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Book Review: Superiority Burger Cookbook

August/September 2018 Issue
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Superiority Burger Cookbook
The Vegetarian Hamburger Is Now Delicious
By Brooks Headley (W.W. Norton & Company)

Not so very long ago, chef Brooks Headley cooked up something extraordinary at his teensy restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village: “The Best Burger on the Planet!” according to reputable critics. The extraordinary part is not that a punk rocker turned James Beard Award-winning pastry chef is now the burger king—but, rather, that Headley’s famously tasty burger does not contain any meat. You’ve got to taste it to believe it. If a pilgrimage to Superiority Burger isn’t on your summer agenda, then learning to make one ought to be. The recipe appears on p. 18 of Headley’s new book, followed by 90 other faves (all vegetarian) from his restaurant’s constantly changing roster of non-french-fry sides and sweets.

At Superiority Burger, everything—e.g., the Ice-Cold Herbed Melon and Cucumber Salad, the addictive Crunchy Potatoes, the Salt and Vinegar String Beans, the Poppyseed Gelato, the Coconut Sorbet—is prepared in a shoebox-size kitchen outfitted with just four induction burners, a steel griddle, a small convection oven, and an ice-cream machine. So there’s really nothing in this book that you can’t accomplish, too. Headley’s food—unfussy, irreverent, and known to inspire spontaneous joy—is testament to his talent and proof that a great cook doesn’t need to show off to succeed, especially in summer when our raw materials are at their peak.

Bookmark This: Burnt Broccoli Salad. This was Superiority Burger’s first salad, and it’s the one that never leaves the restaurant’s ever-changing menu. One taste, and you’ll see why.

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