Lust for Leaf – Cookbook Review and Recipe

Lust for Leaf

With three more days in this four-day weekend, there’s still a lot of picnicking to do. But maybe you don’t want another 1700 calories of hot dogs and potato salad. Fortunately, Alex Brown and Evan George over at Hot Knives have released a new book, Lust for Leaf. Lust for Leaf offers up “veggie crowd-pleasers to fuel your picnics, potlucks, and ragers”.

While the recipes are not necessarily low-calorie, eating more fruits and veggies is never a bad thing. Nearly one hundred vegetarian and vegan recipes show off creative and delicious ways to feed yourself and your friends at any get together.

The food pyramid chapter gives out the following advice for weekend dietary restrictions: “Enjoy your food, but party harder. Eat everything with your hands. Drink booze and fruit, not water. Make all of your junk food yourself. Cook at least half of everything you eat on an open fire.”

The recipes are grouped roughly by party type. For example, the chapter Taco Zone includes recipes for Jackfruit Carnitas (don’t be fooled by the name, it’s vegan), several salsas, Pineapple Escabeche, Elote al echo Parque (corn on the cob with a twist, see the recipe below), and some tasty beverages. Wild Grub has a collection of camping recipes: flavored popcorn, power bars, Backpack Banh Mi, Butter Beer Flapjacks, and other easy to pack foods to cook in the great outdoors.

If you must have hot dogs and potato salad, there’s even a recipe for meatless hot dogs and a few variations on potato salad.

Lust for Leaf: Vegetarian Noshes, Bashes, and Everyday Great Eats–The Hot Knives Way is available on Amazon for about $15.


Elote al Echo Parque

Serves 6

Beverage: Eagle Rock, Populist

Soundtrack: “I Love LA,” Randy Newman

Elote al Echo Parque6 ears of corn, unhusked
6 tablespoons labneh or mayonnaise
6 teaspoons Maldon salt
6 teaspoons urfa biber
6 ounces Pecorino Romano
1 lime
½ cup cilantro leaves

Well, you have to have a grill going.

Toss the unshucked ears of corn on the grill and cap it. Give them a quarter turn every 5 minutes until the outer husk is dry and toasted. This could as long as 20 minutes depending on where your coals are. Remove the ears and let cool.

Grate the Pecorino on a microplane or the smallest hole on your box grater. Divide that lime into six equal wedges. Mince the cilantro.

Peel away the outer layers of the husk and remove as much silk as you can with your hands. Then hold the corn close over an open flame, or place back on top of the grill to burn off extra silk. Leave the cobs on the grill, or continue to toast turn over an open flame on your stove-top until 60 to 70 percent of the kernels have browned slightly.

Assemble each cob one at a time and hand them off immediately: start by rubbing an ear of corn with a section of lime. Then, using a spatula, cover all the kernels liberally with labneh or mayo. Sprinkle on the salt, the urfa, the cilantro, and then finish by adhering as much Pecorino as possible to whatever remaining wet spots remain on your cob.


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