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Eat Your Veggies

Justin Fox Burks

My dear friends Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence have just come out with their second cookbook that shows that “eating your veggies” can be fun and tasty!

“The Chubby Vegetarian: 100 Inspired Vegetable Recipes for the Modern Table” hits bookshelves across the country on October 27.

“With our first book “The Southern Vegetarian,” we had a very closely cropped view of the way we eat – only our Southern dishes.  And with “The Chubby Vegetarian” we were able to showcase really the way we draw from a wealth of cultures and translate those into vegetarian dishes for the home cook.”

Flipping through the book is a little like flipping through a world map.

“Creating this cookbook was such an amazing learning experience. We got to call on our friends like Ermyias Shiberou from Blue Nile who taught us how to cook vegetables in the Ethiopian tradition and Krishna R. Chattu from Mayuri in East Memphis taught us how to make the perfect crispy dosa, which is like a big rice crepe.”

But Justin and Amy haven’t forgotten their Southern roots.

“And of course we still give you some our favorite BBQ recipes like BBQ Spaghetti Squash Ribs and a salad inspired by the Germantown Commissary – we call it the BBQ Eggplant Boss Man Salad.”

“P. Allen Smith – the amazing gardener, lifestyle expert based in Arkansas – he wrote the forward for our book, for “The Chubby Vegetarian,” and I just think it’s a beautiful piece. It’s all about why he grows the edible stuff that he grows and I like that he appreciates what we do with Southern produce.”

Justin and Amy will be signing copies of their books on October 27 at 6:30pm at Booksellers at Laurelwood.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Eat your veggies!

For more information visit chubbyvegetarian.blogspot.com/.

Justin and Amy will also be signing copies of their books at The Second Line on November 6 at 5:00pm at an event that Chef Kelly English is hosting for the release of their cookbook as well as the book “Reel Masters: Chefs Casting About With Timing & Grace” by Susan Schadt.

Carrot "Lox" with Red Onion, Capers, Dill, and Créme Fraîche

  • 1 pound organic carrots (about 5 to 6 large)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Diced red onion*, capers (in salt or brine), fresh dill, créme fraîche, lemon wedges (to garnish)

Peel and very thinly slice the carrots longways on a mandolin. In a small bowl combine the smoked salt, brown sugar, and black pepper. Layer the carrot slices in a large bowl and add a pinch of the spice mixture to each layer until all of the carrot slices and spice mixture are used up. Set this aside for 30 minutes. The salt will soften the carrots and leach out much of their liquid.

Remove the carrots from the bowl and discard the liquid and spices that have gathered at the bottom. Add the carrots, eggs, and lemon zest back to the bowl and toss to coat each strand with egg. Line a 1/4-sheet pan with parchment paper and brush it with olive oil. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Starting with a long strand of carrot, lay it flat across the parchment paper. Continue to lay the carrots one after the other overlapping them almost completely. Pair shorter strands together to span the length of the dish. Once all the carrots are laid out, brush the top with the egg that remains in the bottom of the bowl. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil to seal in the moisture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until carrots are just tender. Keep covered and allow it to cool completely.

Uncover and slice it down the middle using a sharp knife. Serve at room temperature garnished with red onion, capers, and fresh dill. Add créme fraîche and lemon wedges on the side.

Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer or 4 as a main dish -- maybe add some mashed potatoes and asparagus on the side.

*Once you've diced the onion, place in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes and drain. This will wash away any of the astringent taste associated with raw onion. It's a good idea to do the same to the capers.

Recipe printed with permission from The Chubby Vegetarian by Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence.

Jennifer Chandler graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris at the top of her class. She is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks.