Welcome to “The Best Recipes on the Internet,” a home-cooking series where we ask experts to sift through the endless recipes available online and tell us which ones really work. Running point on the project is Cara Eisenpress, a passionate home cook and author of In The Small Kitchen: 100 Recipes From Our Year of Cooking in the Real World.
To balance out the burgers and dogs we’re hurling onto the grill all summer, this week we’re ignoring the beef and turning to broccoli, quinoa, tofu, and other staples of the vegetarian canon. Starting with the crunchy favorites from the Moosewood era of brown rice and lentils, and moving towards more modern vegetarian obsessions like avocado toast, we enlisted the help of vegetarian food lovers—from bloggers to cookbook authors to veggie-focused photographers—all of whom live and love the habit of eating vegetables, grains, and nuts.
Even if you’re not fully vegetarian but merely a vegetable enthusiast or flexitarian of some kind, you’ll find the essentials you need to eat the best vegetarian and vegan food around.
One common thread we discovered among our vegetarian specialists was the emphasis on sauces and condiments, from ginger-scallion dressing to romesco sauce, and from hummus to almond butter. These rich extras have the ability to turn any vegetarian dish from rabbit food into hearty, satisfying fare.
Don’t tempt fate with an untested veggie burger that crumbles to nothing in the heat of your pan. Instead, follow the recommendation of our vegetable-loving experts:
Deborah Madison, best-selling author of Vegetable Literacy, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and Vegetarian Suppers
Kathryne Taylor, vegetarian blogger at Cookie and Kate.
Aurelia d’Andrea, former editorial director of VegNews Magazine, frequent contributor to Vegetarian Times, and the author of Moon: Living Abroad in France (2012) and Moon: Metro Paris (2014).
Joey Lee, recipe editor and partnerships manager of The Monday Campaigns, which runs Meatless Monday, an initiative to help people start each week with meat-free meals
Lukas Volger, the author of Veggie Burgers Every Which Way and Vegetarian Entrees that Won’t Leave You Hungry, and co-founder of the soon-to-launch product line Made by Lukas
Rachel Hofstetter, author of Cooking Up a Business (Penguin, out this fall)
Erin Alderson, recipe developer and photographer behind Naturally Ella, a vegetarian, whole foods blog
Cara Eisenpress, editor at Big Girls, Small Kitchen, author of In the Small Kitchen, and First We Feast contributor