It is possible to have taste buds and a heart, a fact seldom acknowledged by chefs. The vegan mantra at most restaurants is, “I guess I’ll have the garden salad.” Eventually, some chefs achieve enlightenment and give us what we really want: fricassee of morels and fava beans with coconut taro purée, or perhaps charred corn ravioli with basil fondue. Delicious choices abound in Great Chefs Cook Vegan (Gibbs Smith, $35) by Linda Long. Twenty-five chefs, among them Jean-Georges Vongerichten, José Andrés, and Charlie Trotter, contributed recipes—all of which have been mouthwateringly photographed. It’s rabbit food for the world’s most sophisticated bunnies.
The nosh that began in 17th- century Poland and traveled around the world is now as common in American homes as apple pie. In this charming little book, The Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread (Yale Univ., $24), Maria Balinska traces the history of the bagel from its humble beginnings to New York’s Lower East Side to freezers and bake shops from coast to coast. The debate, however, will continue to rage: is that square thing really a bagel? And why would anyone put blueberries in a bagel?