Eric Ripert is best known for his role as chef and co-owner of New York’s Le Bernardin, a seafood-centric restaurant with three Michelin stars to its name. Which means it might come as a surprise that he wrote an all vegetable cookbook, titled Vegetable Simple, which was released yesterday.
Full of recipes inspired by simple preparations of produce, short ingredients, and Ripert’s childhood, this 200+ page vegetarian cookbook may seem a bit unexpected from such a seafood-focused chef. But, in fact, it’s a project years in the making: “At Le Bernardin, we have the mantra: ‘The fish is the star of the plate,'” Ripert told mindbodygreen. “While that remains true, about three years ago, I became very curious about vegetables, and began exploring why we weren’t highlighting them in the same way as proteins.”
Ripert isn’t alone in this fascinations with veggies, restaurants from fast food to fine dining have embraced the uptick in vegetarian and vegan eaters with gusto—but here at mindbodygreen, we’ve always been fascinated by the power of plant-based diets. (In fact, Ripert’s book dedication “to the well-being of all” isn’t too far off our core point of view.)
This consommé recipe is indicative of the type of cooking the book highlights: simple, clean, and purely focused on vegetables. Consommé is a type of broth, which is made with a technique to keep the mixture clear of sediment. While it usually starts with animal protein, this vegan version uses mushrooms. “I like to serve this consommé at the beginning of a meal,” writes Ripert, “The lightness is deceptive and it surprises my guests with its rich intense flavor.”
While you do take out the majority of the mushrooms before serving, that doesn’t mean they have to become waste: “You can use the strained mushrooms again by incorporating them into another dish or simply enjoy them marinated in olive oil and a splash of vinegar, seasoned with salt and pepper,” he offers as suggestions.