Sunday, August 19, 2007

World Vegetarian Feast

I have been obsessed with Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian for years. I had it on my shelf for a long, long time and then when I first started to get my CSA box, and had more tomatoes one August day than I knew what to do with, I made Tomato Choka w/ Roti. Another time, when I had too much okra and I went to Deborah Madison who recommended that I just skip it since it's too slimy, I went to MJ and found a handful of fantastic recipes. This cemented my faith in MJ so that when my cookbook club decided to do World Vegetarian for my last meeting before moving, I couldn't resist.

I held 2 feasts to warm-up before the cookbook club meeting: a Persian feast (thank you Zand's for the key ingredients like dried persian lime) and a mediterranean inspired mezze meal.

For the Persian Feast there was rice with dried lime, yogurt with walnuts and eggplant, lavash (Zand's), and black eyed peas. Additionally, Berkeley Bowl and I fell back in love when I arrived to find a) fresh black eyed peas and b) sour cherries (which resulted in sour cherry chutney - Afghani, but 'very tasty and very easy' according to MJ). The yogurt dip was the hit by far, and while the pilaf fell (it was supposed to come out like a layer cake), and tasted pretty darn good, I'm not quite sure that the 'black gold' of the dried limes came through the way I wanted it to. We ended the meal with Zand's baklava - Persian and the regular.

For mezze: another batch of yogurt, the amazing yogurt with feta and green peppercorns,
leftover rice, whole chick pea hummus, and more. We needed more lavash.
I don't know if I'll miss Cookbook Club, the Bay Area, or cooking for my Oakland friends more, but I'm definitely feeling the sadness of leaving them. Y'all should know though, MJ made it into the suitcase to Paris though ......