A new cookbook is always welcome. We read it, try a recipe, adjust it, tweak it and look for inspiration. When we opened Mollie Katzen’s cookbook Moosewood we were very pleasantly surprised. The lay out is great, the font clear, the drawings good fun, the index comprehensive and above all, the recipes look tempting. Let’s start cooking!
We prepared three antipasti: Feta-Walnut Dip, Tahini-Lemon Sauce and Marinated Mushrooms. Mollie Katzen suggests serving the Feta-Walnut Dip on sesame crackers or roasted Pita Bread, so we baked Pita Bread and bought some sesame crackers.
The Tahini-Lemon Dip is a combination of ¾ cup of tahini and 5 tablespoons of lemon juice. We opened a jar of tahini made with hulled sesame seeds, stirred it and decided it was too thin. Its taste was astringent and we didn’t think mixing it with lemon juice was a good idea. We bought another jar of tahini, this one made with roasted, unhulled sesame seeds. Much better taste, some bitterness and a great consistency.
The recipe for the Feta-Walnut Dip contains a fair amount of Feta, which is not our favourite cheese. In most cases it’s rubbery and the taste bland and salty. Since 2002 Feta is a Protected Designation of Origin in Europe. When a product has the PDO status you can be sure of the quality, the authenticity, the ingredients used and the production methods. When you buy Feta cheese, make sure it comes with an PDO label.
Our test panel (Carine, Marion and Rutger) welcomed the idea of vegetarian antipasti. We served a glass of Crémant d’Alsace, produced by Fernand Engel. This sparkling white wine is made of Chardonnay grapes and has fruity aromas, freshness, gentle acidity and typical Alsace sweetness.
The Panel started with the Marinated Mushroom: lovely flavours, fresh, intense, umami, mushrooms surprisingly firm.
The Tahini-Lemon Dip: fresh, nice with the acidity of the lemon, light, makes you think of peanut butter, but not too much. It tasted very well when served on a sesame cracker. The panel thought the dip was lacking something, perhaps some za’atar (a spice mixture with sesame seeds, sumac, oregano, thyme, cumin and more)?
The Feta-Walnut Dip was simply delicious. New unexcepted flavour, fresh, long lasting. The panel was unanimous, the Feta-Walnut Dip was their favourite.
Recipe Feta-Walnut Dip
It is made by combining 1 cup of chopped walnuts with a nice amount of parsley and 1 cup of feta cheese. The walnuts and the parsley are blended until fairly smooth, then the cheese, some water, a teaspoon of paprika powder and some cayenne pepper is added. Just before serving sprinkle with excellent olive oil and decorate with fresh oregano and three halved walnuts. We could imagine chopping the oregano and adding it to the dip.
The Feta-Walnut Dip doesn’t keep well, but that should not be a problem because it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to prepare.
Moosewood by Mollie Katzen clearly deserves a space on (y)our shelf. It is a great and reliable resource when you’re looking for tasty, healthy vegetarian food and snacks. It is available via the usual channels and your local bookstore for something like € 20,00 or US$ 30.00.
PS This review was published earlier on Bernadette’s website. Follow her blog and read inspiring and creative recipes and stories.
2 thoughts on “Moosewood”
It’s so funny to read a reference to the Moosewood as a “new cookbook”. My sister and I and many of my friends bought copies back in the early 80s when it truly was new. The dog-eared corners, splattered pages, and torn-then-taped covers attest to its worthiness. I’ve triaged my cookbooks several times over the decades but the Moosewood remains. Glad to see that it still is earning high praise.
Two of my favorite recipes are: Pasta Al Cavolfiore and Arabian Squash Cheese Casserole.
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Hi Carol, pleased to hear that the Moosewood is still on your shelf! It will definitely remain on ours. The Moosewood is not well known in the Netherlands, perhaps the reseller/publisher could promote it more? Will check your favorite recipes!
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