Karen Hubert Allison's The Vegetarian Compass
, published a year after her death in 1997, offers flavors and textures that are, quite simply, stunning. The level of creativity is not surprising from someone who, together with her husband, ran a three-star restaurant--Hubert's--in New York City, which catered exclusively to meatless cooking. In this exquisite book, Allen brings a new degree of sophistication to meatless cooking--evident in recipes such as an Avocado and Roasted Garlic Crostini and winter squash mashed with cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, and sharp cheddar cheese.
A perfectionist, Allison once ate only root vegetables for six months so she could get to know their every nuance and possibility. Her extraordinary palate and mastery of technique helped her to bring new concepts for vegetarian dishes to life. The Mess of Greens, a mixture of five dark, leafy vegetables flavored with leeks, kalamata olives, and allspice; the Raspberry-Rhubarb Tart; and Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding layered with Gruyere cheese all show how Allison gave a flavorful new face to both fusion and natural-foods cooking. Chefs and other culinary professionals should experience this book, as well as anyone tempted by innovative and sophisticated vegetarian cooking. --Dana Jacobi