There’s something remarkably satisfying about taking a risk on a recipe and have it turn out to be delightfully delicious. A good recipe makes cooking simple, fun and attainable, and these days there are thousands of recipes for every diet and preference. But that wasn’t always the case. It’s only been within the last few decades that the amount of plant-based options has expanded. From falafel wraps to meatless burgers, vegetarian menu items can now be found in every city corner, and it’s largely due to the Moosewood Cookbook.
In the early 70’s the term “plant-based” had not yet been coined, and the number of vegetarian recipes, let alone menu items, were few and far between. This is why a group of seven friends, disappointed in the lack of options, decided to start a vegetarian restaurant called Moosewood in Ithaca, NY. Run collectively, Moosewood quickly became an arena for testing out family recipes, personal favorites, and impromptu creations. It was from diagrams scribbled on paper and notes thrown into a loose-leaf binder, that Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook was born – paving the way for ingredients like tahini, lentils, and tempeh to become grocery store staples.
Dubbed as one of the most influential cookbooks of all time, this recipe book presents a vegetarian alternative for every meat-based favorite. Whether you’re vegetarian or simply find yourself trying to include more veggies in your meals, the Moosewood Cookbook is filled with plant-based tips and heritage recipes that are sure to be crowd-pleasers. To celebrate Moosewood Cookbook's 40th-anniversary edition, we thought we'd share a perfect popover recipe from its tried and true pages.
"Crisp and puffy, full of hot air and a layer of custard on the inside, Popovers are very easy to throw together on a moment’s notice, and they can lend a festive spirit to even a simple bowl of soup. The custard quotient depends on how many eggs you use. This recipe is very flexible, and will work with 2, 3, or 4 eggs."
Yields 1 dozen
2 to 3 tbs. melted butter for the pan
2, 3, or 4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk (low fat OK)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush the insides of 12 muffin cups with melted butter.
Beat together the eggs and milk in a medium-sized bowl. Add the flour and salt and beat with a whisk until reasonably well blended. It's fine if the batter has a few lumps.
Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake for 25 minutes if using 2 eggs, 30 minutes if using 3 eggs, and 35 minutes for 4 eggs. Try to refrain from opening the oven during baking.
Remove the popovers from the pan immediately, and prick each with a fork to let the steam escape (this helps them hold their shape). Serve as soon as possible, either plain or with butter and/or jam.
Recipe by Mollie Katzen. From the Moosewood Cookbook.