Leon Fast Vegetarian, a colorful cookbook from the popular London restaurant
My friend Lisa from Saltwater & Sunshine bought this cookbook Leon Fast Vegetarian when she visited the London restaurant. It’s so fun to see cookbooks from other countries, as they seem to have a fresh flair that is fun for me as a reviewer. Leon was founded in 2004 in London’s trendy Carnaby Street district, and has won awards ever since.
Layout and design:
The book was designed by Anita Mangan with a punchy, playful look using primary colors. Content is divided into two sections: Star Turns—dishes that can stand alone as a meal (breakfast & brunch, soup, salads, fritters & pancakes, pasta beans & grains, children, casseroles, and rice & curry) and Supporting Cast (grazing dishes, sides, relishes, and desserts). I should note that they are recipes FOR children, not recipes made from children.
Beautiful photography by Georgia Glynn Smith brings the restaurant and its owners, staff, and patrons to life. All recipes in the first section feature a full-color, full-page photograph of the dish.
150 recipes include pancakey pie, wild garlic potato and almond soup, grilled scallions asparagus and zucchini, turnip pancakes, puglian bean purée, beet hummus, roasted head of cauliflower, pineapple curry, pink peppercorn and elderflower dressing, kale crisps, potato salad, lentils with peas fava beans and mint, and rhubarb and strawberry crumb sundae. All recipes are in U.S. equivalents. Recipes include wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, and sugar.
What I liked about the book:
Fun layout, made me want to visit the restaurant, lovely recipes, inventive ideas from a non-U.S. perspective. Recipes provide variations as well. User-friendly design. It also provides menu ideas, recipe index, some beautiful stick-on labels if you make their recipes (!), and two ribbons as bookmarks bound in.
I wasn’t so keen on:
Recipes were not coded for special diets; nutritional analysis is not provided, which would be helpful for low-sodium eaters.
People wanting to get more vegetables into their diets, vegetarians
Not recommended for:
Migraine, paleo, vegan, celiac, gluten-free or low-sodium diets
A note about my cookbook reviews: In the past, I tested at least three recipes from each book, took photos, and described my experience. Due to my dietary limitations (extremely-low-sodium for my Meniere’s Disease and trigger-free foods for migraine relief), it is no longer possible for me to test the recipes and do them justice.