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A Carnivore Finds Joy,
Meatlessly

by Nigella Lawson

There is a Graham Greene play, "The Potting Shed," that tells the angst-ridden story of the impact on an atheistic family when one of their number has a religious vision, followed by a stunned conversion, in the shed of the title. The fear and tension of a family whose scornful disbelief is so suddenly shot to pieces resounds particularly with me, for I have a concomitant fear. My almost unutterable nightmare is this: One day I could wake up and find myself a vegetarian.

I have nothing against vegetarians. I love vegetables. But as an eager eater, I would find it a cruel blow not to be able to eat meat. And as a cook, I would feel like a painter who suddenly finds most of the colors taken away from her palette.

Of course, there is a lot to be said for limitations. At times when I have felt particularly saddled with them, I turn brave and chipper and try to convince myself that cooking, when you come to think of it, is not unlike writing a sonnet: the art lies in the constraints.

And thus it can be done. For me, a dinner party is just the evening meal you cook for your friends while in an expansive mood. And this is a meal I would happily make for mine, regardless of dietary requirements.

You do not have to be a vegetarian to appreciate the pleasure to be gained from dipping raw vegetables into untraditionally lemony guacamole, followed by a fragrant bowl of pasta with a sauce of the best tomatoes, with some striped ribbons of grilled zucchini on the side. For dessert, you'll have a sugar-dusted pyramid of ricotta fritters.

Anyone who doesn't want to eat this doesn't deserve dinner in the first place. More ... Cooking Articles


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