Vegan: The Cookbook, written by Jean-Christian Jury, features an extensive collection of nearly 500 vegan recipes inspired by flavors from around the world in 584 pages. A few highlights include Colcannon from Ireland, Spinach with Tomato and Peanut Butter Sauce from Zimbabwe, Tomato Gazpacho from Spain, Karachi Dumplings from Pakistan, Strawberry Mochi from Japan, and Veggie Burgers from the United States. I will also be sharing his recipe for Couscous with Pistachio and Apricot following the review.
Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and statements are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Jean-Christian Jury grew up in Toulouse, France and now lives in Los Angeles, California. He began his professional career at the age of fourteen by spending his summer vacations as an apprentice in a five-star hotel kitchen. He graduated with a degree in electro-magnetics, but was continuously drawn to food during his travels. Following a heart attack, he made changes to his diet and lifestyle and is now a vegan and raw-food chef. He opened La Mano Verde in Berlin, Germany on World Vegan Day- November 1, 2007- and the restaurant served 3-4 course meals with plants as the star.
Vegan: The Cookbook
Chapters are divided based on course: Introduction, The Essential Vegan Pantry, Starters, Salads, Soups, Main Courses, Grains and Beans, Pasta and Noodles, Desserts, and Guest Chefs. The index is divided for easy reference based on general, country, and type of food.
The Essential Vegan Pantry includes lists of fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, and other ingredients to help get you started. Overall, there are no frills and the focus is on the hundreds of recipes. The name of each dish is listed in English with the name of the country where the flavors were inspired. Every recipe notes the preparation time, cooking time, and recommended serving size. Measurements are provided in US Customary and Metric. The photography is provided by Sidney Bensimon with beautifully styled, full-page photos accompanying many of the recipes.
Vegan: The Cookbook also showcases recipes by the following guest chefs: Dan Barber of Blue Hill, Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, Kwang Uh of Baroo, Tony Lu of Fu He Hui, Michel Bras of Le Suquet, Alexis Gauthier of Gauthier Solo, Jonathan Karpathios of Vork & Mes, and Xavier Pellicer of Céleri.
This book is a great pick for those looking for a diverse collection of vegan recipes. Jury has created these dishes with the inspiration of 150 countries. Many are authentic while others have been substituted with specific items such as non-dairy cheese and yogurt to make them vegan friendly. All of the recipes I tried were straight-forward and easy to make in a short amount of time. Others, particularly in the guest chef section, require more effort and have longer ingredient lists (especially the impressive Gargouillou of Young Vegetables by Michel Bras with an ingredient list spanning across two pages and requiring multiple days to create).
Most of the ingredients are readily available in the average American kitchen. A few that may be more difficult to locate include certain varieties of fruits and vegetables, passion fruit syrup, rose water, soy cream, tahini, matcha, semolina flour, goji berries, brown rice syrup, agar-agar, nutritional yeast, vegan cheese, and paella rice.
Couscous with Pistachio and Apricot
The Couscous with Pistachios and Apricot is inspired by the cuisine of Israel. It comes together in less than 30 minutes, but is still a highly flavorful dish with plenty of spices and texture. Lightly toasted couscous is simmered in vegetable stock with cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, and lime. It is then tossed with pistachios, mint, and chewy dried apricot before cooking just a little longer to bring the flavors together. The couscous is served hot with additional mint for garnish.
The recipe calls for medium-grain couscous, a coarsely ground grain-like pasta from Northern Africa. I did not have this available, so I used a pearl couscous.
I also made the Garden Spring Rolls, Portobello Bruschetta, Fettuccine with Saffron Tomato and Coconut, and Lemon Cinnamon Rice Milk.
The Garden Spring Rolls are inspired by Vietnam. A mixture of rice noodles, bean sprouts, carrot, daikon radish, and garlic are lightly seasoned and wrapped in rice paper. They are served with spicy sriracha topped with peanuts. I loved the light and refreshing flavors.
The Portobello Bruschetta comes from the United States. Baguette slices are topped with a hearty mixture of broiled portobello mushrooms and vegetables tossed in a dressing. It was perfect for a light lunch or summertime snack.
The Fettuccine with Saffron, Tomato and Coconut was another easy and flavorful meal ready in less than 30 minutes. The tomato coconut sauce is seasoned with saffron and lemon and tossed with fettuccine noodles. Before serving, the pasta is garnished with basil. This one was Claire’s favorite.
The Lemon Cinnamon Rice Milk is inspired by Central Africa. Cooked long grain rice is simmered in coconut milk until creamy and flavored with cinnamon, lemon, and sugar. Chad chose this one as his favorite.
Looking for more recipes with couscous?
Couscous with Pistachio and Apricot Recipe
Adapted from Vegan: The Cookbook
Couscous with Pistachio and Apricot
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 cups (400 grams) medium-grain couscous
- 2 1/2 cups (600 ml/20 fl oz) vegetable stock
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Zest and juice of 1 lime divided
- Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) dried apricots diced
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) pistachios shelled
- 1/4 cup (7 grams) freshly chopped mint divided
- In a large saucepan, drizzle the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant. Stir in the couscous and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted, 4-5 minutes.
- Pour in the stock and season with the cinnamon stick, cumin, cardamom, and lime zest. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Cook, without stirring, until most of the stock has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the apricots, pistachios, lime juice, and half of the mint. Cover and cook over very low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the cinnamon. Fluff the couscous with a fork and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately garnished with the remaining mint.