Do you have the Vedge cookbook? It’s wonderful, surprisingly simple, and delicious. (Full disclosure — I currently work Vedge Restaurant Group at V Street, but I owned this cookbook before that time! ). One of the things the cookbook does best if show how just a few ingredients of high quality, thoughtfully prepared, can be full of satisfying flavor.
Mushrooms are my favorite of all foods, so when I found a beautiful organic Maitake mushroom at my local H Mart, I snapped it up try out this recipe. I prepared it just as written, with the addition of some peas that appeared in the photo but not this recipe, alongside some hot, crusty, heavily, buttered bread. Heavenly.
I didn’t have baby turnips, just one large, weighty fall turnip, which was less sweet, and I think that I could have reduced the sauce a bit more to thicken it before adding it to the final vegetable bake in the oven, but see what you think!
Have you hear of the vegan restaurant Vedge? This upscale Center City restaurant does amazing things with vegetables, and is justifiably famous outside of vegetarian circles – in fact, chef / owners Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby have won numerous awards for Vedge, which is widely considered to be one of the best vegan restaurants, and restaurants period in the country. If you’re in Philadelphia, it’s definitely worth a visit, but even if you’re not, you can get a taste of the inventive, flavor-forward, vegetable focused menu.
I just got my copy of the new Vedge cookbook, and I’m so excited to work my way through it. I’m most struck by how simple most of the recipes are, and with not many ingredients, but the flavors really shine. For a recent fancy picnic I brought their Fingerling Potatoes with Creamy Worcestershire Sauce. This time of year, new potatoes are so buttery and perfect, and the roasting, combined with the savory mayonnaise, really highlights this Spring treat. I know that Worcestershire sauce is usually not vegan, but it is possible to find both vegan mayos and worcestershire if you would like to keep the recipe vegan. Landau and Jacoby suggest smashing the fingerlings and tossing them with the mayo sauce, but since I was looking for a finger food, I kept mine whole and served the sauce on the side.
Vedge is getting a lot of love this week, and deservedly so! Those of us who loved Horizons were shocked to see it close, and waited for what with baited breath for Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby’s new downtown vegan project. Tucked into the former Deux Cheminées, Vedge is Horizon’s more sophisticated sister – better dressed, streamlined, and with an eye for detail. I’ve yet to formally dine at Vedge, but I have enjoyed multiple happy hours at their marble bar – I’m obsessed with the Engine Room sparkling shiraz they serve at $5 a glass. Unfortunately, I sat at the darker end of the bar on an earlier darkening evening the night I took photos – apologies for the odd photo quality!
The gentleman and I were en route to the Opera, and some bites were in order. The wedge fry arrives in an order of 3, so be prepared to split that third wedge. Crispy-edged perfection with a charred onion dip and porcini salt, but certainly a “small plate.” As was the roasted cauliflower the bartender claimed receives raves. Stand mediterannean style with a tahini sauce – tasty, but nothing surprising. Since I last popped in a few weeks ago, Vedge has updated their happy hour menu for spring. I’m particularly excited to try the shishito peppers and the peel & eat fried lupini beans from their “small plates” dinner menu.