Back when granola was simple and cobbled together in home kitchens, before cooks learned to pronounce quinoa (KEEN-wah), there was Moosewood.
The seven friends who founded the cozy restaurant in Ithaca, N.Y., in 1973 had devoured Diet for a Small Planet, Frances Moore Lappe’s book advocating plant-based eating. But the Moosewood Collective had a vision to create both a restaurant and a community gathering place.
Its influence can be credited to the restaurant, but also the collective’s dozen cookbooks. The latest, Moosewood Restaurant Favorites: The 250 Most-Requested, Naturally Delicious Recipes from One of America’s Best-Loved Restaurants (St. Martin’s Griffin, $29.99), taps that history, offering home-style food “with fresh ingredients and plenty of seasonings and bright flavors.”
Recipes have been updated, gluten-free diets addressed, newly available vegetables and grains added.
The Moose’s approach is to embrace the roots of their families and friends and their travels to create comfort foods, using what’s fresh and what’s good, perhaps an eggplant mushroom marsala, zucchini-feta casserole or their famous brownie. There’s also a guide to ingredients and basic cooking, including how to grate tofu and chiffonade.
Vegetarians — and those who are not — should find something to savor in the new book.
— Judy Hevrdejs