Root: Small Vegetable Plates, a Little Meat on the Side
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Rob Howell is the head chef at Root, a veg-centric restaurant housed in two shipping containers. It opened in Bristol’s Wapping Wharf in 2017. The handsome food he presents here displays thoughtful, imaginative focus on the flavors of locally grown vegetables. But it is also clear that Howell is aware of a wide range of culinary traditions, from which he borrows nimbly.
A Scotch egg coated in mushrooms and lentils instead of sausage, or a potato and cheddar terrine might seem reasonably British in their origins. But Howell also offers grilled flatbreads topped with baba ganoush, kohlrabi slaw, and dates. He makes "tagliatelle" out of turnips and dresses them with wild mushrooms and pickled egg yolk. And he serves grilled mackerel with cucumber, apple & mint salsa, and jalepeño mayonnaise.
There are indeed some meat and fish dishes—chicken schnitzel with fresh anchovies, for instance—but more intriguing for us are desserts such as the doughnuts filled with carrot jam, a white chocolate and whisky cheesecake, and a pear and vermouth trifle with bay leaf and black currants.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.