Widely credited with bringing healthful, plant-based cooking into the mainstream, Mollie Katzen first gained acclaim as the author and illustrator of the groundbreaking classic Moosewood Cookbook, which was named to the James Beard Foundation’s Cookbook Hall of Fame in 2007. With more than 6 million books in print, Katzen is listed by The New York Times as one of the bestselling cookbook authors of all time and has been named by Health magazine as one of the Five Women Who Changed the Way We Eat. Since 2003, Katzen has been a consultant to Harvard University Dining Services and co-creator of its new Food Literacy Project.
Katzen’s other popular books include The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, Still Life with Menu, Sunlight Café, Vegetable Heaven, The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without, and the award-winning children’s cookbook trilogy Pretend Soup, Honest Pretzels, and Salad People. In 2006, she collaborated with Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, to write Eat, Drink, and Weigh Less. Katzen’s latest book is Get Cooking: 150 Simple Recipes to Get You Started in the Kitchen, aimed at beginner chefs. The companion Web site, www.get-cooking.com, features a new series of videos with Katzen and friends demonstrating recipes and advice to augment the book. Katzen is also an accomplished artist; examples of her work can be found at www.molliekatzen.com. She lives in Berkeley, California.
1. My Family’s Favorite Hot Chocolate My kids, when they were small, always liked to use a spoon to “sip” hot drinks. Honestly, it was as though they couldn’t just pick up the cup and drink anything—there had to be a spoon. This was the perfect inspiration to create a hot chocolate so thick and textured the spoon was actually necessary. This one is for serious chocolate lovers, which is in our family DNA.
2. Portobello Pizzas Homemade pizza of one persuasion or another has been a traditional food in my household for decades. Often I just keep some dough in the refrigerator and break off personal pizza-sized hunks of it, one at a time, for customized short-order purposes. But when I don’t have the dough waiting, perfectly round 4-inch Portobello mushrooms are my other favorite (albeit utterly unorthodox) pizza platform. Really fun, and very tasty.
3. Oven Ratatouille “Why stew when you can roast?” is the question. And the answer is: I don’t know.
4. Beet, Lemon, and Ginger Marmalade Adding the zing of the zest to the sturdy beet is gratifying. With ginger in the mix, it’s gratification cubed. When I’m testing recipes, I’m always searching for the vital balance between staid and sparkling, acid and base, magenta and yellow. I could continue describing all the alluring contrasts in this wonderful condiment, but I might lose you...
5. Gingery Gingerbread The American palate (as if we all share one, but in many senses we kind of do) is world-famous for its dangerous flirtation with sweet-hot combinations. Sometimes this is annoying (I’m not a jalapeno jelly fan and please don’t give me a designer chocolate bar laced with chili—ever) but other times, it can really work. My favorite case-in-point success story is this two-alarm gingerbread, which might even go up to a three if your fresh ginger is spankingly young, crisp, and juicy.
Click here for Katzen’s recipes on Cookstr.