try that asparagus tart!
I love veggies. I am always trying to get the people I love to eat more of them, and in greater variety. I think this book would go a long way toward convincing them that vegetables are really the best, the very best, part of a meal.
I make something very similar, but his very similar, but this looks like a nice variation. The cook book series sound lovely.
I am a vegetarian (who eats eggs) and always in look out for some gorgeous vegetable recipes. this books would be wonderful addition! the tart sounds so simple and is yummy!
i am a lacto-ovo veg and am always searching for new recipes! that asparagus tart looks brilliant. can’t wait to try it.
Looks beautiful! Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies. Would love to win a copy of the book!
Well, really it would make my green husbands day. We eat a lot of veggies, but I do not really have any vegetarian cookbooks. Most of the vegetables we eat 6 months of the year are grown with a lot of care and love by him.
I would love to win this cookbook because I like to win things 🙂 That tart looks incredible!
I am responsible for cooking our family’s meals. My wife complains that I am unimaginative when it comes to cooking vegetables. I would hope this book would help
Made this recipe last night for a dinner party Monica… awesome… really awesome! Everyone loved it.
I need this book because I need more vegetables in my LIFE!
it’s easy to get jazzed about dessert, i need a cook book to get me excited about eating my veggies!
I just found your blog and LOVE it! I saw the story about cooking Butter Chicken with your Dad on NPR – very sweet. Off to buy your book!
Monica – I am a new reader of your blog and I would love to win this book! I have a husband and a son who refuse to eat vegetables and would appreciate any help possible in getting these 2 to try gorgeous vegetables!
My daughter loves veggies, raw only, so perhaps this book will be what I need to get my family introduced to the wonderful world of veggies!
I’d love a copy! I love vegetables, and I’m absolutely drooling over the asparagus tart.. yum! Seems like it would be perfect at brunch (my favorite meal).
I’d love the book … beauty AND vegetables!
I would love this book because it would help me figure out different things to do with the vegetables in our garden!
This tart is absolutely stunning! Saved it:)
I am desperate for more beautiful vegetable desserts, we are eating more vegetables in our family but feel like we are in a rug and need some inspiration!
This tart recipe looks so good, Thanks for sharing it so I can make it this week! yeah, inspired already.
I teach children’s cooking classes and am always looking for vegetable recipes to use. The cookbook sounds great.
Gorgeous tart! I would love this book as I am not very comfortable cooking creatively with vegetables and I end up always preparing them the same way. I would love new delicious ideas!
I do believe you’ve talked me into buying the entire series of books–especially great for food stylists who NEED their food to look gorgeous from the “git go.”
I need to add more vegetables to my diet. this looks like a great way to start!
I might eat more vegetables if I had this book!
I just had to stop by and leave a comment. Your recipes are fabulous, and I wanted to say kudos to you! As always, it’s great to tweet with you on Twitter – Robyn
Winners are Ken Scott and Carol Cripps. Please email me asap and I will get your books out to you!
I’ve been trying to get more veggies into the family diet. This recipe in particular caught my eye. Surprisingly, asparagus is one of the few vegetables the kids willingly eat. I would love to see more.
If our bodies are not strong, our spirit to do things will certainly be quite dull. And at the same time, we are lack of energy (ies) to study. Diseases will only attack the weak, but not the strong.Exercise helps us (to) strengthen our bodies and avoid disease. It also teaches us cooperation, for most exercise is played by team.
I love gorgeous vegetables! Pretty food tastes so much better somehow…
In this day of a bounty of interesting vegetables I dont want to miss out on ways to try them. I love vegetables and find them so fascinating so cooking from a new prospective would be great.
In this day of a bounty of interesting vegetables I dont want to miss out on ways to try them. Love new cookbooks.
Oh my…I adore asparagus, and cannot wait to try this,as much for how it tastes as for how lovely it is….I so appreciate pretty food.
Thank you for sharing. I drool…
This is almost 3yrs past give away. Ha! I recently found this on Pinterest and can’t wait till Asparagus is in season (any day now).
I just have a suggestion that I learned years ago. Don’t cut the ends of asparagus break them. They always break just above the woody part so you really aren’t losing any of the delicious part. However, if you can’t bear to think you might be wash the broken stumps well and cook in a sauce-pan with just enough water to keep them covered, you may need to add more as they cook down to moosh (a technical term C-; ) Save the water and run the stumps through a processer or food mill. Add the now non-fibrous moosh back into cooking water (you may want to strain the water if your asperagus was sandy). Add a little salt and seasonings of choice and let it cook down to the soup consistancy you like. Serve in bowls topped with a dollop of sourcream. Very yummy spring soup.