By Sally Butcher
Review by Emily Hirschmann
Sally Butcher initially came to light with the release of her of her first cookery book, the beautifully written ‘Persia in Peckham’, in which she invites the reader into the kingdom of Persepolis (the Middle-Eastern inspired deli she runs with her husband) and takes them on a tour of culinary delights. In her new release Sally goes one step further, leaving Persepolis behind and trekking across a completely new country, Veggiestan; the Land of the Vegetables.
The more discerning amongst you may have realised that Veggiestan is not so much a place as an amalgam of inclination, inspiration and state of mind, a happy meld of vegetarian gastronomic influences stretching all the way from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan and back again, all delightfully strung together with colourful, stylish and amusing prose.
Completely packed with sumptuous aromatic vegetarian recipes that one can almost smell and taste while flicking through the pages, Veggiestan is a comprehensive guide to herbivorous eating with a Middle Eastern influence. Yet for all that, the recipes are not prohibitively difficult to follow – the Afghan Angel Delight is as simple a desert as I’ve ever come across (and tasty with it), while the breads are really just an exciting eastern variation on a traditional British theme.
If ever a book was going to remove from the collective psyche the thought that vegetarian food is ‘boring’ it’s Veggiestan - from the attractively tactile cover to the enticingly titled recipes, this book screams vibrancy, variety, versatility and joie de vivre.
Veggiestan is published by Pavilion and is available in all good book shops for £25. ISBN 978-1-86205-884-2
You can find lots more Veggiestan stuff (extra recipes, out-takes, general silliness) over at www.veggiestan.com
We have got some recipes from Veggiestan for you to try.