Why buy it?
Ross Dobson knows a thing or two about the barbie; this is his third in the successful series of Fired Up books covering all things cooked over flames. This time round, the Aussie food writer dispels the notion that barbecuing is just for meat-lovers. The book is dedicated entirely to vegetarian dishes, but he makes it clear – not just vegetarians will want to tuck in.
Readers familiar with Dobson’s titles will know that he borrows flavours and cooking techniques from beyond Australia’s shore, so his food is not just stock standard. It’s a shame the book’s name isn’t more forthcoming on this front, as it’s these global influences that really make the book, with recipes including Balinese grilled eggplant with tomato sambal and flatbreads with paneer and green chilli.
This is a compact, no-fuss cookbook designed for cooking – the photos are appealing, but the layout is simple and, while there are a few barbecuing tips upfront, recipes take centre stage with around 80, from sides to breads, to choose from. If you’re thinking ‘how varied could barbecued vegetables really be?’, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Barbecuing implies simplicity and, by and large, the recipes are suitable for beginners as much as established cooks. A few ethnic ingredients are needed for some of the dishes, but for everything else, one stop at your greengrocer is all you’ll need.
Silverbeet and feta gozleme
Most surprising dish
Sweet and sour pumpkin. Says Dobson: “Sweet and sour is not a flavour combination unique to Chinese cooking. The combination of sugar and vinegar is common in Southern Italian cooking.”
“South East Asian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Middle Eastern – these cultures have long traditions of vegetarianism, so naturally their cuisines are loaded with wonderful vegetarian options, featuring ingredients that are now more easily accessible than ever before.”
Keen grillers, meat-free Monday advocates, easy entertainers, Middle Eastern and Asian food lovers.
Recipes and images from Fired Up Vegetarian by Ross Dobson, published by Murdoch Books rrp $34.99.